California State University, San Marcos

From Academic Kids

California State University, San Marcos (also known as CSUSM or Cal State San Marcos) opened in 1990 as the 20th campus of the California State University system, the first new campus in nearly 30 years. Today it is a rapidly growing university located in San Marcos, a northern suburb of San Diego.

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History

Efforts by community and political leaders to attract a state university to North County date back to 1968. In 1978, state legislator William A. Craven (1921-1999) won state funding for a North County satellite campus of San Diego State University. In 1989, Gov. George Deukmejian signed another Craven bill which established a CSU campus in San Marcos.

The state purchased land in San Marcos, including the former Prohoroff Poultry Farms chicken ranch. The hillside site lies approximately 8 miles due east of the Pacific Ocean and 25 miles (40 km) due north of downtown San Diego. Today the campus comprises 304 acres (1.2 km²).

Bill Stacy was appointed president in June 1989. During the 1989-1990 academic year, Stacy hired 12 "Founding Faculty," who played an important role in the university's early years and today are memorialized in Founders Plaza.

CSUSM admitted upper division students and held classes from September 1990 through August 1992 in rented facilities in a San Marcos industrial park, alongside the North County campus of San Diego State. Groundbreaking for the permanent campus occurred on February 23, 1990. Classes began at the current campus in August 1992; Craven Hall was the third building opened in December 1992.

Faculty

The university has had four presidents:

The university opened in 1990 with the 12 Founding Faculty. Today it has approximately 190 tenure-track and tenured faculty out of a total of 980 employees.

Academics

Originally, the university admitted only upper class students; enrollment in 1990-1991 was 448. The first freshman students entered in 1995, when enrollment totalled 3,642.

The university's enrollment (as of Fall 2002) was approximately 7,700 students; about two-thirds of the students were from San Diego County. Enrollment is projected to surpass 12,000 students in 2010 and 18,000 students by 2020. The campus master plan calls for an eventual enrollment of 25,000.

The university has three colleges: Arts & Sciences, Business Administration and Education. In the 2002-2003 academic year, the most popular majors were Business Administration, Liberal Studies and the Multiple Subject (Elementary) Credential. The latter two majors are mainly used by those planning on becoming K-12 teachers. From its opening through the summer 2000, the school had awarded 5,490 bachelor's degrees, 2,478 credentials and 457 master's degrees.

Campus Culture

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CalStateSanMarcosCougars.jpg
image:CalStateSanMarcosCougars.jpg

CSUSM sports team logo

The university's founding mission statement promises "excellence in undergraduate and graduate education to a diverse citizenry in an increasingly interdependent world."

The focus on diversity has emphasized Latino culture, including:

  • the Center for the Study of Books in Spanish for Children and Adolescents, a fully bilingual center about Spanish-language books;
  • a statue of César Chávez in Chávez Plaza, inscribed with the motto of the United Farmworkers Union ("Sí se puede"); and
  • an active chapter of the MEChA Chicano/Chicana student movement.

The original mascot of the campus was established as the "Tukwut," the name for the California mountain lion in the language of the Luiseño Native American tribe. However, a 1999 student referendum selected the more generic "Cougars" as the name for all CSUSM sports teams. Today the school fields men's and women's teams in golf, cross country and track. The official colors of the Cougars are bright blue and white with burgundy as an accent.

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