U.S. NEWS RANKS FRESNO STATE IN TOP 3 FOR GRADUATION-RATE PERFORMANCE 5 YEARS IN A ROW

For the fifth consecutive year, Fresno State is ranked among the top three of the nation’s best public universities for graduation-rate performance in U.S. News and World Report’s 2021 Best College rankings issued today.

The University scored third-highest among public national universities and was No. 4 overall among all national universities, according to an analysis of U.S. News’ Academic Insights data used in the magazine’s annual rankings. Fresno State has ranked No. 3 for the past three years and was No. 1 in 2017.

The graduation-rate performance uses the University’s actual six-year graduation rate compared to predicted performance based on admissions data, school financial resources, the proportion of federal financial aid recipients who are first-generation, math and science orientations and the proportion of undergraduates receiving Pell grants.

“This particular national ranking speaks to the determination of our talented students, most of whom juggle work and family demands while seeking a college degree, a key that opens doors to a lifetime of professional and economic mobility opportunities,” said Fresno State President Joseph I. Castro. “It also highlights the University’s commitment, including that of our dedicated faculty and staff, to supporting and empowering students to ensure their timely completion to a quality and affordable degree.”

Here’s a look at other categories of the U.S. News and World Report where Fresno State continues to deliver on its mission to educate and empower students for success.

  • Fresno State ranked No. 6 for the second consecutive year for having the least debt load at graduation among public national universities and No. 18 among all national universities. Forty percent of recent students who graduated in 2019 or earlier have an average debt of $15,181 compared to the national average student debt of $29,399.
  • The University ranked No. 21 for graduate indebtedness, a new category showing how schools compare in terms of the average amount of federal loan debt among recent graduates and the percentage of graduates who borrowed federal loans.
  • Improving one spot from last year, Fresno State ranked No. 26 in the social mobility category for how well schools graduate students who receive federal Pell Grants, meaning they come from low- to medium-income households.
  • The Lyles College of Engineering at Fresno State ranked No. 60 out of 220 universities for Best Undergraduate Engineering Program.
  • Fresno State and San Diego State are the only two CSU campuses to rank in the top 100 public national universities placing No. 100 and No. 65, respectively.

Fresno State’s reclassification as a Carnegie doctoral university in 2016 means it joined the top research universities in the nation in rankings produced by the new publication. Fresno State offers doctoral degrees in nursing, physical therapy and educational leadership.

U.S. News and World Report evaluates campuses on multiple factors for its overall national ranking. The news publication gives the most weight to outcomes, including graduation and retention rates followed by faculty resources, academic reputation, financial resources and graduation-rate performance. This year, the rankings included schools that don’t use the SAT or ACT at all in admissions decisions.

In other rankings

Last month, Fresno State ranked No. 26 in Washington Monthly’s annual nationwide college rankings. The Washington D.C.-based magazine calls attention to colleges that best serve the community, ranking institutions on social mobility, research and service. This is the fifth straight year Fresno State has ranked in Washington Monthly’s top 30.

The University also ranked No. 7 for Most Transformative Colleges in MONEY Magazine’s 50 Best Public Colleges rankings for 2020. Additionally, Fresno State ranked No. 40 on the Best Public College rankings, and came in No. 19 for Best Colleges Where More Than Half of Applicants Get In.

http://www.fresnostatenews.com/2020/09/14/u-s-news-ranks-fresno-state-in-top-3-for-graduation-rate-performance-5-years-in-a-row/

Setton Academy for Industrial Robotics and Technology coming in 2021

Setton Farms has announced it will build a school in Terra Bella that will focus on industrial robotics and technology. The new school will be called Setton Academy.

In 2019, Setton Pistachio established a 501c(3) non-profit to develop and operate an industrial technology school. After a lengthy permitting process, the school was approved, and construction on Setton Academy began in summer 2020. DAYCO Construction and Industrial Design and Construction (IDC) are assisting with construction and materials. The school will be equipped with robotic and computer vision cells, as well as software development workstations for a hands-on laboratory experience.

“The school is a 501c(3),” said Setton Farms General Manager Lee Cohen “It’s an educational foundation that the family has set up to provide modern educational instruction in advanced industrial electronics and industrial robotics. We think that it’s a very effective way to change the trajectory of kids’ lives locally in Terra Bella.

“We are targeting students that are 18 to 23 year old high school graduates who we hope to basically give the requisite skills to change the trajectory of their lives to go into a pathway of industrial automation, which in today’s job market is very, very lucrative, high paying and very much in demand. The goal is really to go after the local kids who really wouldn’t have an opportunity like this.”

Once up and running, the Setton Academy will provide short certificate style courses that allow students to advance their education in industrial electronics, robotics and computer vision. The hands-on, module-based curriculum will be designed to focus on industrial automation control, robotics, computer vision and CAD design, and will allow students to learn at their own pace. The curriculum will cover subjects that match skills required in the broad industries throughout the Valley. All of the modules will be taught by industry professionals in a variety of methods ranging from live, hands-on instruction, to step-by-step videos and other interactive media modes.

“The school is going to be very modest and small,” said Cohen. “We’re going to try to take less than 30 students a year. If we can change the lives of 10, 20, 30 kids a year, over 10 years we’ll really have made a big difference in Terra Bella, and I think that’s the goal. The non-profit is going to be focused on providing access to these kids, providing very simplified and well designed curriculum, so that we can really utilize the state of the art of modern industrial robotics and technology, which really now is very accessible to these kids, because everyone of these kids probably has a smartphone and knows how software works, and I think the modern state of industrial automation is more accessible to them these days because of that.”

The goal of Setton Academy is its graduates acquire the necessary industrial technology and robotics skills to bring immediate value and productivity for employers who utilize production automation. If the school can achieve its goals, it could potentially change the pathway of its graduates’ lives from a minimum-wage, low-skill trajectory into a highly paid, high-skill, high-growth job trajectory.

“I think across the Valley, certainly in Agriculture, there’s of course ways of automation due to the difficult operating environment and higher costs across every aspect,” said Cohen. “I think nationally we will resort to automation to offset those costs in the long run, and I believe that, probably at this point in time, there aren’t enough educational institutions that are focusing on the people who will be operating, managing, interacting and designing this wave of automation that will be progressing through the Valley. I think it’s very within reach of all of these kids, absolutely. We just have to put together the right curriculum, the right delivery, the right program. So what we’re doing is bringing the education locally in town. They can walk to us. That’s the objective; this local education delivering really very market focused principles of education.”

Future goals for Setton Academy include developing a network of hiring companies that will source automation operators directly from the school.

“We are encouraging the community to get involved,” said Cohen. “We are looking for community members who can sit on a committee or some kind of advisory council. We want the community completely involved in this.”

The school is aiming to be completed by the summer of 2021.

https://www.recorderonline.com/news/setton-academy-coming-in-2021/article_bf4b6b5a-ff48-11ea-8a87-4f3360aea47c.html?utm_medium=social&utm_source=email&utm_campaign=user-share

 

Stan State Among Top 30 Colleges in the West

California State University, Stanislaus continues to be consistently recognized as one of the best universities in the Western United States as the campus earned spots on U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Colleges 2021” rankings in several categories.

The publication announced today the results of its annual assessment of colleges and universities, and Stanislaus State placed in the top 30 on four rankings of colleges located in the West:

  • No. 7, Social Mobility
  • No. 11, Top Public School 
  • No. 18, Best Colleges for Veterans 
  • No. 29, Regional Universities (West) 

The announcement markanother year in which Stan State earned inclusion in the esteemed rankings that provide data-driven information and guidance to prospective students and their families as they weigh college options. 

U.S. News & World Report’s methodology gathered data from 15 areas related to academic excellence including retention, graduation rates, faculty resources, peer assessment, financial resources and other metrics, then ranked schools according to a composite score. 

In addition to the online report, the publication will issue most of its college rankings with more robust datasets in its Best Colleges 2021 guidebook, available in bookstores Oct. 27.

Stan State’s repeated recognition as one of the best universities in the West reinforces its reputation for fostering a vibrant learning environment where students can develop a passion for lifelong learning while preparing for their future careers.

https://www.csustan.edu/article/stan-state-among-top-30-colleges-west

CSUB makes U.S. News’ ‘Best Colleges’ lists

CSUB has made the cut for the annual U.S. News and World Report 2021 Best Colleges report, which ranks 1,452 higher education institutions that offer bachelor’s degrees.

The university was ranked No. 31 on a list of “Top Performers on Social Mobility.” The list ranks colleges that do well at both enrolling economically disadvantaged students who are awarded Pell Grants and then graduating them. Fresno Pacific University, a private school, ranked third on this list. Many other schools in the CSU system made the list, including CSU-Long Beach which came in ranked No. 2. CSUB made the rankings of regional lists in the West. It was No. 52 in “Regional Universities.” Among “Top Public Schools,” it ranked No. 24.

Its engineering programming was also given a nod, making No. 91 in “Best Undergraduate Engineering.” This is the 36th year of the college rankings from U.S. News and World Report, which says it weighs 17 different factors when calculating rankings. Some calculations are a bit more cut-and-dry like graduation rates. Others, like peer reputation, which accounts for 20 percent of scores, are more qualitative.

https://www.bakersfield.com/news/csub-makes-u-s-news-best-colleges-lists/article_d3ec39c8-f79f-11ea-b169-176d77f4bc9e.html#:~:text=CSUB%20has%20made%20the%20cut,Top%20Performers%20on%20Social%20Mobility.%E2%80%9D

BC begins to offer courses for students aiming to get a white-collar warehouse job

Kern County’s third largest industry, behind agriculture and oil, is distribution, and Bakersfield College has just begun offering courses to prepare students for management positions in the field. “Warehouse Management” is a business administration course now open for registration. It marks the first of five courses that the college plans to offer to students interested in working their way up the management ladder at the many distribution centers in Kern County. “We’re in the right spot, and we want to get them prepared,” said Gary Blackburn, a faculty member who will be teaching the course.

Kern County is the midway point between Southern California and Northern California. That makes it an attractive location for many distribution centers that have made their home here, including Ross Stores, Target, IKEA, Dollar General, Walmart, Caterpillar and Amazon. Altogether those centers add up to 35 million square feet of distribution, Blackburn says. He points to a Kern Economic Development Corp. report that puts Kern County within 300 miles of 14 percent of the U.S. population.

These distribution warehouses offer a lot of jobs. Blackburn says these distribution warehouses don’t tend to have a problem finding blue-collar workers here, but finding locals who are ready to take on the white-collar opportunities in management can be tougher. But he says there are opportunities for higher-paying jobs with room for advancement, and Bakersfield College’s new courses are aimed at putting them on that track. “That’s our niche,” Blackburn says. “That’s what this training is going to help them do.”

Blackburn says even just a few courses at Bakersfield College will put them in a better position to move up the management ladder, but he says students who want to continue their degree will be able to take courses at CSUB, which has a Supply Chain Logistics program he helped to get off the ground in 2011.

This semester he won’t be able to take students on field trips to show them how warehouses operate to give them hands-on experience the way he usually does. But he’s hoping that as the COVID-19 outbreak eases, he’ll be able to take students on site and have them meet guest speakers in the field for courses like “Operations Management and Lean Principles,” “Supply Chain Management,” “Purchasing and Contracting,” and “Transportation Management.” For that last course, he’s hoping to take students to the Port of Los Angeles.

This semester “Warehouse Management” will focus on “maximizing value in the modern warehouse, relationships in the supply chain, inbound and outbound product and processes, management systems, and safety.”

https://www.bakersfield.com/news/bc-begins-to-offer-courses-for-students-aiming-to-get-a-white-collar-warehouse-job/article_2cceb956-ed89-11ea-90cc-07eb57d663b4.html

CSUB professor helps create eco friendly way to fill potholes

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — Doctor ZhongZhe Liu is an Assistant Engineering Professor at Cal State Bakersfield, but that’s not all he does. He’s on a research team that is developing a new, cost-efficient road patch material. “I think we’ve found another way to reuse this material because this byproduct, wastewater grit, has never been studied before,” said Liu.

According to the American Chemical Society, the asphalt currently used to fill potholes can pollute the environment. Liu said the material his team created, called GAP, or Grit Assisted Patch, is an inexpensive, eco-friendly alternative.

Grit is the remnants leftover after wastewater is processed at a treatment plant. It’s mostly sand and gravel. Usually grit is buried in a landfill, but now Liu’s team is re-purposing it. “So, we add some water,” said Liu.

These are the steps taken to turn grit into road patch material. They use chemicals that usually treat hazardous or radioactive waste to kill unhealthy pathogens. “And then, the first step, we need to add some calcium oxide,” said Liu. Add in magnesium oxide and a weak acid too, and the pathogens are killed using inexpensive components that are non-toxic to people. “Now we fill the pothole right away, and after a couple minutes, this material will be solidified and the pothole will be repaired,” said Liu.

The rest of Liu’s team resides in Wisconsin where he was originally a research assistant. They will field-test the material on real roads this winter. and if it can withstand the harsh weather on actual pavement, Liu says they hope to introduce this product to the real world. “We’re very excited. I mean we made it,” said Liu. Liu said right now his team has filed a patent and they’re working on strengthening the material’s durability even more. He said they are excited to see where the next steps lead them.

https://www.turnto23.com/news/local-news/csub-professor-helps-create-eco-friendly-way-to-fill-potholes#:~:text=According%20to%20the%20American%20Chemical,processed%20at%20a%20treatment%20plant.

Central Valley students start journey to become physicians at UCSF Fresno

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) — A dozen motivated Central Valley students are starting their medical school journey at UCSF Fresno, with plans to return and serve as physicians in the community they call home.
First-year medical student Vanessa Mora knew from an early age she wanted to be a doctor. “My parents were migrant farmworkers, so I got to see a lot of the inequities they faced being uninsured and low-income,” said Mora. Born and raised in Fowler, she knew her medical journey wouldn’t be complete without serving in the Central Valley. “If I run away from this and I don’t go back to make a difference. How can I expect others to do the same?” said Mora. That’s when she set her sights on the UCSF San Joaquin Valley Program in Medical Education or SJV Prime. “The goal is to bring students like myself, who have connections to the Valley back so we can help our community,” explained Mora.

It wasn’t easy. Mora says she applied to medical school three times before finally being accepted at her dream school. “It was a match made in heaven because UCSF was already the dream institution where I wanted to go, and the program that aligned with my values was there,” added Mora. SJV Prime trains students for a medical career right here in the valley. “There’s really an impending health crisis in the Valley,” explained Dr. Leticia Rolon, Associate Director of SJV Prime. “There’s a very low patient to M.D. ratio.” “We have a lot of doctors that are retiring, a lot of doctors who are leaving the area, and we don’t have a lot of doctors coming in,” continued Rolon.

A dozen students are part of this year’s cohorts, learning their trade mostly from a laptop due to COVID-19 restrictions. “We have things like simulations and videos, but it’s not the same,” said Rolon. “This is not how I expected to start medical school, but this is just for now, and I’ll be in school for a very long time,” said Mora. As for Mora, she hopes her medical career will take her full circle, and she may one day work for UCSF Fresno.

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The Central Valley’s Madera Community College becomes California’s newest community college

California has its newest college: Madera Community College. The college, located in California’s Central Valley north of Fresno, was recognized Monday by the California community college system’s Board of Governors as the 116th college in the system. Previously, the campus was Madera Community College Center and operated as a satellite campus of Reedley College. “This accomplishment is something that our community has been waiting for a long time and much needed,” Angel Reyna, president of the college, said in a statement. The new college’s goals include becoming “student and community centered,” and providing “equitable outcomes for each of our students, and to that end we commit towards transforming ourselves into an anti-racist institution while producing the future workforce our community needs,” Reyna added.

As a college rather than an educational center, Madera Community College will receive more state funding that will go toward additional programs and staffing. The college will also be eligible to have athletic programs in the California Community College Athletic Association. The campus enrolls about 5,600 students and opened in 1996.  The college will now operate independently within the State Center Community College District, the district that also includes Clovis College, Fresno City College and Reedley College.  Monday’s unanimous vote by the Board of Governors came after the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) voted in June to grant Madera its accreditation. The ACCJC is the commission responsible for accrediting all of California’s community colleges.

Assemblymember Jose Medina, who is chair of the Assembly Committee on Higher Education, in a statement said that Madera Community College “will help fill a great need in the Central Valley and increase access to quality educational and career opportunities for local students.” Monday marked the first time the system has recognized a new college since establishing Calbright College, a fully online college, last year. Before Calbright, Compton College became the 114th college in the system in June of last year when it regained its independence after operating for years as a satellite campus of the El Camino Community College District.

Tom Epstein, president of the Board of Governors of the California Community Colleges, said in a statement that the system is “proud to welcome Madera Community College to the family of California community colleges. We congratulate the dedicated faculty and district leadership for providing this underserved area of the Central Valley with expanded learning opportunities to help more students achieve their educational goals.”

https://edsource.org/2020/the-central-valleys-madera-community-college-becomes-californias-newest-community-college/636810

Fresno State engineering students help make protective gear for health workers

Engineering students, faculty and alumni from Fresno State’s Lyles College of Engineering have been working up to 10 hours a day in recent weeks to design and produce personal protective equipment (PPE) for Central Valley health care workers. They plan to donate about 1,000 face shields to Community Regional Medical Center in downtown Fresno. Last week during Fresno State’s spring break, the team completed the final design and began production of the face shields — the first part of a three-phase, innovative project to support the community at a time when protective equipment is scarce for doctors, nurses and other health care providers.

https://files.constantcontact.com/2cb20f61601/682ecac7-bbb8-4d8e-80e1-8808a64214e8.pdf