Benefiting from a boost in graduation rates, Cal State Long Beach was able to enroll more than 11,000 new students in the 2019-20 school year for an increase of 20% compared to 2015.
That was one of the highlights shared in the 2019 Convocation at the Carpenter Performing Arts Center on Friday to usher in the new school year, which begins next week.
In her address to faculty and students, President Jane Close Conoley listed the university’s accomplishments over the past year and its future vision outlined in a new campaign called BEACH 2030.
Conoley said the BEACH 2030 campaign aims to lead the university through major changes in technology, the job market and population over the next decade. In one big change, she noted, the university by 2030 could see a drop in enrollment due to lower birthrate trends.
The university over the next year will enlist help from faculty, students and the community for its new vision, she said. The plan will include adding new programs, and closing others.
“While the future is in many ways an open questions, we know there will be forces of change that will require our adaptation,” she said. “I need your best and most creative ideas.”
She noted Cal State Long Beach’s ongoing popularity and its vital role in the community. The university is the most in-demand of all of the Cal State University campuses and is one of the top 10 most applied to universities in the United States.
Despite its high demand, Cal State Long Beach was able to enroll 2,000 more students this school year due partly to increased graduation rates.
The university in 2018 awarded 8,986 bachelor’s degrees, up from from 7,800 in 2015. The four-year graduation rate for first-time freshman has jumped to 32% in recent years, while the six-year graduation rate climbed to 73% this year, up from 69% last year.
Conoley said more students are graduating thanks to increased support and engagement.
The university also brings benefits to the city, she said. In 2017, the campus brought $562 million in output to Long Beach and $1.14 billion to Los Angeles County.
While there may be future challenges, Cal State Long Beach will continue to have support from the community, she said.
“We benefit from a strong reputation, in demand programs, and a thriving region,” she said.
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