SPOTLIGHT ON California State University, Northridge

A snapshot of some of CSUN's most notable achievements and features


Cal State Northridge is headed toward becoming one of the most modern university campuses in the country. Six new buildings worth more than $70 million-each with state-of- the-art facilities-are under construction during 2000. Those include new wings for the Oviatt Library, a new Arts, Media and Communication Building, and a new Health and Human Development Building.

Cal State Northridge ranked first among 529 master's level universities in its number of graduates who went on to earn Ph.D.s in the social sciences and psychology, according to a recent National Science Foundation report. The university also ranked second in mathematics and among the top dozen such campuses in biology, computer sciences, engineering and physical sciences.

Cal State Northridge students have good things to say about their experience at the university. In a recent random and representative survey of CSUN students: 86 percent said they were satisfied with their overall experience at CSUN; 87 percent said they were satisfied with the overall quality of instruction; and about two-thirds said they would choose CSUN again as a university.

Cal State Northridge has small average class sizes, ranging from about 29 for lecture sections and 19 for laboratory sections as of 1998. In the recent student survey, small class size was one of the campus' features most appreciated by students, with 84 percent indicating satisfaction.

Cal State Northridge is the leading public university in California in preparing students to obtain teaching credentials. The university had 1,054 single or multiple subject teaching credential documents issued to students/graduates during 1997-1998, more than any other Cal State or University of California campus, according to data from the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing.

Students at Cal State Northridge constitute a veritable United Nations, with enrollment coming from more than 70 foreign countries. The university consistently ranks in the top 25 for master's level universities based on the size of its foreign student population. Of the 862 foreign students enrolled in 1999-2000, the most by country came from Japan (161), Korea (91), and Taiwan (76).

Cal State Northridge is a university committed to using advanced technology to aid in the education process. Virtually all CSUN students have campus-provided e-mail accounts, as do most faculty and staff, resulting in a volume of millions of e-mail messages. The campus also has an inventory of more than 5,000 computers, including about 2,000 spread among 98 labs during 1998-1999. And the university offers about two dozen online academic courses.

Cal State Northridge, one of the first mainstream universities to accept deaf students in the 1960s, now hosts one of the largest deaf student populations among U.S. universities. Nearly 300 deaf and hard-of-hearing students receive sign language interpreting, real-time captioning and other special services each year through the university's renowned National Center on Deafness (NCOD).

The Center on Disabilities at Cal State Northridge, specializing in technology and its impact on those with disabilities, annually hosts the weeklong Technology and Persons with Disabilities Conference, the largest event of its kind drawing thousands of participants from around the world. The center also is known for operating one of the first and finest university computer access labs for students with disabilities.

Cal State Northridge is a university where minority students are welcome and can excel. The U.S. Education Department ranked CSUN among the top 100 universities nationwide in graduating Hispanic students at the bachelor's and master's levels. The university also places highly in Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education and Black Issues in Higher Education rankings for degrees awarded.

Eight Cal State Northridge faculty members have been awarded the prestigious Guggenheim Fellowship for research and creative activity during the institution's history. And 58 Cal State Northridge faculty, including 22 just since 1980, have received Fulbright awards to conduct research or teach abroad.

Cal State Northridge has been a leader in involving its students in community servicelearning, where academic learning is merged with meaningful community work. The university launched a Center for Community Service-Learning that has helped create more than 40 new 'courses since its inception in 1998. CSUN students have taught computer skills to pregnant and at-risk teens and helped establish an after school children's literature/literacy program.

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Updated September 2000
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