Tom Jackson Jr. is president of California State Polytechnic University, Humboldt.
It has become almost a clich to say that we are living in an age of budget cuts and increasing tuition in public higher education.
But it turns out, we’re actually starting to see Funding is expected to increase For public colleges in different states. And California is leading the way. Our public two-year college and four-year university budgets have steadily increased, although the state has maintained the tuition line for the past decade.
At Cal Poly Humboldt, we are fortunate that we are perhaps the most attractive symbol of the state’s investment promise. বছরের 458 million in this year’s state budget to support a vision that we have begun to work on In November 2020: To officially change our title and create a 21st Century Polytechnic.
Being a polytechnic university means maintaining a strong liberal arts foundation and focusing academically on STEM fields. As part of this transformation, we’re moving fast to create 12 new programs next year in engineering, technology, healthcare and agriculture – much more to come in the next nine years. These programs will align with what we are most familiar with: a hands-on learning approach and a deep commitment to sustainability and equity.
The transformation calls for doubling our enrollment in seven years and creating or upgrading facilities to meet the needs of our students, including renovations to new residential halls and science labs.
Nearly half a billion dollars in funding is changing the pace of California’s demand. The state has a labor gap in areas such as engineering, technology and healthcare, as well as increasing demand for degree programs in these areas. Indeed, there is interest from students in the California polytech field that it cannot meet; In 2020, Thousands of students Majors such as Software Engineering and Mechanical Engineering were returned due to power constraints.
Moreover, we are ready to enter across different populations. We are a regional broad university, a department with hundreds of other public institutions. These institutions provide extensive college access, Educate about two-thirds of public four-year college and university graduates across the country. Also, a wide range of universities provide in-demand programming and professional and leadership training for our state staff. We are a Hispanic-service organizationAnd we know our “science with the soul” approach resonates with women and different student populations.
Through this investment in public higher education, the approach that California has helped is doubling It has become the 5th largest economy in the world. This is creating opportunities for students and for local areas and communities, as well as for the necessary workforce of the future. It enables us to educate more graduates, such as creating renewable energy systems, tackling the growing threat of wildfires and helping to address the challenges of climate change.
Unfortunately, this view of long-term investment is often lost. But to truly serve our students and the local community, we need to spend some time and focus on exploring how higher education can innovate itself.
It was the interest of the community, the support of the alumni, and the strong support of the CSU leadership and the state leadership that led to our transformation. It started with a self-study, which we conducted in the fall semester of 2020 and until January 2021. The study included the work of seven broad working groups consisting of students, teachers, staff and community partners, as well as a list of volunteers from a wide range of campuses who responded to an open call to participate in the process.
The groups were tasked with analyzing our current strengths and new opportunities for growth in a number of important areas, including academic programming, external partnerships and enrollment. Through a combination of methods, including data and report collection, surveys, focus groups, feedback forms, and open forums, the work developed into a prospectus for CSU system leadership. Detailed plan to transform the polytechnic. Important to this process was the close collaboration with the other two Cal Poly, as well as the launch of a campus-wide initiative to facilitate the transfer for the university community.
An earlier, critical time in California history led to the revival of higher education and set the stage for post-secondary education and the future of the nation. In 1960, based on the unprecedented demand for California public collegiate experience, the California Master Plan for Higher Education created a system for post-secondary education that included the University of California. And the newly launched California State University and California Community College system. The plan offered wide access and was incredibly affordable for students. This successful model has been acclaimed, and parts have been replicated throughout the country.
The revival of higher education and who it serves is cyclical, but the effort has been well spent. The redevelopment of our campus allows us to demonstrate how public higher education, including public support, can scale quickly to meet what the state government wants and needs from us. At Cal Poly Humboldt, the return on investment will affect the next generation.