1.1 Summarize the institution’s mission, historical context, and unique characteristics
California State University, Fresno (Fresno State) Central California's major regional university, with an enrollment of approximately 22,400 students. The university is one of the 23 campuses of the California State University (CSU) system, one of the largest university systems in the US.
California State University, Fresno powers the New California through learning, scholarship, and engagement. The University faculty, staff, and administrators work together to:
• Make student success our first priority;
• Embrace a culture of diversity, internationalization, and inclusion;
• Advance our established distinction in liberal arts and sciences, professional programs, and community engagement;
• Produce transformative scholarly research and creative works that target regional issues with global significance;
• Exemplify the ethical stewardship of capital and human resources; and,
• Develop institutional, community, and intellectual leaders.
California State University, Fresno will become nationally recognized for education that transforms students and improves the quality of life in the region and beyond; for leadership that drives economic, infrastructure, and human development; and for institutional responsiveness that fosters creativity, generates opportunity for all, and thrives on change. Drawing from the rich human diversity of experiences, values, world views, and cultures that make up the fabric of the Central Valley, we will power the New California through the 21st century.
The University was established in 1911 as a state normal school. In 1921, the two-year teacher preparation program was changed to a four-year BA in Teaching Degree and the institution was renamed Fresno State Teachers College. The first master’s degree at Fresno State was awarded in 1949. In 1972 the name changed to California State University, Fresno. A Joint Doctorate in Educational Leadership was approved in 1991, the first doctoral program in the CSU system. In 2005, an independent Doctoral Program in Educational Leadership was established at Fresno State. In 2011, Fresno State celebrated its 100th anniversary.
The university offers 55 Bachelor Degree programs, 34 Master degree programs, 13 certificate programs, and an interdisciplinary doctoral degree (Ed. D.) in Educational Leadership plus a Doctor of Physical Therapy and Doctor of Nursing Practice. Approximately 4425 degrees were awarded at the 2013 Commencement. The university has 27 nationally accredited departmental programs, among the highest number within the CSU system. As of 2012-13, there were 138 managers, 717 staff members, and 1,182 faculty on campus; 97% of the tenured faculty hold doctoral or other terminal degrees in their areas of study.
The University’s service area encompasses five counties and includes both urban and rural areas. The demographics of the service area reflect a highly diverse population. For example, the student population in Fresno County includes 60.4% Latino, 10.8% Asian, 6.1% African American, and 20.5% White (non-Hispanic). The university itself reflects the diversity of the area through its student body. Ethnic enrollment for spring 2012 was as follows: Latino, 38.8%, White, 28.8%, Asian, 14.8%, Other, 9.4%, African American, 4.4% and American Indian, 0.4%. The Federal government designates Fresno State as a Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) and an Asian American Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institution (AANAPISI).
The university manifests its mission through strategic planning and goal setting. In Spring 2011, Fresno State finalized its Strategic Plan for Excellence IV 2011-15. The new plan reflects state/local economic changes and incorporates feedback from community members, faculty, staff and students. Teacher education has received priority attention in the mission and strategic planning of the institution since its founding.