California Lutheran University will welcome its largest and most diverse freshman class in the coming week.
About 610 freshmen, a nearly 10 percent increase from last year, are expected. For the first time, more than half of the first-year students are in ethnic groups that are traditionally underrepresented on college campuses. New international undergraduates hail from 14 countries including Australia, Burma, Honduras and Romania.
The freshmen and about 230 transfer students will start arriving on campus Friday to move into residence halls and begin the five-day New Student Orientation. They will participate in many longstanding traditions like painting the Cal Lutheran rocks on Mount Clef Ridge. For the first time, the President’s Welcome on Friday evening will feature a live Twitter feed. On Tuesday, more than 600 new students will remove invasive plants from the Ventura River bottom for the annual You Got Served program. Traditional undergraduate classes begin Wednesday.
The Bachelor’s Degree for Professionals program will begin piloting new blended courses when it starts Wednesday. Designed to meet working adults’ need for flexibility, the classes will alternate weekly between a traditional face-to-face format and online activities including pre-recorded lectures and instructor-led discussion boards and wikis.
Most of the roughly 1,275 graduate students, including those in the doctoral program in clinical psychology that just received American Psychological Association accreditation, also begin classes next week. Online MBA students started Aug. 10 and Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary (PLTS) will start Sept. 8 in Berkeley.
When students arrive on the Thousand Oaks campus, they will find that the last of the older residence halls, Mount Clef, has been refurbished and that the lobby of the Pearson Library and Preus-Brandt Forum has been modernized. The Active Learning Classroom, which debuted on a limited basis in spring, will be fully operational. The high-tech classroom can be configured in endless ways, with multiple screens displaying either the instructor’s presentation or what is on a student’s individual computer. Work to turn the former cafeteria and Roth Nelson Room into a student center, which began in early 2015, is nearing completion. It will include a lounge, media room, game tables and student services offices when it opens in November.
With a total enrollment of nearly 4,200 students, Cal Lutheran is based in Thousand Oaks with additional locations in Woodland Hills, Westlake Village, Oxnard, Santa Maria and Berkeley. The university offers programs through its College of Arts and Sciences, School of Management, Graduate School of Education, Graduate School of Psychology and PLTS.