Steps Issue No. 123,
17:05 PM

New Programs Meet Industry Needs

By Margaret Chantung and Katie Chappell

The California State University system has been called the greatest jobs engine the state has ever known, and Cal State San Marcos takes that role to heart. Based on feedback from stakeholders in multiple business and nonprofit sectors, CSUSM is launching three new and innovative programs. The aim is to meet the region’s needs for trained professionals in cybersecurity, hospitality management, as well as, child and adolescent development.


San Diego is increasingly seen nationally as a cybersecurity cluster. A recent study highlighted that the region is home to more than 100 cyber companies which—along with the U.S. Navy’s Space and Naval Warfare System Command Center—employ about 6,600 workers. However, within the field there is a clear industry need for employees who are both technically proficient and business savvy. Starting this fall, CSUSM will offer a first-of-its-kind Professional Science Master’s in Cybersecurity.

A professional science master’s (PSM) is an innovative, new graduate degree designed to allow students to pursue advanced training in science or mathematics while simultaneously developing workplace and business skills.

“Local companies have made it clear that there is a skills gap, making it difficult to hire a workforce knowledgeable in both cybersecurity and business,” said Katherine Kantardjieff, dean of the College of Science and Mathematics (CSM). “Cyberattacks affect all industry sectors. CSUSM was approached by several industries including financial, healthcare, telecommunications and defense, requesting training for their existing personnel. We are very pleased that we could move quickly to offer this unique program and fulfill a significant regional need for cybersecurity professionals.”

The program, designed for working adults with classes in the evening, can be completed part-time in two years. Curriculum will be a blend of cybersecurity courses, business courses and a capstone semester-in-residence project that includes onsite experience in a company.

Information security infrastructures are the needed fabric to insure that organizations are secure, compliant and providing protection for critical data,” said John Gormally, a major account manager at F5 Networks, Inc. and member of the CSM Advisory Board. “Cal State San Marcos is leading the way with the launch of this program which is so closely aligned with workforce needs in the technology industry.”

For more information visit:


Hospitality and Tourism

Hospitality is a global industry but in the San Diego region, it’s almost a way of life. From the wineries of Temecula to the beach resorts of San Diego, the region is the fifth most popular travel destination in the United States. In fact, one in eight jobs in San Diego County is tourism related. As visitor demand to Southern California continues to increase, the College of Business Administration (CoBA) is proud to be launching a new hospitality management option in its Specialized Accelerated MBA (SAMBA) program.

The SAMBA is a unique “stackable” program consisting of three phases: the foundation, the core and the specialization. The specialization entails 12 units of advanced study in either business intelligence, international business or, as of this fall, hospitality and tourism management.

“We initiated the new hospitality and tourism management option for our SAMBA program after meeting with a focus group of local industry experts and City of Carlsbad Mayor Matt Hall to discuss the growing need to educate hospitality employees in each functional area of the hospitality and tourism industry,” said Mohammad Oskoorouchi, associate dean and director of Graduate Programs. “Together with the local experts from Marriott, La Costa Resort, LEGOLAND, Welk Resorts, Grand Pacific Resort, Hilton and Sheraton, the College developed a professional certificate for entry- and mid-level managers who are already working in the hospitality field.”

Ed Fuller, an active member of the CSUSM Foundation Board and an internationally recognized hospitality industry leader, educator and best-selling author who served as the former president and managing director of Marriott International, is pleased to see that CSUSM is meeting the demand with this innovative program.

“This is the perfect combination, uniting the strength of the University’s MBA program with the needs of the expanding hospitality industry,” Fuller said. “And, given the nature of the booming Asian hospitality market, I would expect the program to attract a significant number of international students as well."

This one-year program is composed of three certificates: foundations, core and specialization, and ends with a culminating experience or internship.

For more information on the Hospitality and Tourism program visit:


Child and Adolescent Development

The College of Humanities, Arts, Behavioral and Social Sciences launched a new degree program this semester, Child and Adolescent Development (CHAD).

With a focus on the developmental processes that occur from conception through the end of adolescence, CHAD employs both classroom and applied fieldwork education, which will be completed through through the University’s partnership with the Center for Children and Families, an on-campus childcare facility.

CHAD majors will learn to evaluate, assess and interact with children and adolescents and their families in a variety of settings. At least seven new CHAD courses were added for students pursuing this degree track, which also requires students to take a substantial load of upper-level psychology courses.

Sharon Hamill, the program’s director, said, “The goal of this program is to have students engage in hands-on research, so they have practical experience with how children and adolescents grow and develop, and also understand how policies affect children, adolescents and their families.”

Developed in close collaboration with local community agencies, this research-centered program is designed to prepare students for careers in the fields of research, education, healthcare, public policy, counseling and law.

For more information on the Child and Adolescent Development program, visit: