Inclusive Excellence

The College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics (CNSM) is committed to fostering a scientific community that is equitable, diverse, and inclusive.

Our efforts in this area take many forms:

Student Research Programs

We have several student research programs that enhance access to faculty mentors, networking events, and funding opportunities for underserved and underrepresented students.

Bridges to the Doctorate

The Bridges to the Doctorate training program partners with University of California, Irvine to produce a seamless and supportive bridge to the Ph.D. for underrepresented and underserved graduate students interested in biomedical research careers. The program activities are designed to strengthen students' academic preparation, research training, and professional skills. M.S. students will complete a two-year Master's degree program at CSULB that culminates in the defense of a Master's research thesis.

Funded by NIH.

Building Infrastructure Leading to Diversity

The Building Infrastructure Leading to Diversity (BUILD) program offers intensive research training opportunities for undergraduate students interested in pursuing a career in health-related research. BUILD is an innovative, culturally-responsive, and transformative student training program that addresses barriers to success. The program creates rigorous health-related training and mentorship opportunities for underrepresented students to become outstanding research scientists.

Funded by NIH.

Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation

The goal of the Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (LSAMP) program is to enhance math and science skills for minority students majoring in science, technology, mathematics, and engineering to enable them to successfully complete their academic degree program towards careers in the STEM disciplines.

Funded by NSF.

Undergraduate Research Training Initiative for Student Enhancement

The Undergraduate Research Training Initiative for Student Enhancement (U-RISE) program is funded through a grant from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The program aims to increase diversity in future scientific and biomedical research by identifying students interested in pursuing research as a career and by providing training opportunities to be competitive for entering graduate programs.

Funded by NIH.

Student Support Services

Through the Jensen Student Access to Science and Math Center (SAS), we are dedicated to educating current and prospective students and their family members about the assortment of student support services and career development resources offered at California State University Long Beach; these resources are designed to encourage overall student participation and success at the University.

Online Tutoring

The Jensen SAS Center provides free tutoring for all science and math students in a variety of lower- and upper-division courses. Tutoring is offered both in-person and online (via Zoom) to provide access to a broader population of students.

Peer Mentors

The SAS Peer Mentors program helps introduce first-year students to effective study, time management, and organizational strategies by connecting them with upperclass students who serve as mentors. These Peer Mentors are selected from a diverse set of backgrounds to ensure that new students can see someone with whom they identify succeeding in a science or math discipline.

During the summer the Jensen SAS Center offers the Shark Buddies program, an optional networking and mentoring opportunity for incoming freshmen. Participants are paired with a Peer Mentor; throughout the summer, the pair can chat one-on-one about topics such as what to expect in the first semester to non-academic topics such as what show they are binge watching; the goal is to give incoming freshmen the feeling that when they start the semester, they are already part of the community.

Health Professions Advising Office

The Health Professions Advising Office (HPAO) provides a wide range of advising and support services designed to meet the needs of CSULB students as they navigate through the often-complex process of preparation and application to a health professional program. Each year the HPAO organizes a "Health Professions Fair" on the CSULB campus, where students can meet a variety of representatives from health professional schools from around the country. The event is especially beneficial for students who would otherwise not be able to tour out-of-state schools.

HPAO also offers needs-based scholarships for a test preparation course. The scholarship is designed to help low-income students who are preparing for the MCAT, DAT, OAT, or PCAT.

Student Support Initiatives

The following programs offer underserved and underrepresented students with support opportunities, which can include training, tutoring, social events, and outreach to families of first-generation students.

APS/Google Bridge Program

The APS/Google Bridge Program prepares Master's students to pursue a Ph.D. in physics. The students joining the program are identified as having a strong potential and drive to succeed, but have not had access to the right opportunities to prepare for entry into a Ph.D. program. All students are welcome to apply but the program especially targets students from the populations that are underrepresented in physics.

In addition to the financial support provided by the program, APS Bridge students can also receive financial support through the Google Bridge Fellowship.

Funded by the American Physical Society (APS) and Google Inc. Supported by the Physics and Astronomy Department.

Cal-Bridge Program

The Cal-Bridge Program is a CSU-UC partnership designed for California State University (CSU) students interested in pursuing a Ph.D. in physics, astronomy, computer science, computer engineering, or related fields. The program utilizes research-validated selection methods to identify students from underrepresented groups who display strong socioemotional competencies along with academic potential. Cal-Bridge Scholars are provided with the support necessary to successfully matriculate to a Ph.D. program, ideally at a University of California (UC) campus.

Supported by the Physics and Astronomy Department.

College Corps @ the Beach

At CSULB, our College Corps @ the Beach program will work with campus and community partners to place students in two-semester paid internships. Interns placements will focus on key issues related to climate action and environmental justice, food insecurity, and K-12 education with an emphasis on climate literacy. The goal is to create debt-free pathways to college while engaging students in solving problems in their communities. As a reflection of our campus's commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion, and the elimination of educational opportunity gaps, AB540 students, students who are the first in their families to attend college, and students who demonstrate financial need are encouraged to apply.

Funded by California Volunteers, a state office tasked with engaging Californians in service, volunteering, and civic action.

METRIC Scholarship Program

The Mentored Excellence Toward Research and Industry Careers (METRIC) Scholarship Program aims to improve recruitment, retention, and graduation of low-income and academically-talented students from communities unrepresented in the physical sciences and mathematics to prepare them to be the next generation of scientific leaders in their communities.

Funded by NSF.

Faculty Support Initiatives

It is important to provide comprehensive support to faculty so that they can, in turn, provide stronger support to students. The College has developed the following programs and initiatives to create more inclusive environments for mentoring, teaching, and research.

Beach Mentor Program

The Beach Mentor Program is part of a larger mentor training program, Advancing Inclusive Mentoring (AIM). The overarching goals of AIM are to provide a variety of engaging training resources for faculty and staff members at CSULB to promote student success through positive and inclusive mentoring. Because student involvement in high impact practices such as internships and research, scholarly, and creative activities boost student success, particularly when associated with strong mentorship, learning the best practices for mentoring is a critical component of facilitating student success.

The Beach Mentor modules not only cover critical topics such as social justice mentoring and issues of equity, combating discrimination and culturally-aware mentoring, they also help to define the broad role(s) of an undergraduate mentor. The Beach Mentor Program shares key mentoring practices that, when used by faculty and staff members, aims to help students on campus feel welcomed, empowered, supported, and geared for success.

Faculty Equity Advocates

Faculty Equity Advocates work together with leadership to recognize and foster ways to make more inclusive environments for our faculty to succeed, both in the classroom and in their research. The Faculty Equity Advocates also serve as advisors for search committees to recruit, interview, and recommend new faculty who share the CSULB values of equity, inclusion, diversity, and educating a diverse student body.

Faculty Learning Community

The CNSM Faculty Learning Community (FLC) is faculty development project that provides faculty members with the tools, support, and networks needed to enhance and innovate their teaching. Faculty members in CNSM know that to have successful graduates in science and math, we must engage all students in our classrooms with student-centered, effective, inquiry- and research-based teaching. As part of reaching our goal of inclusive teaching across the college, we have created and continues to develop a community of teacher/scholars who think critically not only about their field of research, but also about the effectiveness and impact of their teaching on learning for all students in their courses.

Course Design

We strive to create learning environments where all students feel respected and valued for their differences. The following are a sample of the courses designed with that goal front and center.

Introduction to Scientific and Spatial Reasoning - SCED 100

In this course students develop essential and critical thinking skills that help them ‘think outside of the box’ and recognize the role of spatial reasoning, perception, and creativity in the practices of science. The course was developed to cater to the specific characteristics and needs of underrepresented groups in STEM (ethnic and racial minorities as well as women in STEM) as cited in research literature. Although anyone can take the class, the class is designed for culturally-relevant and responsive pedagogy for Hispanics, African Americans, and women.

Freshmen Experience Success - NSCI 190A

This course is a one-credit, asynchronous course that the majority of the first-year CNSM students take during their Fall semester. Like most first-year seminars, there is a focus on academic skill development and social transition to the University. This course is especially helpful to first-generation college students as it provides access to staff, faculty, and upperclass mentors who can serve as resources during their college journeys. A main goal of this course is to help students begin to build a STEM identity and a sense of belonging within the University. The course’s module choices include topics related to race and gender in science and math.

Environmental Sustainability and Social Justice - ES P 450

This is an upper-division curriculum highlight in the Environmental Science and Policy program. The course, taught as a service-learning course, offers students the opportunity to explore environmental issues that affect their communities through an interdisciplinary lens. The course provides a project-based examination of environmental sustainability challenges and social justice issues. Depending on the semester, the course covers climate justice, social movements, climate resilience, public health, air quality issues, transportation, food/water security, sea level rise, and industrial contamination.

Belongingness Initiatives

Critical to student success is the sense of belonging, where students feel cared about, respected, valued, and accepted by faculty, staff, and other students. The following initiatives support the development of students’ feelings of academic belonging.

Resilience Project

The Resilience Project focuses on personal stories from science and math undergraduates detailing their struggles, their successes, and what they learned along the way. These stories include issues such as being a first-generation college student, coming from a low-income family, dealing with family mental health issues, and being the family’s primary caregiver. The project also provides resources to help students navigate through difficult topics such as imposter syndrome and stereotype threat.

Thrive Event Series

The Thrive Event Series offers opportunities to science and math students for skill building in academic, professional, and personal development. These free workshops include topics such as "First in the Family Panel" and "Like a Boss: Women in Science and Math Panel."

Community Engagement

The College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics also reaches out to the Long Beach and southern California communities.

Hesabu Circle

The Hesabu Circle is a program designed to support and celebrate the mathematical brilliance of peoples of African descent. The program seeks to establish connection and support for the whole community, "from pre-K to post-Doc." Through monthly culturally relevant explorations, as well as a summer "Math-Is-Me" enrichment program, the program provides restoration and inspiration for mathematical identity in the Black community. CSULB students, faculty, and staff play a critical role in the mission of the Circle.

Funded in part by the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics.

Young Scientists Camp

Young Scientists Camp (YSC) provides an exciting summer program that brings students, experienced teachers, future teachers, and science specialists together for two weeks of hands-on exploration, discovery, and fun. The program offers a physical science program for girls entering 9th-12th grades with the aim of encouraging girls to pursue the physical sciences in high school and beyond.

YSC also hosts the SEE US Succeed! Program, two-week summer science camp program that provides hands-on, inquiry-based science investigations for Long Beach Unified K-5th grade students experiencing homelessness.

Supported by the Science Education Department.