Be a Future-Ready University

In preparation for BEACH 2030, thousands of staff, faculty, students, and community members were introduced to “Futures Thinking.” The enthusiasm generated from this collective process is the fuel that will maintain momentum into the decade. 

Integrate Futures Thinking into Organizational Culture 

Slowing student growth

Faculty, staff, and members of the COE Action Plan Task Force have had the opportunity to practice “futures thinking” as part of the BEACH 2030 strategic planning process, which began in 2018 and continues to this day. Imagining the issues and opportunities facing COE in 2030 has proven an interesting exercise in evaluating data and extrapolating the results from changing demographics and technological advances. 

The goals for COE’s Beach 2030 Action Plans have been established, and will be communicated via printed report, webpage, and Action Plan Task Force presentations during COE’s Fall 2022 Convocation Retreat. The achievement of milestones for these goals will be communicated to stakeholders as they are reached. 

Recommended Actions: 

  • Develop goals and milestones for Beach 2030 Action Plans. 

  • Communicate and celebrate Beach 2030 actions and outcomes to all stakeholders. 

Develop COE’s Capacity for Strategic Foresight 

CSULB officials have developed “future-thinking” training, and some university personnel have received it. COE would like to take advantage of the university training for college leadership and student organization leaders to develop COE’s capacity for strategic foresight. 

Recommended Actions: 

  • Obtain CSULB futures-thinking training for college leadership and the heads of student organizations. 

  • Evaluate incorporating futures thinking into new or existing curricula for students. 

Future Considerations for COE 

Amid changing demographics and declining high school graduates, the COE will likely need to compete more strongly for future students over the next decade. There will be a 15 percent drop in the college-age population between 2025-2029 in California and the United States. In addition, some students are questioning whether the value of a degree is worth the cost. Although applications for our programs remain high, the admissions yield rate has been decreasing. These are all signs that we must ensure timely and excellent programs, invest in outreach to groups that have been historically underserved in the COE, and articulate the power that comes with a degree from our programs. At the same time, artificial intelligence (AI) and the rise of the metaverse are poised to radically alter the job market. The metaverse, which is forecast to grow to a $12.46 trillion market by 2030, is expected to spur demand for new types of engineers, such as those with experience in AR/VR, UI/UX, blockchain, and security. 

According to a report by PriceWaterhouseCoopers, education may provide a modest hedge against AI job losses. AI will result in the elimination of up to 50 percent of jobs held by those with low levels of education, but only 10 percent of jobs held by those with high levels of education, according to PwC.  


  • Futures Thinking Training The COE held a retreat on January 10-11, 2023 to provide training on Futures Thinking. All tenure line faculty in the COE were invited to attend, and it was attended by 24. The retreat was led by the Institute for Futures Thinking, and centered around ideation for Shared COE Labs of the Future.
  • Metaverse The Provost’s Office spearheaded a Metaverse Convening on March 10, 2023, with collaboration from the Colleges of Engineering, Health and Human Services, and Liberal Arts, as well as the Division of Academic Technology. AR/VR capability is developing within the COE, and we will be monitoring signals and drivers to best steward this initiative forward. 

Last updated: Aug. 8, 2023

Student using VR equipment