Cal State San Marcos‘ president said Thursday the 25-year-old university will move forward by closing the “degree gap” for an increasingly diverse population and preparing students for high-tech jobs.
“We believe that anyone who has the drive and desire to attain a college degree in our region should have a place at our institution,” said President Karen Haynes.
Speaking to a crowd of 600 business, civic and political leaders from North County, Haynes said in her annual report to the community that the university’s “youth allows nimbleness and our culture embraces change” to meet the needs of the future.
“Twenty-five years ago, our founders set out on a mission to create a new kind of university — one uniquely poised to meet the demands of the 21st century,” Haynes said. “Today we are the university that our founders dreamed we would be, with a history of doing things our way.
“We aren’t just ‘chalk and talk; but future-focused on real solutions to real problems.”
She outlined seven major education issues that she and the university will focus on:
- Educational Access — She said the university is creating pathways and partnerships to make college work for more students, citing a projection that California’s economy will demand one million more graduates by 2025.
- Workplace Skills — Haynes said the university regularly surveys businesses to understand their changing needs and then creates new degrees and certificate programs like cybersecurity and health information. “Our programs are designed to help our students get REAL jobs,” she said.
- Changing Health Care Needs — An aging population will create new employment opportunities, and Haynes cited the Institute for Palliative Care, which she said has educated more than 600 healthcare professionals.
- Serving Veterans — Eleven percent of the university’s students are military-affiliated — the highest per capita in the California State University system.”We are committed to serving those who have served their nation,” she said.
- Globalization — The university will seek to teach the skills and competencies students need to address critical issues shared across borders.
- Community Engagement — “The successful university of the future must not be an ivory tower isolated from the real world around it,” Haynes said.
- Environment — With California facing an historic drought, the university is creating new programs and certificates to train students for environmental problems.
Haynes noted that the university’s first graduating class numbered just 25, but the institution now graduates 2,600 students each year.
“You have heard me speak of our seemingly ‘impossible dreams’ to raise the educational attainment rate of our region, to diversify our student population, and to create pathways for the most educationally-at-risk,” she said. “These are no longer dreams— they are our reality.”
>> Subscribe to Times of San Diego’s free daily email newsletter! Click hereFollow Us: