Dear Students and Alumni,
2016 is here and I hope you all have welcomed the New Year with warmth and possibilities. I also hope that you had an enjoyable holiday season and perhaps a well- deserved break. The New Year gives us the opportunity to start fresh and focus on the future. I can honestly say that the coming year looks bright and filled with promise.
While much of the University/College community remained down in new students in 2015, CSU was blessed to have welcomed 14,321 new students to our University. Equally as important to us is that 7,156 of you received your degree and graduated last year. Congratulations on your wonderful accomplishment.
Also in 2015, we launched two important initiatives that directly affect our outreach efforts. For the first time, we have outreach representatives positioned in Atlanta and Orlando. These individuals will be able to work closely within those geographic areas to increase CSU awareness and presence. Additionally, we have added industry specialists in the areas of criminal justice, emergency medical services, emergency management, and we intend to expand that further into occupational safety & health, fire administration, health care and human resources. These specialists will help us strategically build relationships in these industries we serve.
This year, we will be focusing on our mobile learning strategy and offering new mobile apps to students. In early 2016, students can expect the release of Bb Student. This application offers students the opportunity to access their courses from a mobile device. Later in the year, a custom CSU mobile app will be offered to further provide mobile access to prospective and existing students. Best of all, this January, CSU will launch a completely re-designed student portal that is packed full of features and is also built to be used on any mobile device.
The CSU course experience is an integral part of changing and improving lives of learners through education. The student experience should be free of confusion and frustration and create an environment that produces student and faculty engagement. Our vision is to create an engaging, exceptional, interesting, and practicable learning experience in courses designed from a student experience perspective. In order to accomplish this vision, CSU began re-designing courses in 2015 and will be continuing this effort in 2016 to further improve the student experience. For example, CSU believes in embracing technology when it is appropriate; therefore, study guides may be text-based or interactive media. In addition, new courses will have more continuity where the instructional materials flow with related concepts and assignments that are balanced throughout the course. Additionally, CSU is expanding the number of courses that do not have required textbooks. Integrated Learning Resources (ILR) courses contain library resources, labs, lectures, faculty created materials, and video presentations. ILR courses are similar to eTextbooks in that they offer a number of the same benefits that improve your educational experience. For example, the course materials are delivered within the course to your computer or other mobile device. As a result, you can access all of the resources through your course in Blackboard the day the course launches.
Finally, we will launch an increased emphasis on our alumni. As you may remember from last month’s message, we chartered our first alumni chapter in Atlanta, Georgia. This year, our goal is to launch three additional chapters that will include the Gulf Coast Chapter, the Lone Star Chapter to serve our alumni in Texas, and the Capital Region Chapter to serve the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia. Likewise, we look to conduct student and alumni networking socials monthly around the nation in places like Arizona, California, Colorado, and South Carolina. Check here for dates and locations.
There were so many great things that happened at CSU in 2015, with even greater things to come in 2016. You all are so very important to the CSU family and to our success.
I wish you a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year.
First I would like to take a moment and personally thank you for the opportunity that CSU provides. I am currently enrolled as an MBA student. I would really like for CSU to entertain the idea of possibly in the near future adding industry specialist with a background in manufacturing and manufacturing technology. As you are well aware Alabama and the south as a whole is experiencing strong manufacturing growth. As a member of the Hyster-Yale Group manufacturing management team in Alabama we have difficult times finding qualified personnel. We currently have 5 employees enrolled at CSU with more to enroll. I would see this as a growth opportunity for CSU going forward.