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Cal State San Marcos To Offer Bachelor’s In Software Engineering

CSUSM President Karen Haynes delivers her 2018 Report to the Community, Feb 8...

Credit: Andrew Reed CSUSM

Above: CSUSM President Karen Haynes delivers her 2018 Report to the Community, Feb 8th 2018

Cal State San Marcos announced Thursday the creation of an engineering program thanks to more than $1.5 million in donations from local companies and their employees.

The university will begin its bachelor of science in software engineering this fall and plans to offer a degree in electrical engineering in fall 2019.

The engineering department is being created with a $1.5 million donation from Carlsbad communications company Viasat and its employees and a $100,000 gift from Hunter Industries of San Marcos, Cal State San Marcos President Karen Haynes announced in her annual address on Thursday.

"Viasat and Hunter Industries are sending a strong message that an investment in CSUSM is a strong one, with qualified, workforce-ready graduates as the almost-immediate return," Haynes said. "Together we are stepping forward to expand the boundaries of what is possible, for our university and for our region."

The school also received a $6 million, five-year federal grant last year that will help it develop engineering curriculum.

Viasat's gift will go toward creating the future Viasat Engineering Pavilion, which will feature renovated classroom and lab space, new equipment and instruments. Hunter Industries' gift will go toward the creation of a design lab, which Haynes described as a hub of collaboration, hands-on design and innovation.

Matt Sanford of the San Diego’s Regional Economic Development Corporation said, “CSU San Marcos’ newly founded engineering program will fuel innovation in North County and throughout the region at a time when engineers are more in demand than ever and demand easily exceeds supply. Combined with their outstanding graduate retention rate, this is absolutely the program that is needed to help North County be competitive moving forward.”

Photo by Alison St John

The Cal State San Marcos campus is shown, Feb. 8, 2018.

In her annual Report to the Community Haynes said state funding for the public university has fallen from covering 80 percent of their budget when they opened in the 1990s to about 55 percent, making community and corporate support increasingly important.

Haynes said ­more than half the students who graduate from Cal State San Marcos are first generation graduates. At a time when student debt averages $37,000 nationwide, the average CSUSM student debt is $15,000, less than half the national average.

“We are — as a state and nation — moving closer to a public system of two classes of education: one for those who can afford it and another for those who can’t.” Haynes said. “We are clearly bucking the trend in higher education to focus only on the elite ‘legacy’ students because we know that higher education is a powerful engine of upward mobility.”

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