CSU Channel Islands (visited 1/16/14)
The newest of the CSU campuses (it opened in 2002) – and also the 2nd largest in area (with 1800 acres) – Channel Islands had been a state mental hospital until 1997! “Prisons, hospitals, and schools all have the same architecture,” said one of the reps. CSUCI currently enrolls about 5000 undergraduates, and is one of the only CSUs with spring admission because they have the ok to increase enrollment. Students with a 3.0 GPA are admitted regardless of SAT scores.
The campus feels fairly remote, nestled into farm country near the coast along the Santa Monica Mountains. However, they really aren’t that far from LA (or Santa Barbara). Students are also not isolated. Students are all welcome to bring cars (parking costs $160 for the year), or they can get a Ventura County bus pass for $25 per semester. The town of Camarillo has a lot to do, including festivals, movies, hiking, kayaking, outlet stores and restaurants. Students can also use MetroLink from Camarillo to get into LA or Amtrak to go to Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, LA, or San Diego.
It’s a beautiful campus filled with Spanish-style architecture; check out their YouTube Introduction. Freshmen dorms are along one side of the large housing quad; even freshmen here get suites. The Town Center housing unit is for upperclassmen and is located behind the library. There are some apartments with kitchens; those students get a reduced meal-plan. South Quad is a popular hang-out spot. It’s also home to lots of traditions including graduation, giant Capture the Flag games, and DolphinPalooza, a community event held in April. There’s live music, food trucks, games, rides, etc.
None of the 23 majors are impacted except for nursing. Biology, Liberal Studies, and PoliSci are popular here. Biology students can complete a concentration in Medical Imaging. There are only 2 lecture halls on campus with 100 or more seats in them; the faculty to student ratio is 25:1.