We find ourselves in a highly dynamic era. Individuals change jobs, and even careers, at a much higher frequency than generations past. The skills needed today will evolve and even fully transition as advanced technology and innovative practices unfold. Where professionals once crossed borders to work across cultures and geographies, there is far more integration between the global and the local, and our workplaces and everyday lives are enriched by pluralism. The desire and expectation to keep pace with evolution and prosper in the midst of change is pressing. To meet and capitalize on these changes, education and lifelong training present transformative opportunities!
We meet the needs of learners where they work, live, and thrive! At California State University, Fullerton, Extension and International Programs (CSUF EIP), we are positioned to support and educate a broad spectrum of learners toward advancing skills and careers in tandem with the evolutions occurring in workplaces and lives. The changes noted above call for education and professional development that extends across the lifespan of learners in accessible and relevant ways, through different modalities and with varying on-ramps and entry points, and the mission and vision of CSUF EIP is focused on nimbly meeting these needs.
Our programs are designed in response to labor trends, identified unmet skill demands, and the needs and interests of our learners and communities. We value our academic, governmental, business, and regional partners who place their trust in CSUF EIP to educate their workforces. Our myriad partners provide invaluable input toward the type of programs and modalities best suited to meet the demands of a contemporary workforce. To deliver this essential education, our faculty remain attuned to the needs of our learners and the disciplines and industries represented through our programs. Our vision extends well beyond today’s necessities. We understand the increasing call for learning and development that expands across careers and lifespans. In response, we deliver education, training, upskilling, and reskilling that is accessible, durable, transferable, and of varying durations and levels.
We are dedicated to extending access and social mobility to learners in the region and well beyond, including across borders. We welcome international students for degrees, exchange programs, and customized training. We are the academic home for international learners pursuing their educational and career potential, and we are dedicated to cultivating a community of belonging and vibrancy. We are committed to our global partners across the globe, and we are aligned in fulfilling the dreams of learners in their respective countries. The need for citizens and professionals with global skill sets increases in our ever-interconnected world, and we are proud to send students across the globe to gain essential skills and engage in cultures and experiences that broaden their perspectives and constructively challenge assumptions.
We are highly committed to being a multigenerational campus, and we are proud of our Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) which offers courses, programs, experiences, and community engagement for populations who wish to extend their education throughout their lives and into their senior years. The vibrancy of OLLI is palpable, and the impact on learners and communities is inspirational. We invite older adults to join for both teaching and learning and to further enrich our educational and social community.
We also understand that learning occurs within classrooms and well beyond. For decades, younger students have visited and learned at the Fullerton Arboretum as part of their educational journeys. Today, the Fullerton Arboretum offers hands-on, experiential learning to students across all of CSUF’s Colleges as well as research, project-based learning, internships, and community development opportunities. We invite you to join us and learn more!
Combined, our portfolio offers entry and engagement points for a diverse and robust array of learners, citizens, educators, and explorers. Would you like to learn more? We invite you to read our 2023 Annual Impact Report and learn more about the students, faculty, alumni, communities, employers, team members, and partners that together comprise the CSUF EIP community.
Dr. Debra Leahy
Dean for Extension and Associate Vice President for International Programs
In response to the growing need for biomanufacturing technicians in Southern California, BIOCOM California Institute (representing over 1,500 companies throughout the state) and three CSU campuses (Cal State Fullerton, Cal State Long Beach, and Cal State LA) formed a consortium and developed the Biomanufacturing Sciences and Applications (BSA) program .
Launched in January 2023, this program was designed to prepare STEM students for entry-level positions in the biomanufacturing, biotechnology, and biopharmaceutical industries. The program constitutes theoretical and experiential knowledge of biomanufacturing, including various state-of-the-art techniques and processes, instrumentation used in biomanufacturing industries, research and discovery, and process development.
To address the significant academic achievement gap between students from underserved communities, CSUF secured a $134,000 grant for underserved and underrepresented students. The goal of the Biomanufacturing Workforce Training Program is to close the academic achievement gap by increasing the percentage of underserved STEM students who complete our BSA program and kick-start or advance their careers in biomanufacturing.
Across the nation, there is a need for highly skilled advanced manufacturing engineers, also known as industrial engineers, and smart manufacturing engineers, to efficiently automate a high-tech, quality manufacturing facility. Between the years of 2021-2031, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Handbook, industrial engineers will see a 10% increase in jobs, a faster than average job growth.
To keep up with the job growth and meet those industry needs, we launched the Advanced Manufacturing Engineering Certificate program. The birth of this program aims to develop a pipeline of competitive, tech-savvy program graduates who will solve real-world industrial automation challenges. Community, technical, and four-year college graduates, as well as young professional engineers, are ideal students for this program.
A $211,000 grant received from the OC Pathways Regional K-16 Education Collaborative focuses on facilitating the development and sustainability of occupational pathways, including accelerated degree and/or credential programs that incorporate work-based learning in advanced manufacturing and engineering from elementary school through high school and into community college and a 4-year university. CSUF Instructor Spotlight: Dr. Sagil James
Dr. Sagil James brings more than 15 years of combined academic research and industry experience in the manufacturing field to his role as a lead instructor of the Biomanufacturing Sciences and Applications (BSA) Program. His passion for the field and dedication to helping students grow have greatly contributed to the creation and launch of the Biomanufacturing Science and Applications (BSA) program.
Dr. James recognizes that in today’s competitive manufacturing industry, a certificate can be the deciding factor in determining which applicant is hired for a position. Through the BSA program, he strives to help students become competitive manufacturing applicants by building a solid foundation of fundamental skills and exposing them to the latest cutting-edge technologies. This program will impact not only students in finding a successful career, but it will also impact the industry in hiring capable workers that have learned how to enhance value and raise the productivity of industrial manufacturing.
The Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE) Bridge Authorization program, brought to us by Dr. Janice Myck-Wayne from the CSUF College of Education, launched in Summer 2022.
The purpose of the program is to allow current ECSE credential holders who earned their credential prior to July 1, 2022 to teach TK and Kinder, in addition to birth to preschool. This bridge authorization fills a gap for current ECSE credential holders who would otherwise be unable to teach beyond preschool and provides additional teaching opportunities for them. Over 100 educators have enrolled in this program.
We launched a course for Early Childhood Special Education teachers who hold an Educational Specialist-EC credential prior to July 2022. The course focuses on eight Teacher Performance Expectations (TPEs), PK/K standards, DAP curriculum, English Language Learners in TK/K, and working with orthopedically handicapped and other health-impaired children.
From 2022-2023 CSUF EIP partnered with numerous agencies, organizations, and corporations to drive workforce development throughout the region. Students filled skill gaps, applied learning transfer to their work and personal lives, and shared industry best practices to advance into leadership roles. We are proud to partner with organizations in the surrounding region, and some of our partners included:
Since its launch in 2007, our Leadership Development Program for Public Agencies has continued to expand its partnerships, allowing more public agencies to advance and cultivate their employees’ professional development with skills taught in Financial Management for Non-Financial Managers, Leading Change in Organizations, and other leadership and influencing skills in Public Administration.
We also reestablished our partnership with the City of Lake Forest and offered our first in-person contact training program since the pandemic.
We held recognition ceremonies in May and June of 2023 to recognize many of our incredible graduates. We look forward to continuing collaborations with various organizations and helping more individuals become talented, capable leaders.
Julie Espy is the Manager of Learning and Development at the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA). She is responsible for delivering administrative training for OCTA’s 1,300 employees. She has more than twenty years in organizational development and leadership training.
Julie is the lead instructor of our Leadership Development for the Public Agencies Certificate Program. She is a proud Titan (B.A. in English and Communications, and alumna of Leadership Development for Public Agencies) and a lifelong member of the Alumni Association who has served as the CSUF Alumni Association President.
Since joining the CSUF EIP team in 2010, Winnie Kang-Abreu has made a huge impact on both our professional development and international programs sectors. From 2021 to 2023, she grew our regional partners by over 30% and increased enrollment by 25% for the Leadership Development for Public Agencies Program. She also developed and oversaw a comprehensive portfolio of international and domestic short-term programs, including an international faculty professional development training program, which led to securing two 3-year contracts that brought in over $2.66 million gross revenue to the organization. Winnie looks forward to the opportunities to expand upon CSUF EIP’s international partnerships over the next year and deliver programs aimed at meeting in-demand skills.
Through our online bachelor’s degree completion programs, we allowed students to achieve their academic goals in a flexible and accessible format. Graduates earned the same degree that students would earn on-campus through programs that have been designed to meet the needs of professional learners where they live, work, and learn. (Infographics). These programs offer critical, transferable, durable, and at times interdisciplinary, skills that equip learners with competencies and knowledge that support them in their career mobility, career transitions, and educational and personal fulfillment.
As a military spouse, it’s so difficult to get your education when you’re moving. The online option was the best thing that ever could have happened because without it I wouldn’t have gotten my degree. I was able to attend classes while moving to Delaware!
Relocating from Northern California to Delaware, Adelia Jones needed a flexible way to earn her degree. Her community college advisor suggested an online degree program. CSUF EIP’s Online BA in Humanities & Social Sciences program was the perfect solution, and the degree helped her get accepted into nursing school at Delaware State University.
Our advanced degree programs are unique in that they offer convenient benefits such as evening classes or an accelerated schedule. This has allowed busy working individuals to take the next step in their academic careers, even in light of demanding schedules. These programs are designed to advance the skill sets in students’ chosen fields and add benefit to workplaces in the region and well beyond.
The CSUF Pre-Health Program prepares is currently supporting 41 students with bachelor’s degrees in non-science fields to become competitive applicants for medical, dental, veterinary, optometry, physician assistant and pharmacy professional school programs.
Students can apply to one of our linkage programs, which are formal agreements between professional schools and Cal State Fullerton that offer special consideration to students that meet certain academic requirements.
CSUF offers a robust set of courses during both the Summer and Winter sessions to provide students with an opportunity to complete courses during the summer and winter. By enrolling in Summer and Winter courses, students have the opportunity to raise their GPA, stay on track to graduate, or even accelerate their graduation date.
Graduation Initiative 2025 (GI2025) is the CSU’s initiative to increase graduation rates for all CSU students while eliminating opportunity and achievement gaps.
Everyone deserves an opportunity to pursue an education and achieve their academic goals. That’s why CSUF offers Open University, a program that allows non-admitted students to take classes at Cal State Fullerton. Through this program, we helped students raise their GPA, get re-admitted to CSUF, complete prerequisites for a graduate degree, and more.
Anyone can do it, even me at 55. As an immigrant who came to this country without speaking a word of English, achieving a master’s degree makes me feel great. So keep going, and don’t ever give up.
After facing academic disqualification, Veronica Carter persevered and joined Open University. With hard work, and guidance from Open University Advisor, Suzanne Batista, Veronica was eventually re-admitted to CSUF and went on to earn her master's degree in Gerontology. She encourages other students to never give up despite their age or life circumstances.
This past year was filled with Visiting Delegations from prospective or current international partner universities, as well as an outgoing CSUF Visiting Delegation by campus leadership aimed at reaffirming our commitment to the international strategy of Cal State Fullerton. In the past year, we had numerous visitors from partner universities overseas.
President Fram Virjee and Vice President Greg Saks, together with Dean Debra Leahy of International Programs, Board of Director Tam Nguyen, and several College Deans hosted a visit from Fulbright University of Vietnam at CSUF. It is one of Vietnam’s first private, non-profit universities and was founded on the promise of Vietnamese-American partnership. CSUF seeks to collaborate with FUV on this promise.
Together with CSUF College of Business and Economics (CBE), EIP leaders co-hosted a delegation from Foreign Trade University of Vietnam to renew a transfer articulation agreement between FTU and CSUF’s CBE. Through this premiere partnership, FTU sends highly prepared students through an articulated pathway program to our College of Business and Economics.
CSU EIP hosted representatives from Jin-Ai University, a university located in Fukui, Japan, which is the sister of Fullerton, CA. CSUF renewed the collaborative Letter of Intent, solidifying our long-standing relationship.
CSUF EIP hosted a delegation meeting with Korea University. Korea University is a highly ranked university and was the nation’s first university to be funded solely by Korean citizens. CSUF has had a partnership since 2021. This meeting provided an opportunity to deepen the relationship.
Dean Leahy of CSUF Extension and International Programs, Dean Sundaram from the College of Business and Economics, and Tam Ngyuen, Chair of the Board of Governors Philanthropic Foundation attended a Global Partners Symposium hosted by Foreign Trade University. During this event, CSUF was able to renew its long-standing MOU and offer remarks and engage with 30+ international universities from across the globe and discern future partnership opportunities.
CSUF EIP hosted a follow-up visit from Korea University with Associate Deans from various campus colleges with representatives from Korea University’s international office to discuss study abroad opportunities.
CSUF EIP hosted a Visiting Delegation from Woosong University. President Oh and Dean Park from Solbridge International Business School visited with the CSUF Provost and leadership team to sign a Letter of Intent focused on the collaboration between the Woosong SolBridge International School of Business and CSUF College of Business and Economics.
Leadership from Gachon University located in Seongnam, Korea and CSUF President Virjee signed a Letter of Intent. This delegation from Gachon University was part of a broader delegation from Seongnam City, sister city of Fullerton, who signed a sister city Memorandum of Understanding with the city of Fullerton, California.
A collaborative visit with Leadership and students from Woosong College, Sol International Popular Arts in Daejeon, Korea met with CSUF leadership including President Fram Virjee and First Lady Julie Virjee and the College of The Arts. The signing of the Letter of Intent culminated in a k-pop dance performance from Woosong College.
The team is forming a partnership with KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm and deepening the existing partnership with Lulea University of Technology in Lulea.
CSUF is determining more expansive ways to partner with CSUF’s long-standing, premiere partner, Foreign Trade University (FTU) Hanoi. While in Vietnam, the Delegation Team delivered a panel discussion on Resilient Leadership in the Workplace at both FTU, Hanoi and FTU, Ho Chi Minh City. The respective Presidents signed a Letter of Intent with Fulbright University of Vietnam. Initial meetings were held with the University of Economics and Law and University of Economics, both in Ho Chi Minh City.
The team was hosted by Woosong University in Daejeon, Korea, where President Virjee delivered a Platinum Lecture to undergraduate students on the importance of education to discovering one’s authentic life. The Team also visited both Korea University and Ewha Womans University, both in Seoul, to discuss ways to expand and enhance the current partnerships held with these two long-standing partners.
CSUF has been a partner with Foreign Trade University, Hanoi, Vietnam, since 2008 when an articulation agreement was signed that allows FTU students to transfer to CSUF to complete degrees in International Business. Today, FTU is considered a premiere partner as both FTU and CSUF honor high academic standards and academic and career mobility for their respective students. This past year, a team of delegates from CSUF visited FTU to explore further ways in which the two universities may expand their partnership to the benefit of students at the respective universities. Yet, the true demonstration of impact is through the program’s graduates. During the visit, the delegate team also engaged with alumni from the CSUF-FTU program who shared what their education meant to their careers. Tam Nguyen, Chair of the Philanthropic Board of Governors captured this moment by sharing, “graduates of CSUF and FTU are contributing to the economies of both countries with critical investments of capital, ingenuity, knowledge, creativity and ethics.” We welcome you to join us in watching how this partnership expands and deepens.
1,823 international students and scholars served from 81 countries
541 international students who have earned a CSUF degree are employed in various U.S. organizations via the Post-Completion Optional Practical Training (OPT and STEM OPT) Program. They work in various organizations across many in-demand industries.
Approximately 100 international students are interning during their undergraduate and graduate studies.
Nearly 60 international exchange students made CSUF their home from 30 top global institutions. International students participated in bilateral or CSU-wide exchange programs. Our exchange students represented the following universities.
Top 15 countries enrolled international students are from:
Being at CSUF was like a ladder for me to move forward into achieving my future goal.
Dina Saad is an international student from Mansoura University, Egypt, who studied abroad at Cal State Fullerton and earned her Master's in Communications.
This was Dina’s first visit to the U.S. from Egypt, and in just two years, she accomplished serving as CEO of Comm Week, an annual event hosted by the CSUF College of Communication, and being active in several other organizations.
404 CSUF students participated in study abroad in 2022-23. This is an 84% increase from the previous academic year.
There were 19 CSUF Faculty-led Programs representing a 72% increase from the prior year. This increase in engagement was due in part to an on-campus partnership with Center for Internships and Community Engagement who funded faculty costs and/or a portion of student fees for four programs engaging in community projects in these host locations:
The Fulbright U.S. Student Program offers graduating seniors and CSUF alumni the opportunity to live, research, study, and/or teach abroad. It is a fully funded program that includes over 2,000 awards in more than 140 countries and across a broad array of disciplines - there is actually something for everyone. Fulbright is intentional about supporting participants who identify with any and all identity groups and who reflect the diversity of U.S. society and societies abroad, which closely mirrors CSUF's commitment to diversity and inclusion. For CSUF students who did not have the opportunity to study abroad during their undergraduate program, or for those students who want to pursue research or a funded master's program, Fulbright is and should be at the top of their list.
One of the most common myths that students gravitate to is that Study Abroad is not affordable. The Gilman Scholarship, which specifically targets Pell Grant eligible students, makes study abroad accessible to students that would typically not see themselves represented in international education. Most significantly, the majority of students that participate in Study Abroad at CSUF, participate in faculty-led programs and the Gilman Scholarship award amount is sufficient to cover most, or in some cases, all program fees.
24 student recipients of Benjamin A. Gilman Scholarship earned a total of $88,500! Students enjoyed their life-changing personal and educational experiences as they traveled to:
International students participated in the non-degree University Semester Abroad program to engage in CSUF courses and explore the region. Students came from around the world including Audencia Business School of France, Kagawa University and Meiji University of Japan, and Sookmyung University of South Korea, as well as Kings Education for Life, a leading international education organization helping students study at leading universities worldwide. During this last academic year, we welcomed students to Cal State Fullerton from the following countries:
Number of students and universities represented in the CSUF USA Program:
The many volunteers helped visiting international students adapt to campus life and American culture.
Colorful wayfinding banners throughout the Arboretum created by an illustration student.
Interactive wind energy display capstone project by Mechanical Engineering seniors.
“Flea Market in the Garden” featuring CSUF student artisans, hosted by Event Planning & Marketing seniors.
Water Uptake in Avocado trees research project by Biology students, impacting the future of this important California crop as climate adjusts.
Mindfulness activities for students to use in the Arboretum developed by Honors students (AA).
The Arboretum has served Campus life in many ways since opening in 1979. Students, faculty and administrators were integral in the establishment of an Arboretum and their original goals of scholarly activities and fostering an appreciation for nature continue to be guiding principles today.
Guided tours for Parent & Family Weekend
Weekly deliveries of freshly harvested fruit to Tuffy’s Basic Needs Food Pantry, totaling 2,024 pounds
Earth Day activities for student clubs
Team building group volunteer activities for student clubs and Greek Organizations
Display space for MFA Arts students to feature their thesis exhibits
Fullerton Arboretum recognizes the importance of contribution to local, national, and worldwide plant conservation efforts. We participate in collaborative partnerships and programs to conserve threatened plants.
ArbNet Accreditation - Fullerton Arboretum successfully renewed its Level IV accreditation, which is the highest level offered through the ArbNet Accreditation Program. This level of accreditation demonstrates how much Fullerton Arboretum has accomplished by following industry standards, development, capacity, and professionalism in the public garden world
Member of Botanic Gardens Conservation International - The Arboretum collaborates with national and international public gardens and organizations in plant conservation and restoration. We operate a propagation program on a nursery of native, rare, and threatened plants.
7,000 pounds of food waste from campus eateries is turned into compost and mulch through the Arboretum’s composting program.
Through our community education, K-12 outreach and visitor experience the Arboretum offers life-long learning opportunities for the community to participate, learn from and value our natural environment.
Arboretum self-support Strategies – Increasing facility rentals with new and repeat business bringing opportunities for CSUF event, corporate, and social client outside the university in a unique setting with several venue options from 10-400 guests. We offer a full range of incredible options for team building, classes, retreats, weddings and corporate markets. The Arboretum is a destination for events that inspire learning, stunning settings and community.
Our members, donors and community provide annual and transformational support that enables our garden, volunteers and staff to deliver remarkable e education, engagement and enjoyment through the Fullerton Arboretum. These investments have far reaching impacts from world-wide plant conservation to improving our understanding of our natural world.
The 4,000 square foot area adjacent to the Orange County Agricultural and Nikkei Heritage Museum (OCANHM) will be developed as a “front porch” to the gardens.
The Arboretum received a $245,000 grant for a collaborative garden enhancement project with the Orange County Conservation Corps (OCCC).
We surpassed our donation goal of $10,000 to enhance the Arboretum desert pathways. A total of $10,385 were raised to help build new rock-bordered trails through our Desert that will help protect the plants, control soil erosion, and prevent the habitat destruction of ground-nesting bees.
A $1,000,000 Heritage House Preservation endowment has been established for the 2023-23 Fiscal Year.
An endowment for the Engaging Environmental Experiences Internship (E3) program has also been established for the 2023-24 Fiscal Year. The program will be revamped and will consist of a single team of CSUF students being led by Arboretum staff and a paid student intern who will be leading and overseeing the group's work.
Includes 230 new members
The OLLI-CSUF Collaboration Program matches well-qualified volunteers with academic opportunities.
Sue Mullaly, OLLI-CSUF Collaborations Chair, leads the group to honor the diversity of CSUF students. She proudly declared, “There is greatness in each student and in each OLLI member and with the OLLI-CSUF Collaboration opportunity we see and bring out the best in each other.” Whether native, foreign-born, or visiting, all students are welcomed by OLLI members through the “Meet a Titan” program, wherein OLLI volunteers are matched with an international student to teach conversational skills, share ideas, and offer encouragement for college and life success. Sue added, “I want to encourage the students so that they have hope in knowing that everything they experience, learn, and do, be it a job, a career, a relationship, a challenge, or a great adventure will serve them well and benefit them over the course of their lives - even when they wonder what purpose these things serve… I look forward to seeing how all these experiences finally blend together to complete the puzzle of their lives.”
Every year OLLI selects one outstanding Master in Gerontology graduate student to be recognized for his or her exceptional contributions to the field of gerontology. This year the award was presented to Patricia Kuresa-Boone.
Patricia advocates for the rights of older adults during end-of-life care, helping to provide information about the best possible care to patients and their families. Moving forward, she plans to continue volunteering in the community and at UC Irvine’s hospice care unit, as well as the Project LIFE program at CSUF-OLLI. She also plans to continue research that will help direct her toward future employment opportunities.
Looking to the year ahead, we will increase our focus on impact. We commit to staying highly attuned to labor trends and the needs of an evolving workforce and to the dynamic and evolving aspirations of our regional and global communities. We will be both agile and intentional in translating trends and needs into programming that supports the training, educational, career, and lifestyle needs of our communities. We remain dedicated to our partners and leading with a value proposition that only strengthens these alliances. We will honor and deepen historic allegiances while cultivating new relationships that enable us to broaden our scope.
In the next year, we will strengthen our global partnerships in ways that create pathways for learners across the globe to gain access to the transformative experience of a CSUF education. We will be resolute in supporting international learners through the lifespan of their education and well beyond as they transition to join our alumni communities. We will also seek new ways to engage CSUF students in global experiences that extend and transcend their education and mindsets.
We enter the next year committed to our OLLI community and cultivating robust programming with inspirational courses, programs, and engagement that invites in new members while supporting all members with an environment of learning and inspiration. The Arboretum will deepen and expand its programming to support the current student and educator populations while also cultivating a living laboratory ready to inspire and educate future generations. We will extend invitations to an even broader set of communities and partners to live, learn, and thrive with the Arboretum and OLLI
The true testaments for all that we do is seen through our learners, alumni, and partners. In the year to come, we will tell the stories of those who have engaged with us and bring their education, skills, and experiences into the communities.
Thank you for your continued support of CSUF Extension & International Programs. Let’s work together to shape our collective future.