CBU boosts academic efforts, spiritual emphasis

The academic programs at California Baptist University are continuing to stay on the cutting edge because of strategic planning that’s happening in the Provost’s Office.

Dr. DawnEllen Jacobs, vice provost, accreditation liaison officer and professor of English at CBU, works with faculty to mold and provide guidance to the university.

“Our goal at CBU is to be a premier, comprehensive Christian university,” Jacobs said. “And I think that we are there in some senses. We watch the market. We are an opportunity-driven institution. We don’t follow fads. Where we see a niche that is kingdom-led, in a way that will further the kingdom, The Great Commission, we are going to explore that.”

Looking at the curriculum that has been added for the current academic year, CBU takes into consideration a few key elements:

  • What is the public asking for?
  • What are potential students asking for?
  • What can the university put together that will help students fulfill The Great Commission?

“When we started architecture two years ago, that was our No. 1 ask from students,” Jacobs said. “So we did what we needed to do to get that up and running. Mission Aviation Fellowship was extremely excited about (the Aviation program). We have a Mission Aviation Fellowship certificate built into the program that’s an optional element.”

With doctoral programs in nursing, psychology, education and both a master’s and doctoral program in engineering on the books, Jacobs emphasized the importance of undergraduate programs, as well.

“Doctoral programs just aren’t the drivers like these are,” Jacobs said. “At this point, for a university this size… we really have most of what people want.”

Even though CBU is a four-year accredited and baccalaureate-granting institution, the university is looking into accommodating science and nursing students who have completed a significant portion of their degrees but are unable to complete their baccalaureate degrees.

“We have students for life reasons who cannot continue and yet they have 45, 50, 60 units and they walk away with nothing,” Jacobs said. “We could potentially, with an associate degree

in science, capture some of those folks and say, ‘Here, we know you’re going to leave anyway, you can’t continue, baccalaureate isn’t for you, but we can give you an associate’s degree.’”

As technology and market climates change, CBU is poising itself to stay ahead of the curve of what it means to be a Christian university dedicated to The Great Commission. This commitment to The Great Commission encourages CBU to continue academic and spiritual greatness.

“In five to 10 years,” Jacobs said, “We are going to be looking at the market, looking at the demand and looking at the need for ways to spread the gospel creatively and through creative access.”

About Matthew Swope

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