Long Beach's higher education establishments went face to face with some changes and challenges in 2018. Here's an overview of some big — and small — things that happened last year at California State University, Long Beach, and Long Beach City College.
College Promise 2.0
The College Promise expanded in 2018 with an announcement that Long Beach Unified School District students who attend Long Beach City College immediately after graduation will be eligible for two years of free college tuition beginning in fall 2019.
After successfully completing two years at LBCC, College Promise students have the opportunity to transfer earned credits to Long Beach State.
Previously, the College Promise offered just one tuition free year. The program was first announced in 2008, and since the program's inception, more than 4,000 LBUSD graduates received tuition-free college semesters.
Students that are graduating high school spring 2019 will be the first class eligible for the College Promise 2.0. Go to longbeachcollegepromise.org for more information and resources.
LBCC Unveils New Athletic Logo
LBCC showcased a brand new athletic logo in September, featuring the Viking mascot.
The logo features an updated artistic render of the classic LBCC Viking, with red and black coloring.
“We are extremely excited and proud to introduce our new athletic logo to the community,” LBCC Superintendent-President Dr. Reagan F. Romali said in a statement. “The new athletic Viking logo builds on the original mascot that has been with us since 1927. The new Viking logo includes features that makes it uniquely Long Beach City College.”
New Board of Trustee Elected At LBCC
Uduak-Joe Ntuk defeated incumbent Jeffrey Kellogg during the April 1 election for Long Beach Community College District Trustee Area 1, which represents Uptown Long Beach. He is the first African American male elected to the position since LBCC was founded.
Ntuk is an LBUSD graduate from St. Anthony who later earned his associate's degree in liberal arts from Long Beach City College, his bachelor' degree in chemical engineering from CSULB and then earned his master's degree in petroleum engineering from University of Southern California.
Before being elected in April, he was a teacher at CSULB, and served on the personnel commission at the Long Beach City College, and has worked with the Pacific Gateway Workforce Investment Board Youth Council.
Port Supports LBCC
Back in July, Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners approved a one-year agreement for a pilot program with LBCC in the amount of $60,000 to develop a Maritime Center of Excellence to create short-term training that will lead to jobs at the port.
“The overarching goal of education is to build awareness and understanding of the Port of Long Beach and advance development of a skilled workforce that supports international trade and goods movement,” Kerry Gerot, director of Communications and Community Relations at the port, told the Grunion.
Additionally, the Center of Excellence will provide a summer boot camp for Academy of Global Logistics (AGL) high school students based at Cabrillo High School, provide training and education options to participants of LBCC’s Commercial Driver Training Program and will support students to enroll into CSULB’s Center for International Trade and Transportation, which already partners with the port.
LBCC's Community And Student Workforce Project
LBCC has established a CSWPA partnership with the local Los Angeles/Orange Counties Building and Construction Trades Department and the signatory craft Councils and Unions. The agreement was approved by the District’s Board of Trustees on April 26, 2016, and features a schedule of projects to be completed through 2022.
In early 2018, a $23.2 million construction project broke ground at LBCC's College Auditorium Building J and will feature updated air conditioning, new visual display systems, new dance studio, green room, costume shop and more.
“When we return here for our grand re-opening, we will be standing in front of a renovated auditorium that will look very similar from the front but will be far improved inside," Superintendent-President Romali said during the groundbreaking. "And it’s going to be so much more than just the LBCC auditorium, it will be a premier venue for theater, dance, award-winning shows and lecture series.”
The project will be paid for with money from Measure E and Measure LB Bonds approved by the voters for renovation and repairs at LBCC’s Pacific Coast Campus and Liberal Arts Campus.
Long Beach State President Jane Close Conoley announced in September that Prospector Pete would be removed as the university's mascot.
The decision came after concerned students questioned the appropriateness of the mascot. They cited evidence that the influx of prospectors preyed on and abused the indigenous Native Americans in California.
Then in spring 2018, Conoley called on a committee to study the issue and then provide recommended action. That committee recommended removing the statue, and Conoley agreed.
The Prospector Pete statue is expected to be moved from its current spot near the Liberal Arts buildings to a new alumni and visitors center sometime this spring.
For more information, go to csulb.edu/prospector-pete.
CSULB Updates Basketball Court
New basketball uniforms and an updated court was introduced over summer 2018 at Cal State Long Beach. The scheme featured deeper black colors and the new “BE/\CH” logo.
New CSULB Tech Center
3-D printers are available for student use at CSULB's Gerald M. Kline Innovation Space.
Faculty said uses will be found for arts, sciences and engineering students. Availability of digital design files and the ability to create them will be part of the space as well. The new technology was paid for by the Gerald M. Kline Family Foundation and Student Excellence Fees.
CCPE Building Completed
CSULB completed construction on its brand new College of Continuing and Professional Education (CCPE) building over the summer that features 20 new classrooms, just in time for fall classes.
The 35,000-square-foot building broke ground in 2017 and is the first California State University building to meet net zero energy requirements (by definition, a net zero energy building consumes energy equal to the renewable energy it creates).
According to the CSULB website, "The CCPE building design maximizes energy savings by employing manually operable windows and shades on two sides of every classroom to encourage the use of natural daylighting and reduce solar heat gain."
Additionally, the building received a LEED platinum rating, but won't be considered a true "net zero" building until solar panels are installed on the roof and the building's canopy.
For more information, go to csulb.edu/sustainability.
More CSULB Construction
Construction began on an Infrastructure Heating Hot Water project in October to replace the water pipes along East Campus Drive, and was completed at the end of the December.
Water pipes also are being replaced along Central Quad, Parking Lot E10, Bookstore and the Psychology building. That's expected to be completed near the end of January.
The project is replacing the aging hot water piping system on campus and providing more reliable and efficient heating and hot water to buildings in the future, officials said.
Other projects that started in December include the installation of new exterior lighting, planter benches and landscape irrigation.
For more information and updates about California State University, Long Beach, go to csulb.edu.
For more about Long Beach City College, go to lbcc.edu.
Stephanie Stutzman can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.