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Extended Learning Dean Wins Chancellor's Award

When Mike Schroder joined California State University San Marcos in 2011 as dean of Extended Learning and associate vice president of International Programs, he saw a division that was poised for growth in terms of enrollment, programs and revenues. During his tenure, annual enrollment in degree programs administered through Extended Learning has grown from 573 students to 2,011 (more than a threefold increase), annual revenues have grown from $10 million to $31 million (a threefold increase), and more than $100 million of revenue has supported academic units across campus.

In addition, Schroder has been a key figure in an innovative public-private partnership that launched the design, financing and construction of a 135,000-square-foot, six-story Extended Learning building, a 709-space parking garage and a pedestrian overpass connecting the building to the main campus. This building, which will be the largest academic structure on the CSUSM campus, is also the first academic building in California established through a public-private partnership. It is expected to open in fall 2019.

Schroder is being recognized by the California State University system with the 2018-19 Chancellor’s Award for Administrator Excellence and Innovation through the Edward M. McAleer Jr. Excellence and Innovation Awards program, which honors outstanding contributions in support of CSU Continuing and Extended Education (CEE). The chancellor’s award will be presented on Oct. 10 at a CSU systemwide conference for Extended Learning.

“Continuing and Extended Education provides unique opportunities to increase access for students, build flexible programs that meet the needs of the community, and address budget issues with visionary solutions,” says Sheila Thomas, assistant vice chancellor and statewide dean of Extended Education, California State University. “We celebrate leaders like Dean Schroder, who are at the vanguard of public education, developing creative strategies that will serve our students and strengthen our institutions well into the future.”

“Dean Schroder is one of the ‘stars’ of the CSU system,” says Kamel Haddad, CSUSM vice provost. “He sets the mold for leadership excellence in the areas of extended learning, and continuing and international education, not only systemwide, but nationally.”

Extended Learning milestones since 2011 include:

  • CSUSM Extended Learning revenues have grown from $10 million to $31 million.
  • A university-first model of restructuring funds has generated more than $100 million for various academic units across campus.
  • Student enrollment in degree-granting programs has grown from 573 to 2,011.
  • Annual registrations in noncredit programs and courses have increased from 1,905 to 2,704.
  • The international student population has grown from 254 to 465 (in degree-granting programs and other international programs).
  • The Temecula satellite campus has expanded from 189 students to 393.
  • The number of degree programs and academic certificates has increased from five to 24.
  • An initiative with faculty to bring face-to-face courses online for the summer session began in 2013 with participation by 16 faculty members. In 2018, 65 faculty members offered 91 online courses for summer session.

“The support from administration and the expertise of the faculty and staff at CSUSM far exceeded any expectations I had,” Schroder says. “The culture here has enabled us to ask, ‘Why not us?’ and to take measured risks. While my name is the administrator attached to the award, it is a full team effort and this award goes to the Extended Learning team, the faculty and the CSUSM campus. We are still not at the peak of innovation here, which is what excites me about the next decade.”

Today, CSUSM Extended Learning offers a full range of undergraduate and graduate degree and certificate programs through CSUSM’s colleges, as well as professional development courses and certificates for those working to change or advance their careers. EL operates the summer session, winter intersession, open university and online learning programs for CSUSM as well as high school courses for university credit and the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute for learners age 55 and above. Programs are continually being developed to meet the evolving needs of the students and the business community in North San Diego and Southwest Riverside counties.

About the Edward M. McAleer Jr. Excellence and Innovation Awards

Nominees for the Edward M. McAleer Jr. Excellence and Innovation Awards are recognized for successfully creating new models and pathways, new partnerships and collaborations, and new ways in which Continuing and Extended Education expands options and access for students, which strengthens the mission of the California State University. Edward M. McAleer Jr., the first recipient of the award, served as the statewide dean in Continuing and Extended Education for more than 15 years.

About Extended Learning at California State University San Marcos

As the academic outreach arm of Cal State San Marcos, Extended Learning is a leading provider of professional and continuing education in North San Diego and Southwest Riverside counties. We offer degree programs and academic certificates through CSUSM’s colleges as well as noncredit professional development courses and certificates. As a self-supported entity, Extended Learning operates without any funding or assistance from the state of California, instead relying on revenues generated from our programs to cover the cost of doing business.