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CSU San Marcos:WASC Interim Report (Fall 2012)


II. Institutional Context

Institutional Context

Instructions: The purpose of this section is to describe the institution so that the Interim Report Committee can understand the issues discussed in the report in context.

Very briefly describe the institution's background; mission; history, including the founding date and year first accredited; geographic locations; and other pertinent information.


CSU San Marcos began as a satellite campus of San Diego State University in 1979. The founding year of CSU San Marcos is 1989 when the satellite campus was reconstituted as CSU San Marcos through Senate Bill 365. The campus was first accredited by WASC in 1993.

Our Mission. California State University San Marcos focuses on the student as an active participant in the learning process. Students work closely with a faculty of active scholars and artists whose commitment to sustained excellence in teaching, research, and community partnership enhances student learning. The university offers rigorous undergraduate and graduate programs distinguished by exemplary teaching, innovative curricula, and the application of new technologies. CSUSM provides a range of services that responds to the needs of a student body with diverse backgrounds, expanding student access to an excellent and affordable education. As a public university, CSUSM grounds its mission in the public trust, alignment with regional needs, and sustained enrichment of the intellectual, civic, economic, and cultural life of our region and state.

Our Vision. California State University San Marcos will become a distinctive public university known for academic excellence, service to the community, and innovation in higher education.  In its teaching and student services, CSUSM will combine the academic strengths of a large university with the personal interaction characteristic of smaller institutions.  Students will select from a growing array of specialized programs responsive to state and regional needs.  Our curriculum will emphasize a strong foundation in the liberal arts and sciences while it provides the knowledge, skills, competencies and experiences needed in a global society experiencing accelerated technological, social, and environmental change.  A faculty of active scholars and artists will foster student learning through teaching that reflects ongoing discovery and experimentation.  CSUSM will celebrate and capitalize on its diversity to form a learning community committed to this shared vision. 

Our Values. California State University San Marcos is an academic community dedicated to the values of:

·      Intellectual Engagement: learning, teaching, discovery, and application of knowledge

·      Community: shared commitments to service, teamwork, and partnership

·      Integrity:  respect, honesty, trust, fairness, academic freedom and responsibility

·      Innovation:  creativity, openness to change, flexibility, responsiveness, and future focus

·      Inclusiveness:  individual and cultural diversity, and multiple perspectives


Student growth. Over the years the campus has grown from the first graduating class of seven students in 1991 to a 2012 graduating class of 2,600. With over 27,000 degree graduates and over 12,000 earned teaching and administrative credentials, CSU San Marcos has established a deep presence in our region.

Program growth. At the time of the first WASC accreditation in 1993, the campus offered 17 bachelor’s degrees, 9 teacher credentials, and 6 master’s degrees. As of 2012, the campus offers 29 bachelor’s degrees, 8 teacher credentials, 12 master’s degrees, and one doctoral degree.

Building growth. The building program at CSU San Marcos has produced a complement of buildings that will serve well into the future. Over the last nine years, CSUSM has opened  Science Hall 2 (2003); the Arts building (2003); the 200,000 square foot  Kellogg Library (2004), the first free standing library on our campus; Markstein Hall, the flagship home for the College of Business (2006); and Center for Children and Families (2007).

Geographic Locations

The 304 acre main campus is nestled in the foothills of the City of San Marcos in Northern San Diego County. In 2009, WASC approved a remote location known as CSUSM at Temecula, located in Southwest Riverside County.  Undergraduate and graduate degrees are offered on the main campus and, on a smaller scale, at CSUSM at Temecula.