Education

New building projects planned at Stanislaus State, president tells students

Proposed building projects on its Turlock campus and its satellite Stockton campus, as well as a new plan to better prepare students for career success after graduation, highlighted California State University, Stanislaus, President Ellen Junn’s Fall Welcome address Monday afternoon.

A proposal for a new Classroom II building on the east side of the Turlock campus has been submitted to the CSU Chancellor’s Office as Stan State’s No. 1 project on its five-year capital funding request for 2020-21. The university hopes to hear soon on the approved funding level, Junn said in her prepared speech, “but if all goes the way we hope, we could be looking at opening the building for the fall semester of 2024.”

Conceptual plans for Classoom II include 33 general classrooms with 1,422 seats, six specialized lecture classrooms, six specialized labs including a child-development instructional lab and 138 faculty offices. The departments currently located in Bizzini Hall will move to the new building, and Bizzini will temporarily close for renovation.

In Stockton, to meet the need for anticipated growth, the university is seeking funding from the Chancellor’s Office for a three-story, roughly 118,000-square-foot academic and student-services facility, Junn said.

The proposed projects includes classrooms, labs and faculty offices; multipurpose spaces; Student Affairs offices for 13 departments and services (including a fitness center and a health center); a cafe and bookstore; and study, meeting and community spaces.

Junn spoke at length about her career-success plan, called CareerReadyU, saying the university needs to do “much more in helping (students) prepare for their future while they are still in college and before they graduate. This is especially true of our first-gen students who don’t have family experiences or professional networks that they can rely on to search for a job that requires a bachelor’s degree.”

CareerReadyU is a two-pronged effort, the president said. One is called the external component — to create formal partnerships with leading businesses and employers, “so they actively work with us in better preparing and recruiting our students for jobs in our region.”

Junn said the process has begun of identifying large and small businesses, agencies and civic, governmental, educational and cultural organizations in Stanislaus, San Joaquin and Merced counties that “map onto” Stan State’s 43 undergraduate majors. The Turlock mayor’s office already is on board as the first CareerReadyU founding partner, she said, and others interested in participating include the Stanislaus County Office of Education and the Business Council of San Joaquin County.

“Founding partners can select from a wide variety of options, such as recruiting students at our twice-annual career fairs both in Turlock and Stockton, offering internships to our students, agreeing to mentoring and job shadowing, offering tours or other visits, and much more,” Junn said.

The internal component of CareerReadyU, she said, will become part of the college experience outside the classroom. It will be a systematic, semester-based program of “supports and activities that ask our students to think about and prepare themselves, while still in college, for their future professions and careers.”

The enrichment effort will help students build their co-curricular experiences and skills so they have a richer resume of career-ready experiences and a boost of confidence as they prepare to enter the work force, Junn said.

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Deke has been an editor and reporter with The Modesto Bee since 1995. He currently does breaking-news, education and human-interest reporting. A Beyer High grad, he studied geology and journalism at UC Davis and CSU Sacramento.
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