CSU, Chico News

CSU, Chico Part of Substantial Grant to Support Professional Science Master’s Programs

Date: 07-02-2008

Kathleen McPartland
Public Affairs
John Nishio
Professional Science Master’s Program

The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation has awarded the California State University a second major grant, this one of $474,000 to support Professional Science Master’s (PSM) programs. CSU, Chico is one of the 14 CSUs currently offering the program and will receive $26,389, bringing its three-year total to $76, 162.

The PSM programs operate in partnership with industry and respond to the significant need for science professionals. The programs prepare a scientifically trained, business-oriented and savvy workforce that has the technical knowledge required in such fields as biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, electronics and energy, as well as in government.

The CSU, Chico program, which is in the Environmental Sciences Program, has had its curriculum approved at the local University level. It has five students entering this fall and room for more.

“We’ve worked hard on outreach efforts to science majors,” said John Nishio, director of the CSU, Chico program. “It is a new way of thinking about preparing for a career in both science and business. Once students understand what is being offered, they see the potential and get excited about the possibilities for their careers. Federal and state agencies are facing massive retirements in the next five-ten years, and the PSM will be an important pathway for replacing the aging workforce.”

The CSU plans to train some 1,050 science and technology professionals over five years. Professionals with this training are in high demand in industry and the public sector, and they provide a competitive edge in the global economy. The PSM was first offered at a CSU in 2003 at San Jose State University. In 2006 a grant of $891,000 from the Sloan Foundation was made to help expand PSM offerings system wide.

Science majors interested in CSU, Chico’s PSM program should visit the Web site at www.csuchico.edu/psm. Students can apply to the environmental sciences program online at http://csumentor.com.