After seven years of teaching at California State University San Marcos (CSUSM), Business Professor Chet Kumar was pleasantly surprised when he was tapped to teach Data Analysis to undergraduate business degree students at the school’s Temecula campus this fall.
“I had heard about CSUSM’s Temecula campus but really didn’t know a lot about it,” Kumar said. “I didn’t know exactly what to expect and was pleasantly surprised to find a group of students who are highly motivated and cohesive.”
On the first day of class Kumar always asks his students to participate in an introduction exercise so they get to know about each other. What struck him when he asked the Temecula cohort to do this?
“They were slightly older and more focused than traditional undergraduates. They all said they wanted to use the BSBA (Bachelor of Science in Business Administration) to improve themselves and their career opportunities,” he said.
For Kumar, one of the big attractions to teaching at the Temecula campus was the fact that undergraduate degree programs incorporate attributes which are typically assigned to graduate-level degree work on the main campus.
This includes smaller class size and a cohort system that allows students to take required courses sequentially and together, ensuring individuals stay on track and meet their degree goals.
The cohort system nurtures a strong support-based and professional network that benefits students during their program and beyond.
“With less than 20 students in each class, this is the kind of faculty focus and student/faculty interaction you’d expect to find at a private school. Students are quick to ask questions, express doubts and delve into critical issues. Faculty members are there to motivate them and move them to the next level in their thought process. It can lead to some great debates,” said Kumar.
“The experience I am having with these highly-motivated students at our Temecula campus is incredibly rewarding. I can see first-hand the direct impact that our program is having on their lives.”