“Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.” This quote by President Roosevelt sums up our 2020-2021 perfectly.
At Extension & International Programs (EIP), we pride ourselves on providing learning opportunities for every stage of life, extending our resources into the local community and around the globe (even during a pandemic).
Like the rest of the world, we found ourselves maneuvering through a vast array of challenges. We focused on providing high-quality workforce and academic programs for our students, even as we continued to work and teach from our homes. We moved further into the midst of uncertainty, but we also found ourselves starting to tread water. As of today, the majority of EIP programs are fully online. We are able to conduct classes, workshops, meetings, and even multi-day events via Zoom, YouTube and other virtual avenues of communication.
During the 2020-21 Fullerton Arboretum closure, we provided gardening workshops, beer tastings, cooking classes, student and faculty presentations, and even our annual Thanksgiving celebration online. Titan Youth Programs classes were again held virtually, with new subjects such as public speaking and coding added this past summer.
As the pandemic continues on, so do we. It is thanks to our resilient community — the CSUF leadership, faculty, instructors, staff and students, and the unwavering support of our community partners, that we are able to build and prosper during times such as these. Thank you for being a part of our journey.
- The CSUF Extension & International Programs Team
Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.
Our professional development programs are created with current campus, community and business needs in mind. Professionals across a diverse array of industries can advance their career through our certificate and educator programs. We also partner with Orange County agencies to provide training for county employees. 2021 certificates included Business, Crime & Forensics, Fiduciary, Technology & Engineering and Education programs.
Our professional certificate programs provide pathways for people to change or advance their careers, upskill and ultimately move forward in their goals.
Our certificate programs include projects and hands-on experiences designed to be applied in the real world. Anthony Martinez, a graduate of the Lean Six Sigma Green Belt Certificate program, was able to use the concepts he learned in class and applied them directly at his job as a management analyst for the City of Paramount! Watch his full interview in the video above.
CSUF Extension & International Programs is proud to support our students in their professional and educational endeavors. This year we had the honor of providing scholarships to 11 students.
In collaboration with regional business leaders and organizations, we developed several new programs to meet the needs of the workforce, both present and in the future. This fall we kick things off with the Advanced Manufacturing & Engineering Certificate and the Data Science & Data Analytics Certificate programs.
Our online courses and programs help California educators fulfill their professional needs, including completing credentials and meeting prerequisites. In partnership with CSUF’s College of Education, we provide the training needed for the teachers of the future.
The Improvement Science for Education Leaders one-year certificate program launches in Fall 2021. It is the latest of a wide variety of online offerings for educators who are passionate about positively changing students’ lives.
This program supports students in identifying interventions that promote positive change within their own organizations in a short amount of time while fine tuning their lens of adaptation and adaptability.
In Summer 2020, during the pandemic, we launched the new Game-Based Learning Certificate program in partnership with the Orange County Department of Education. Math teacher and esports general manager Trent DeLazzer was a part of the pilot program, and was able to use what he learned to create new ways of teaching to his high school students:
In 2020-2021 we partnered with numerous agencies, organizations and corporations to drive workforce development throughout the region.
Working full-time, raising a family, and grappling with the ongoing pandemic — these are just some of the challenges students face, all while trying to obtain their degree. Our online bachelor’s degree completion programs provide the flexibility that many adult learners need to reach their academic goals, eliminating the hassles of transportation, class during normal working hours and other time-consuming obstacles.
Our programs include Business Administration, Sociology, and Humanities & Social Sciences.
When Melisa Peralez began planning to finish her bachelor’s degree, she knew the CSUF Online BA in Business Administration Degree Completion program was the right fit for her. Not only were all her classes fully online, but she was able to build her network with her peers while earning her degree. Upon graduation Melisa used her degree to advance her career, and is currently earning her MBA! Watch her full story here:
Our Pre-Health Professions Postbaccalaureate Program provides a way for students without a science background to begin careers in the medical field and other health related occupations.
I was attracted to the program because it allowed me to take all my prerequisite classes for dental school in less than two years and it has a high acceptance rate from the program to dental schools.
Matthew Cosaert was immersed in theological studies when he decided to make a career change to dentistry. He enrolled in our pre-health program to prepare for dental school.
Not only did Matthew graduate and get accepted to the Loma Linda University School of Dentistry, but he also received the 2021 Miles D. McCarthy Health Professions Award from Cal State Fullerton! The award signifies exceptional academic achievement and integrity.
After completing his studies in dentistry, Matthew plans on serving active duty in the U.S. Navy as part of the Health Professions Scholarship Program before returning to be a dentist in his local community.
We continue to offer advanced degree programs for postgraduates. Programs include the Fully Employed Masters in Business Administration (FEMBA), Master’s in Social Work (MSW) and MS in Counseling. The MS in Counseling program in particular continues to grow with each passing term. Our newest degree offering, the Accelerated Master in Software Engineering (AMSE), has seen great success, with students finding employment in their field before graduating.
CSUF alumnus Faheem Samol obtained his Accelerated MS in Software Engineering through CSUF Extension & International Programs. Using the project-based knowledge he acquired in the program, he applied for, and was hired by Amazon to be a cloud engineer shortly after graduating! He currently lives and works in Seattle, and continues to use the skills he learned at CSUF to this very day.
In support of CSUF’s “Finish in 4” initiative, the University's summer and winter sessions provide a way for students to stay on track to graduate without overloading their schedules during the fall and spring terms. Smaller class sizes and fast-paced schedules are the perfect combination for many students.
Open University is the start of success for students from all walks of life. We have had the honor of watching countless students raise their CSUF GPA, raise their self-confidence and ultimately complete their degree thanks to this CSU program. Postgraduates can take prerequisites for a credential or graduate program. Disqualified students can get a fresh start and raise their GPA through Open University enrollment. And last but certainly not least, Open University invites the general public to further their personal and professional growth and education at CSUF.students from Fall 2020 - Spring 2021
Although the COVID-19 pandemic continued to limit the amount of traveling our students were able to do in the 2020-2021 school year, our Titans continued to make waves and opened their arms to virtual global educational experiences.
We were able to host two global engagement expos, held thousands of advising sessions via Zoom, and partnered with other universities to provide virtual study abroad experiences.
As we enter into a post-pandemic future, we look forward to providing even more study and travel opportunities for students, while continuing to keep virtual learning an option for those who can’t physically travel.
Top 10 countries represented:
China, Kuwait, Vietnam, India, South Korea, Taiwan, Japan, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Indonesia
Natalie’s passion for travel, culture and learning has been evident since she first stepped into the Global Titan Center. In Spring 2018 she studied abroad in Guilin, China at the Chinese Language Institute and in Mexico as well. Then, not to be deterred by pandemic restrictions, she completed a 12-week virtual international internship with Variantz - Singapore in Spring 2021!
Besides launching a product and a service, I am also learning about the Singaporean culture and the differences between that and the United States. Virtual internships and working from home are the new future, and I am very grateful to have this opportunity to venture into this new way of life. There is a different set of skills needed in this internship to succeed, and I think that it could be applied any of my future endeavors.
She served for two years as a volunteer Global Titan Ambassador, mentoring other students as they considered international excursions of their own. Most recently, she received the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Award in Spring 2021. Natalie is currently a dual major at CSUF, studying international business and business administration at the College of Business & Economics.
Top 10 countries represented:
China, Kuwait, Vietnam, India, South Korea, Taiwan, Japan, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Indonesia
Even without the pressures of the pandemic closures, Fullerton Arboretum was set to undergo drastic changes in the 2020-2021 fiscal year. The Arboretum is a self-support unit within Extension and International Programs and received financial support from the City of Fullerton through a Joint Powers Authority (JPA) agreement.
In the last 40 years, the Arboretum has earned revenue in order to operate the facility and maintain an outstanding living collection by renting facilities, holding special events, offering photography permits, selling plants and offering membership and donor programs while also using the City’s commitment to operate. In December 2020, the revenue provided by the City of Fullerton ended with the expiration of the JPA.
Because of this, the Arboretum has made significant moves to raise funding on their own, hosting virtual events, applying for grants, seeking new memberships and donations, and working together to find ways to reach new audiences and strengthen funding.
Our gates remained closed but our community continued to thrive! Throughout 2020-2021 we hosted a variety of virtual events, including cooking classes, beer tastings, gardening workshops, a Thanksgiving celebration and more.
In addition to planting on site, we also distributed resources to food pantry clients who used the opportunity to grow their own food.
Locations impacted: Farm & Food Lab (OC Great Park), Giving Farm (Westminster High School), Peace Farm (San Juan Capistrano), Edendale Grove (Echo Park), LA County Dept of Mental Health Northeast Mental Health and Wellness Center (East LA), The Wellness Center at LA County/USC Medical Center, West Hollywood Community Housing Corporation, Pico Union Project (Pico Union LA)
There is much work to be done to secure the success of Fullerton Arboretum in the years to come. We are thankful for the support of the Friends of Fullerton Arboretum, and their many contributions to the gardens. The donations we received in 2020-2021 allowed the team to continue preserving the plants, trees and wildlife that call the Arboretum home. This support also allows us to continue to be a resource to CSUF faculty and students, and to bring rest and relaxation to the local community.
Fullerton Arboretum continues to serve as an educational resource for undergraduate and graduate studies.
Each year Fullerton Arboretum shares its resources with local community partners. Thank you to all who continue to work with us in these partnerships.
We partnered with APGA for "Go Public Garden Days." We planted and tended to the "Simply Spectacular Sunflower Field," full of beautiful, towering sunflowers right here in the Arboretum. Participants could purchase signs to plant alongside the sunflowers with messages to loved ones written on them.
The garden inspired virtual visitation (until we reopened at the beginning of July), increased donation dollars and shone a spotlight on our volunteers, who were largely responsible for the growth of the garden.
In July 2021 the Arboretum was able to reopen to the public for the first time since the pandemic closures. We look forward to welcoming guests, hosting classes and events, and continuing to help our projects thrive.
Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at CSUF provides active, older adults with learning opportunities in a university setting. The community engages with peers, serves our communities, and enhances the activities of the University.
OLLI was designed for in-person communities: classes, events, a space for older adults to belong. When the pandemic stole that space, OLLI leaders and members quickly pivoted.
The virtual transition began with Zoom workshops, where members could learn how to use the software to tune into meetings and classes. Next, instructors and OLLI volunteers worked together to bring former in-person classes online.
Michaela Thompson graduated from CSUF in 2019 and began her career as a gerontologist. The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute recognized her passion, leadership skills and strong academics, and awarded Michaela the 2021 Outstanding Graduate Student Award.
Since graduating, Michaela has mentored incoming gerontology master's candidates and volunteers with the Girl Scouts of Orange County. She is a member of the California Council on Gerontology and Geriatrics and the American Society on Aging.
She continues to pursue her passion, currently working at the Women’s Transitional Living Center as an elder abuse specialist.OLLI 2021
A true lifelong learner, Titan Elke O'Brian is the recipient of the 2021 Betty Robertson Award from CSUF’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute.
Elke is committed to lifelong learning and helping older adults like herself. At age 82, she is graduating with a master's degree in gerontology from Cal State Fullerton, and plans to write articles aimed at helping older adults find alternative approaches to healing.
Formerly known as the Children's Program, Titan Youth Programs continued to serve 1st-8th graders virtually in 2020-2021. Both academic and tech courses were offered. We look forward to resuming in-person classes in the months and years to come.
Thank you for this awesome class, I really enjoyed it! I usually hate speaking to people I don't know very well (anxiety), but this class made me comfortable enough to speak freely and share my opinions and writing pieces with everyone. It has also made me want to write more! - 6th Grade Student, “Writing & Speaking” course
Our vision for the future remains clear: ensure the transformative power of education remains available, accessible and accommodating to all.
We look forward to innovative collaborations with new community partners and organizations, while cultivating the ones we already have. At CSUF Extension & International Programs, we believe lifelong learning is important, and it is our job to make opportunities accessible to the diverse populations we serve, from students at CSUF to learners around the world.
2020 revealed the need for stronger workforce development programs. With furloughs and layoffs upending lives, and entire industries changed by the pandemic, people are searching more than ever for affordable and applicable reskilling and upskilling opportunities, courses and programs, and ways to adapt in a post-pandemic world. Our programs aim to meet them there. With plans for new courses covering industries like advanced manufacturing, biotechnology, real estate, cybersecurity, user experience design and data science, we strive to meet professionals where they are, equipping them for the next step in their careers and education. We’ll continue making multiple learning modalities a priority, providing rich educational experiences for students they can transfer directly to their real-world jobs.
We’re proud of our Titans for pursuing cultural enrichment through virtual internships and study abroad programs. We expect these opportunities to continue in the years to come, providing a way for students to explore the world without the financial burdens and travel complications that traditional study abroad programs assume. That being said, we also look forward to spreading our wings once more, continuing to develop our university exchange programs with institutions around the world. "I think the entire Study Abroad & Global Engagement team and our partners across the CSUF campus involved in international education have learned enormously. We each have a broader perspective on global education and that, while powerful, traditional mobility is not and will not be the only mode of providing global experiences to our Titan community." - Jack Hobson, Global Titan Center Senior Director (Quote taken from: The Daily Titan)
One of the things we most look forward to in our post-pandemic future is the return of more international students on campus. We continue to see a strong interest from international students in our University Semester Abroad and degree programs, particularly the Accelerated Masters in Software Engineering (AMSE). Looking to the future, we’re excited to introduce additional programs, such as the Accelerated Masters in Applied Computer Science (AMACS). We’ll also continue to develop relationships with international educational institutions, providing rich cultural experiences for students around the world, while also working together to meet increasing global workforce demands.
We place a lot of importance on our community partnerships. We have continued to enjoy strong relationships with Southern California municipal employees, local tech companies, community colleges, and corporate organizations, creating programs based on the needs of the workforce, degree-seeking students, and lifelong learners within Orange County and the region. By taking the time to speak with the communities we serve, we are able to find ways to support each other, partnering on courses, events, projects and programs that play to our strengths and benefit lifelong learners of all ages.
To say this was an unusual year is an understatement. It was the first full year we spent working, teaching and learning remotely. We watched as the world battled its way through a global pandemic. We faced civil unrest and a rocky transition of presidential power. Through it all, an unwavering light shone on the importance of providing inclusive and diverse programs that are accessible to all. We are excited to build on what we have created, and to forge new paths in a post-pandemic world.
As new opportunities arise we meet them with enthusiasm, ready for the next challenge and eager to help our students excel in their careers. In creating virtual learning experiences for each of our programs, from Arboretum community classes, OLLI workshops, professional development certificates, and collegiate classes and degrees, to collaborating with global institutions and organizations on virtual internships and study abroad experiences, we have found new ways to make learning accessible to all. Looking to the future, we see a hybrid world, where both in-person and virtual programs provide the best learning experiences possible to those who seek it.
We will continue to build, adapt, and meet challenges, doing what we can, with what we have, exactly where we are. Thank you for your continued support of CSUF Extension & International Programs. Let’s work together to shape our collective future.