CSUN is also investing significantly in research that advances technological innovation in a variety of fields, helping to build better products, provide better services, and facilitate further research and development. Part of this effort includes seeking grant support. The amount of grant money awarded to research projects at CSUN has grown nearly 20% since the 2010/2011 academic year, reaching just under $32 million in the 2014/2015 academic year. Topped by the College of Science and Math, extramural funding for research and sponsored projects has opened up greater numbers of research opportunities for students and faculty alike in nearly every college at CSUN.
Recent grants, awards and technological research at CSUN includes:
Two CSUN professors, John Reveles and Brian Foley, were awarded part of a $3-million grant from the S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation to research how to enhance learning through the utilization of modern technological breakthroughs.8
A team of 19 mechanical engineering students recently received a Best Practice Award at the CSU Facilities Management conference for developing a solar-powered charging station on a budget of $1,000. 9
Medical researchers at CSUN are working to improve the performance of medical devices, which could lead to major cost savings and greatly improve the quality of healthcare.
The National Center on Deafness at CSUN received $20 million over five years to train professionals and staff who work with the deaf and hard-of-hearing students at various post-secondary programs.10
“... The vast amount of education research conducted at the university has the potential to greatly improve what and how we teach students...”
8 “Bechtel Grant Provides CSUN Profs New Look at Tech in the Classroom.” CSUN Today. May 2015.
9 Herstein, Olivia. “Engineering Students Earn State Honor for Solar Charging Tree.” CSUN Today. December 2014.
10 Carpio, Anthony. “CSUN’s National Center on Deafness received a $20 million grant.” The Sundial. October 18, 2011.
CSUN students receive substantial career-development benefits from the additional research and grant support available at the University. The scope of many of these projects demands a wide variety of student researchers, providing invaluable opportunities to apply knowledge and skills learned in the classroom to real-world applications. Additionally, as more and more research grant funding flows into the University, CSUN is poised to continue offering important career-development opportunities such as research assistantships to students by facilitating close professional relationships with faculty.
To facilitate these types of relationships, the ratio of students to faculty must be fairly low. Fortunately, although enrollments have increased over time, class sizes at CSUN have remained manageable, particularly in upper-division and graduate-level courses, where research takes on a more important role. There are roughly 24 full-time students for every full-time faculty member across all course levels at CSUN, a ratio that has held steady since 2012. Although this ratio is pushed up in larger lower-division courses, the University is dedicating considerable funding toward the addition of new tenure-track faculty. In fact, the University has already added 86 tenure-track faculty slated for the 2015/2016 academic year. These hires will continue to facilitate the close interaction between students and faculty, an extremely important component of a university education.