Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Stockton Needs a Public University

Stockton is the largest metro area in California without a 4-year public university.

I think Pacific does an exceptional (and getting better) job at community engagement for a private university, but the reality is Stockton badly needs a public university to round out it's higher education options.

As pointed out in Michael Fitzgerald's column in today's Stockton Record, the CSU-Stanislaus Center downtown offers little. Many of Delta College's best and brightest have to leave town to finish their degrees and never return. (I was pleasantly surprised to learn how many Delta transfers we had at Pacific, but it is only a tiny piece in the demand).

Fitzgerald's article utilizes several quotes from a report we did this summer on employment and wages in San Joaquin County. The full report is available here for anyone who wishes to see the details.

As a bit of trivia, we did a bit of research in the Center and learned that Stockton is not the largest metro area in the U.S. without a 4-year public university (our critieria was that a branch campus must have at least 1,000 full-time students to qualify). That (dis)honor goes to Bethlehem-Allentown-Easton, PA (#62 in pop). Poughkeepsie-Newburgh-Middletown NY (#77 in population) also does not have a 4-year public and is 1 slot about #78 Stockton in the population rankings.

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