The Center for Southern California Studies (CSCS) was established in 1996 to provide research, education, and service on public policy issues facing Southern California. Driven by the goal of achieving well-informed public policy decisions, the Center offers diverse programs that facilitate pathways to productive policy dialogue aimed at building community capacity and participation. The Center works collaboratively with its Community Advisory Board to define and fulfill its mission.
Applied Research -- the Center’s objectives are anchored in the concept that all policy research should involve researchers in the active identification and pursuit of critical issues existing in the community. This is accomplished primarily through involving faculty and students directly with organizations throughout Los Angeles that deal with a wide range of issues including education, the environment, health care, public safety, and socioeconomic concerns.
Community Outreach and Development -- in conjunction with its applied research model, CSCS fosters an environment that encourages faculty and students to get involved with local organizations.
Coalition Building -- as an outgrowth of direct work in the community, the Center forges alliances and promotes progressive collaborative efforts among agencies addressing similar issues.
Student and Faculty Development -- CSCS has a strong history of providing outstanding opportunities for students and faculty to conduct research and forge community partnerships. In line with CSUN’s mission to provide opportunities for active learning, CSCS students are involved in all projects in three key ways: a) direct involvement in community activities/events; b) active participation in research partnerships; and c) participation in targeted programs for student leadership (through connections with prominent alumni and public leaders).
Combining Policy and Community Action
For sixteen years, CSCS has advanced its objectives by integrating policy initiatives with community involvement to affect change throughout Los Angeles. Through the establishment of ongoing partnerships with local service organizations, schools, elected leaders, and community programs, the Center has broadened its scope to address some of the most timely policy issues affecting Southern California. Since 1996, CSCS has worked with dozens of community organizations to organize and produce statewide conferences, place students in internships, design and implement public programs and forums, and identify and address critical issues facing all Californians.