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VALLEY ROUNDUP | Northridge

Agency Gives CSUN Positive Evaluation

August 01, 2000|SOLOMON MOORE

Cal State Northridge officials announced Monday that a regional university agency issued an overwhelmingly positive report about the institution and renewed its accreditation.

The Alameda-based Western Assn. of Schools & Colleges praised CSUN's efforts to promote "student achievement, utilizing technology to enhance learning and assessing student learning."

The evaluation team visited the campus April 4-7, the first such evaluation since November 1990. A letter detailing the findings was sent to President Jolene Koester on July 10.

"The report is outside validation that CSUN is a high quality, superior university that meets the needs of this region," Koester said.

The only criticism contained in the letter was that Cal State Northridge needs to better coordinate assessment of its general education program. General education includes the basic core classes all majors need to complete their bachelor's degrees. Koester said that different departments throughout the university have their own methods of determining the effectiveness of those classes, but that the departments have not coordinated those efforts in a cohesive way.

"It's certainly an area that we will embrace and look at," Koester said. "We don't shy away from those commentaries."

The agency also gave Cal State Northridge high marks for linking the university budget to strategic planning, and for involving the entire community in those decisions.

The agency noted how Cal State Northridge took advantage of the opportunity presented by the $400 million in federal recovery funds generated by the 1994 earthquake. The university has used the money to refurbish and construct state of the art facilities.

The agency also praised Northridge's "success in graduating students of color." The number of Latinos that CSUN graduates makes it one of the nation's leaders in this endeavor.

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