Viasat and CSUSM Partner to Launch North County’s First Engineering Program

March 15, 2018

It’s no secret that Carlsbad’s innovative companies need a continuous flow of talented engineers to continue to innovate and succeed. Recognizing that need and moving to help ensure there are  skilled professionals in the local workforce, Viasat recently invested $1.5 million in Cal State San Marcos (CSUSM) to launch its engineering program, thus becoming the program’s founding partner. The program (pending approval from the Chancellor) will build upon the success of CSUSM’s College of Science and Math. This year, the College will offer a Bachelor of Science degree in software engineering, with a degree in electrical engineering expected in fall of 2019.

A 2015 engineering feasibility study, conducted on behalf of CSUSM, found that the university’s existing curricula and faculty expertise makes them a prime candidate to develop engineering talent for local industries and help bridge local staffing gaps. The College of Science and Math has shown continuous growth since 2010, particularly in Computer Science, Bio and BioTech.

“Viasat’s contribution will allow us to develop an agile, resilient and inclusive workforce of engineers for the future of our region,” said Katherine Kantardjieff, dean of the College of Science and Math. “Their continued involvement will help us build and sustain a rigorous program of study and meaningful learning experiences that will create opportunities for our students – and support the local innovation economy.”

The contribution made by Viasat, and its employees, will be used to create the “Viasat Engineering Pavilion” with classroom and lab space, as well as new equipment and instruments.

“This is an exciting partnership as it will help create new opportunities for future generations of engineers, and enable the development of new innovations that can potentially change the world,” said Simon Kuo, Vice President of Viasat. “Our team believes in the local community and providing students with opportunities to find success when pursuing engineering careers.”

CSUSM serves a unique and underserved student population. More than half of the university’s graduates are the first in their families to earn a degree. The university also serves a large number of military veterans in the community. Of those that have earned a degree from the College of Science and Math, 65 percent choose to live and work in the San Diego region. The engineering program will prepare students coming on board this fall to become contributors to the local workforce in a few short years.

CSUSM is looking for additional partners to sponsor this exciting new program. If you’re interested in participating, contact Jocelyn Wyndham, director of major gifts, [email protected].