Chancellor's Recent Speeches

Remarks by Dr. Charles B. Reed
Chancellor, California State University
Vietnamese Community Event
Garden Grove, CA
October 5, 2005

Thank you, Milt (Gordon, president of Cal State Fullerton). It is an honor to be here today and I am looking forward to a very positive discussion.

Also I'd like to welcome Cal State Long Beach President Bob Maxson, and Assemblyman Van Tran, whom you will hear from shortly.

Other honored guests with us today include:

  • William Dalton, mayor of Garden Grove;
  • Mark Rosen, mayor pro tem of Garden Grove;
  • Janet Nguyen, council member from Garden Grove;
  • Laura Schwalm, superintendent of Garden Grove schools;
  • Linda Reed, president of the Garden Grove Board of Education;
  • Russell Paris, mayor pro tem of Westminster;
  • Frank Fry, council member from Westminster;
  • Andy Quach, council member from Westminster;
  • And representatives from the offices of Assemblyman Tom Umberg, Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez, and Supervisor Lou Correa.

CSU Impact

We all know how important higher education is to an individual and his or her career path. But higher education also has an important impact on the larger community.

Last fall the California State University released a report on its systemwide impact.

The report gave us solid evidence to show that the CSU and its 23 campuses have a major impact on California and its citizens. Because of what we learned in this report, we can say with confidence:

  • A CSU education helps to empower thousands of individuals in California.
  • A CSU education helps to build better communities in California.
  • The CSU's total economic impact is more than four times greater than the amount of tax dollars the state spends to support us. The CSU more than pays for itself.

The CSU and its Vietnamese Students

Given the benefits of higher education to the individual and the community, it is important to the CSU to extend its reach as far as possible.

The CSU was founded on a mission to provide access for California's students and we have been doing just that for more than 40 years.

The CSU is currently the most diverse higher education system in the country, with more than 53 percent minority students.

Asian-Americans are our second-largest ethnic population, making up 17 percent of our students. We enroll more than 11,000 Vietnamese and Vietnamese American students across the CSU system.

The CSU is also the state's leading institution when it comes to granting degrees to traditionally underrepresented students. In 2002/03, the CSU granted more than half of all undergraduate degrees to California's Latino, African American and Native American students.

Last year, our campuses granted 2,156 undergraduate and graduate degrees to students of Vietnamese descent.

Outreach to Vietnamese Community

We have several systemwide and campus programs through which we are actively working to reach out to members of the Vietnamese community.

For example:

The Asian BCLAD Consortium is a collaborative teacher preparation program to help students who want to teach in communities with primarily Asian language learners and immigrant students. Six Southern California CSU campuses offer special language and cultural programs in Vietnamese, Mandarin, Khmer, Cantonese, Korean, and Tagalog.

The students take credential coursework and then complete the special language and cultural requirements for the language they are targeting.

Cal State Long Beach's High Quality Minority Teacher Preparation Program is an alternative certification program for mid-career professionals from the Vietnamese American and Latino communities. It recruits people, especially those with math and science backgrounds, to become K-12 teachers, with priority for candidates who have prior teaching experience in Vietnam or Mexico.

Cal State Fullerton's College of Communications recently established the Yen N. Do Scholarly Research Fund - a gift of the founder and publisher of Nguoi Viet Daily News - to support faculty research on Vietnamese Americans and Southeast Asians in Southern California.

Also, one of our systemwide outreach efforts to reach younger Vietnamese students is the CSU's "How to Get to College" poster, which gives a step-by-step guide to preparing for college, beginning in middle school. We have a version of this poster in Vietnamese, in addition to English, Spanish, Chinese, and Korean.

Setting the Stage for Discussion

We are proud of our impact as an institution and we believe we are the best at what we do in the country. That said, we still want to do more to reach our underserved communities.

A goal of ours is to expand the pool of eligible Vietnamese students and increase their graduation rates.

One of the most important tools we have to reach high school students is the Early Assessment Program, or EAP.

We developed this test, along with the California Department of Education and the State Board of Education, to help 11th grade students to get an early signal of their math and English/language arts proficiency. The test incorporates the CSU's placement standards into the California Standards Tests for English and math.

If the EAP test shows that that a student needs more work, they can make the most of their 12th grade experience by using that time to brush up on the skills they need for college.

I hope you will join us in encouraging all 11th grade students to take this voluntary test.

Beyond that, we are looking to you for more suggestions on how we can help students:

  • What are the biggest obstacles in helping students get to college?
  • Where are the missing links/Where are students falling through the cracks?
  • What are some successful strategies for reaching students?

We hope that this event will launch an ongoing discussion of how we can help more Vietnamese students along the path to a college degree.

Thank you very much.

It is now my pleasure to introduce Assemblyman Van Tran.

Assemblyman Tran was elected to the State Assembly in November 2004. He made history as the first Vietnamese American to be elected to the state legislature.

Prior to serving in the Assembly, Van was managing partner of his own law practice.

Van completed his bachelor's degree in political science at the University of California, Irvine, and earned both a master's in public administration and a law degree from Hamline University School of Law in Minnesota.

Assemblyman Tran, it is an honor and a privilege to have you here today to help us serve the Vietnamese American community better.

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