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Building Great Communities

We build great communities.

Our founders had the foresight to know that having a public four-year institution in the region would be a great catalyst for social and economic change. They recognized that it would be a place where their sons, daughters, grandchildren, neighbors and employees could pursue their ideas and passions, as well as a place that would enrich and reflect its community—a place that would make the region better because it was there.

Join us as we create pathways to college for first-generation and at-risk students, create a lasting legacy of positive sportsmanship and regional spirit, and inspire personal connections through arts and culture.

Learn more about:

Veronica Catalan, Biology '19

The Alliance

Yes, you can go to college . . . and we have a place for you here at CSUSM! That's the message that we want all of our region's youth to hear through a unique program known as the Alliance to Accelerate Excellence in Education—or, simply, The Alliance.

The Alliance, comprised of 10 partner school districts, is a regionally-focused initiative aimed at improving the college attendance and graduation rates of students in our region. With a focus on traditionally underserved youth as well as first generation college students, The Alliance works with families, teachers, administrators, and community members to support all students in achieving academic success. By supporting the Alliance, you can help ensure that every young person in our region has access to a quality higher education is prepared for college-level coursework,and has a successful college experience through scholarships, family support programs and more.

Meet a Current Alliance Fellow

Veronica Catalan wasn't sure college was for her. Her parents, immigrant farm laborers with only an elementary school education, had always encouraged her and her three siblings to attend college, but they didn't know how to help her navigate the overwhelming requirements to make that dream a reality.

In her sophomore year at Escondido High School she learned of a program that would make it possible for her to get into a local university and graduate. During a field trip to CSUSM's campus, she met students just like her succeeding and thriving in university life and finally saw herself as a future student at Cal State San Marcos.

Veronica isn't alone; she is one of thousands of first-generation college students at CSUSM and among hundreds who have benefited from the pathway to college opened up by the Alliance.

Jim Saia, Men's Head Basketball Coach

Cougar Athletics

We power Cougar pride for our students, our alumni and our fans...

through a growing legacy of competitive performance, academic excellence, positive sportsmanship and service. Now that our 14 athletic teams compete in the California Collegiate Athletic Association, and as our program transitions to the NCAA Division II and construction continues on The Sports Center, there has never been more excitement or opportunity for our athletics programs.

We believe that our student-athletes' hard work and dedication on the field or court, and in the classroom and community deserves the very best in return. Over the program's history, generous donors have helped us transform dirt lots into athletic fields, enabling lifelong lessons in teamwork, persistence and leadership. Now, with your support, we can further enhance playing and practice facilities, grow scholarships and provide our student-athletes with an experience that allows them to perform at their peak potential.

3 national championships, 158 all-americans, 31 conference championships, 32 conference coaches of the year

Meet a Student-Athlete

As a founding member of the women's volleyball team at CSUSM, Taylor DeGraaf has watched her team and Cougar Athletics grow into a powerhouse that boasts an impressive record on the court, in the classroom and in service to the community. Despite never having a court to call home, she and her fellow volleyball student-athletes have brought home four conference titles.

Taylor DeGraaf, Kinesiology '16
Dr. Merryl Goldberg, Professor School of Arts

Arts and Culture

We believe that the arts are an essential component of the academic, intellectual and cultural climate of a vibrant university campus. Our vision is to be a regional leader in preparing students for relevant and cutting-edge careers in California's creative economy while also acting as a nexus for the arts in our region and as a destination for arts and cultural activities.

With you, we can continue to make significant progress toward our goal to build great communities through outreach to K-12 schools, arts education research, community art projects, on-campus artistic performances and screenings, a robust Arts and Lectures series, and enhanced university art venues, rehearsal spaces and labs.