It’s a great time to be at Long Beach! Our University and the College of Engineering are wholeheartedly committed to access to education and the success of every student who comes to study with us. I am pleased to report that our graduation rates have continued to rise at an increasingly rapid pace. And I am equally pleased to report that Diverse Issues in Higher Education recently released its annual list of the "Top 100 Degree Producers," and California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) is ranked 10th in the nation in conferring bachelor’s degrees to minority students. This national report showcases U.S. colleges’ and universities’ success in awarding degrees to African-American, Latino, Asian-American and Native-American students.
The CSULB College of Engineering is committed to creating special programs and targeted scholarships for persons in underrepresented groups. CSULB has a rich constituency of economically disadvantaged and first-generation college prospectives for whom we offer ample effective programs, including: the MESA (Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement) Schools Program and the MESA Engineering Program, a campus-wide HSI-STEM project, a multi-university HSI-engineering initiative with several other universities, a canoe restoration project (named “Ti’At” in the native Gabrielino-Tongva language) with the American Indian Science and Engineering Society, a doctoral program with Arizona State University in the support of persons with disabilities, the Troops to Engineering program in support of veterans, and numerous projects centered around young women such as “My daughter is an Engineer” camps, and “Young Engineers @ The Beach” day visits by female students from middle schools in the region. This collection of well-organized programs, in coordination with our school outreach office and the highly successful Long Beach Promise – a pact for seamless transition from K-12 to Long Beach City College and to CSULB – has strengthened the pipeline for our engineering programs very significantly.
One of our key initiatives toward Access plus Success is our early advising and the newly established Degree Progress Rules policy. The primary goal of this initiative is early identification of those who are capable of making degree progress and assistance in exploring other options for those who do not appear to be a good fit for studying engineering.
The College launched the Engineering Honors Program in Fall 2013. The Honors program offers students a fast-track plan toward undergraduate degree completion in 4 years. The program welcomed its first cohort of 30 students.
Along with strengthening the pipeline and providing access, we have directed much of our resources toward student-success programs centered around serving each and every student group. Pursuant to the campus’s goals for improving 6-year graduation rates, the college has surpassed the campus success rate by a large margin. With the launching of our Engineering Honors Program – an opportunity to challenge our high-performing students – our 4-year graduation rates will see improvements of similar magnitude.
In sum, our diverse efforts have resulted in our college’s appearance in top 25 rankings for several achievements. The CSULB College of Engineering is first in the nation for graduating American Indian engineers and 17th for graduating Hispanic engineers. As a learner-centered educator, we are committed to providing experiential learning to each and every student - based on their abilities and talents.