CSU, Chico News

CSU, Chico Engineering Program Named ‘Best Value’

Date: 06-22-2016

Ashley Gebb

Ricardo Jacquez

California State University, Chico has once again been recognized for its affordability and quality education, ranking No. 3 nationwide as one of “50 Best Engineering Schools 2016” by Best Value Colleges. CSU, Chico leads five other CSUs that also made the list, which compared all four-year public and nonprofit U.S. colleges that offer bachelor’s and master’s degrees in engineering and are accredited with the Accreditation Board of Engineering and Technology.

The Best Value Schools report noted that CSU, Chico’s College of Engineering, Computer Science and Construction Management (ECC) boasts nine accredited degree programs and one unaccredited program, saying the college was “certainly one of the most comprehensive engineering programs in the Northwest.” It also recognized CSU, Chico’s dedication to sustainable engineering.

“This is exciting news and a well-deserved recognition for the College. Our breadth of top-tier, accredited programs provide an excellent education as well as real-world experiences that are recognized by employers as impactful to their futures,” said ECC Dean Ricardo Jacquez. “Our outstanding faculty and staff and their commitment and passion for the success of our students stand at the core of this recognition.”

This ranking aligns with recent outstanding accomplishments in multiple student competitions, Jacquez said, noting CSU, Chico’s first-place victory in the deployment strategy category of the U.S. Department of Energy Collegiate Wind Competition and a second-place finish in the fuel efficiency category of this year’s Formula SAE national racing competition.

“Our students are succeeding in meeting their goals to be competitive and successful in their endeavors and provide national representation for CSU, Chico,” Jacquez said.

The colleges’ rankings were weighted by number of accredited programs; the percentage of degrees each institution awards in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields; early career pay as evidenced by alumni salaries; and net price, which includes tuition, living expenses and scholarship and financial aid packages.

The University’s affordability and quality education is a major selling point for Paul Villegas, director of the Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement Program, which serves educationally disadvantaged students. As he markets CSU, Chico to first-generation students, he said he emphasizes the diverse opportunities they can find at for a good price and return on investment.

“Eighty percent of our students in ECC are from outside our service area. I tell them, ‘Yes, another university may be closer to home but can you afford to live there?’” he said. “Affordability is always in the back of parents’ minds and students’ minds.”

Of more than 500 universities originally considered in the ranking, Calpoly Pomona ranked No. 7; San Jose State University ranked No. 14; San Diego State University ranked No. 31; CSULA ranked No. 45; and California Maritime Academy ranked No. 48.

The ECC curricula provide a foundation in liberal arts and both technical breadth and specialization. The College offers a Bachelor of Science degree in civil, computer, electrical, mechanical and mechatronic engineering, as well as a Bachelor of Science degree in computer animation and game design, computer science, computer information systems, concrete industry management, construction management and sustainable manufacturing. The College also offers a Master of Science degree in computer science and electrical engineering with options in computer and electronic engineering.