The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute started a four-part series on the deans of Cal State Fullerton Tuesday in the Mackey auditorium with a presentation by Interim Dean of the College of Communications Edward Fink, Ph.D., who gave an overview of his college.
Fink said at the event that one of his goals for the college is assessing the curriculum to ensure it is not outdated.
“As a college, we are always looking at curriculum,” Fink said. “We don’t want to be teaching 2017 students necessarily the same things from 1967.”
Fink also spoke on his college’s role in the CSU system’s Graduation Initiative 2025.
“The freshman class that comes in 2021, 70 percent should be graduated by 2025,” Fink said.
The current four-year graduation rate for freshman in the College of Communications is 36 percent Fink said.
“The state has said Cal States need to graduate more of their freshman in four years,” Fink said. “It’s costing money for students to stay beyond that.”
Fink said transfer students usually have a higher graduation rate compared to freshman because they have more experience in handling the obstacles of school.
“They’re a little more focused and know a little more what they want to do,” Fink said.
Also following the Graduation Initiative 2025, the graduation rate for transfer students in two years at Cal State Fullerton would increase from 32 percent to 44 percent, according to the CSU website.
Fink also addressed how the college helps students graduate while completing more challenging requirements like internships. By informing communication students early about the internship they are required to do and resources like the Career Center, Fink said students will be better prepared.
He also stressed the importance of earning a communications degree.
“I would argue that in today’s so-called age of information, those people who control information and create generation and control the channels that disseminate information have quite a lot of influence,” Fink said.
Another benefit of studying communications is the ability to counteract misinformation, Fink said.
“When there are people on all sides accusing the other sides of fake news, how do you even find out what is fake news or not?” Fink said. “It gets down to the idea of messaging and including sources in your messages that people can verify.”
OLLI member Sue Batie said she hoped Fink’s presentation helped enhance fellow members’ “knowledge and view of what’s going on” in the community.
“The more we know about our surroundings, the better educated and the better citizens (we are),” Batie said.
OLLI’s Vice President of external relations Janice Jeng said that being able to see the intricacies within the College of Communications can help provide a better understanding of the university as a whole.
The OLLI deans of Cal State Fullerton series also allows Jeng to communicate with the different colleges on campus and provide the necessary resources to assist fellow OLLI members in their own educational endeavors.
“I have the information to create the right fit,” Jeng said.
The next part of the series will be a presentation by the Interim Dean of the College of Engineering and Computer Science Susamma Barua, Ph.D. on Oct. 24 at 10 a.m.