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The Mission of the College is fourfold. First, to stay competitive and relevant in an ever changing global economy there is a vital need to produce a highly educated work force through first rate undergraduate and graduate programs for science and mathematics majors. The College is committed to being the leading provider of a skilled work force in the San Fernando Valley. Second, the College must share with other colleges at CSUN in the creation of a scientifically literate and informed public, one capable of finding collective solutions to complex problems, including over population, habitat destruction, resource limitation, the ethical use of new technologies, and multiculturalism. Hence, there is a need to offer exciting, up-to-date general education courses for non-majors. Third, the College is committed to preparing K-12 teachers who are competent in science and mathematics as well as in teaching skills. The College also provides professional development opportunities for K-12 teachers. Finally, the College has an obligation to create and disseminate new knowledge, thereby contributing directly to the region’s economy and helping to ensure the nation’s future as the world’s leader in innovation, technology, and problem solving.
The Vision Statement for the College is an indication of what it aspires to be. It is the dream for itself. In crafting its vision the College recognizes that the world is changing rapidly and that higher education must change with it. Specifically, the College strives for the vision needed to successfully lead in a system of higher education that is rapidly redefining itself to meet the challenges of a changing student population, shifting globally driven market forces, increasingly complex technologies, rising costs, and eroding state fiscal support. At the same time, the College recognizes that the contributions made by science and mathematics to the welfare of society and the sustainability of the earth are more essential than ever, and will play an increasingly dominant role in the future. As part of the California State University system, the College recognizes its special obligation to the San Fernando Valley, with its culturally diverse population, non-traditional and first generation college students, and thriving industrial complex sustained by science and technology. The College feels a unique responsibility to the region’s economic growth and the welfare of its citizens.
First and foremost the College aspires to the highest standards of excellence for student learning and performance. Key to this vision is the following five characteristics. First, education must be viewed as a fusion of classroom teaching and hands on research with faculty mentors who actively engage students. The intricate mixing of teaching and research is viewed as the greatest strength of the College. Its powerful educational effectiveness comes from linking facts, theory, inquiry, discovery, and solutions to real world problems. The most important goal of research in the College is the education of undergraduate students. Second, realizing that economic constraints do not allow us to be “all things to all people”, the College will be recognized for high quality undergraduate and graduate education that strives for distinction by developing specialty areas in the sciences and mathematics. These specialty areas will result from the integration of faculty interests and local, regional and state priorities. Third, the educational programs, led by a highly skilled and dedicated faculty, will engage and challenge students to achieve their fullest intellectual potential, mastering skills such as critical thinking, communication, and quantitative analysis. Students will also be provided with the latest knowledge and technical expertise that are needed in today’s job market. Fourth, the College is committed to continuous improvement of its instructional programs through a policy of rigorous, data-based, systematic assessment. And fifth, the instructional programs will serve the needs of diverse people, especially those traditionally associated with metropolitan areas, including low income, non-traditional, and first generation students. Ultimately, the College strives to produce life-long learners capable of assuming leadership roles in a changing, knowledge-based, multicultural society.
The College aspires to the highest standard of excellence in scholarship. A vigorous agenda of broadly defined basic and applied research will be pursued that contributes to the well being and advancement of society and preservation of the earth. The College will be recognized by its peers for excellence in the creation and dissemination of new knowledge that directly benefits the region, state, and nation. The College realizes that first rate graduate programs and talented faculty form the foundation of the research enterprise. To this end, the College seeks to hire, nurture and maintain a faculty that is known regionally and nationally for innovation, commitment, and scholarly contributions to their respective discipline. To achieve its vision of excellence in both teaching and research, the College aspires to the teacher-scholar model, where faculty members are effective skilled teachers, understand how students learn, integrate teaching with research, and are committed to the creation of new knowledge for its own sake and its application to solving problems. Active cross-disciplinary collaborations and partnerships with public and private organizations will be encouraged and viewed as essential to the teaching-research mission of the College. Newly emerging areas such as informatics, biotechnology, nanotechnology, and computational genomics are keys to the future of the San Fernando Valley as the world leader in science and technology, and offer excellent opportunities for growth and collaboration.
Additionally, as part of its vision the College recognizes the crucial importance of academic freedom, shared governance, a strong faculty, staff, and student voice, consensus building, and the highest respect for differing viewpoints. The College seeks an intellectually rich environment for diverse students, staff, and faculty where there is mutual respect, shared leadership, and the quest for excellence.