California State University San Marcos at Temecula
by Trisha Ratledge
Marine veteran Natalie Morales is determined to earn her bachelor’s and master’s degrees by using the three years of education benefits available to her through the Post-9/11 GI Bill. And she is right on schedule, thanks to innovative programming at CSUSM at Temecula.
With guaranteed classes and time to graduation in the cohort format offered at the Temecula campus, Morales earned her Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology: Health Science Option in May 2017. An internship as part of the program ignited her interest in public health, and she is now completing a Master of Public Health on the San Marcos campus with her final year of benefits. Not only will she finish on time, she will graduate debt-free.
“I want to set an example for my daughter and for my son that you can persevere and accomplish your goals,” Morales says.
CSUSM at Temecula is the only public university in Southwest Riverside County offering upper-division bachelor’s degree programs as well as professional development certificates, personal enrichment programs and customized training programs for area businesses. The campus provides local access to a premier education, and the cohort structure – students who progress as a group – ensures that students get the classes they need to graduate on schedule.
The CSUSM at Temecula campus was established in 2008 at the Paul Goldring Garrett Institute for Higher Learning and a cohort of 54 students comprised the first class of the Accelerated Bachelor of Science program in the new facility.
By 2010, the campus had outgrown its original location and a grand reopening marked the move to its present site, a former elementary school on Margarita Road. With eight classrooms, a nursing skills lab, a simulation lab complete with medical mannequins, a biology lab and a training room for kinesiology, CSUSM at Temecula launched a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology: Health Science Option in 2010, a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration in 2012 and a Bachelor of Science in Criminology and Justice Studies in 2015.
For Brenda Anguiano, the proximity and the program structure offered at CSUSM at Temecula made it possible for her to finally complete her 23-year journey toward a degree. As a Temecula-area business owner, she needed a program that was nearby and that meshed with her busy schedule. “I loved that fact that it was two days a week,” says Anguiano, who earned her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration in 2016. “And then, five semesters and I would be done.”
In 2014, CSUSM at Temecula, Mt. San Jacinto College (MSJC) and the city of Temecula celebrated the opening of The Temecula Higher Education Center, a joint education facility dedicated to the study of business. At the ribbon-cutting in Temecula’s former City Hall, CSUSM at Temecula and MSJC announced a 2+2 guaranteed pathway degree in which students can earn an associate degree at MSJC and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration at CSUSM at Temecula in four years, guaranteed, if they meet all of the academic requirements.
True to its mission to provide education programs that uniquely serve the region, CSUSM at Temecula launched the Environmental Leadership Institute in 2011 and the Environmental Leadership Academy in 2012. The institute serves as a resource for environmental planning, analysis, assessments, policy and education for emerging environmental leaders and practitioners. The academy brings together community and government leaders, industry professionals and concerned citizens in a four-month program that gives participants the tools to develop a deeper understanding of the environmental issues affecting our quality of life.
“That’s the strength of the academy, that we have representation across all segments of the industry,” says Matt Rahn, Environmental Leadership Institute director/research faculty. “I always felt that a lot of our issues could be more easily resolved if we sat down with a cup of coffee and talked, rather than getting our policymakers and lawyers involved.”
Business and professional development programs at CSUSM at Temecula rotate according to the current needs of the region and have included professional certificates in meeting and event planning, hospitality, business emergency preparedness planning, wedding planning and more. Taught by CSUSM faculty or industry experts, the certificate programs are short-term and provide skills that are immediately applicable on the job or necessary to break into a new career.
Staff and students at CSUSM at Temecula serve the community through causes and organizations such as the Temecula Education Foundation, area chambers of commerce, the Economic Development Coalition, Visit Temecula, Temecula Wine Growers Association, Valley Young Professionals and Habitat for Humanity.
As a satellite campus of CSUSM and a part of the 23-campus California State University system, CSUSM at Temecula shares an unwavering commitment to student success and to meeting the lifelong education needs of the community. The campus combines the academic strengths of a large university with the personal interactions possible in a smaller institution as students from diverse backgrounds work closely with faculty who are active scholars in their academic disciplines. In the coming years, CSUSM at Temecula will continue to expand access to an excellent and affordable education and to contribute to the ongoing intellectual, civic, economic and cultural life of Southwest Riverside County.
To learn more, check the school’s website at www.csusm.edu/temecula.