By Chris Cauhape |Staff Writer|
“Transforming Our Future” is the tagline celebrating CSUSB’s 50th anniversary.
I am one of the current CSUSB students who was a college student during the 1960s.
After graduating from Central Union High School in El Centro, California, I started attending Imperial Valley College three months later in September of 1963.
I started my college education under the Donahoe Act of 1960, which offered free tuition at any state-funded college to students who had graduated from a California high school.
During that time, a high school diploma was the only requirement to attend any community college. The UC and CSU schools required entrance examinations as well as other criteria.
As the free speech movement began at University of California, Berkeley in 1964, college students all over the country rallied against the war in Vietnam.
The student unrest was blamed on a so-called “generation gap,” which morphed into a political issue.
Ronald Reagan was elected Governor of California in 1966, and he largely owed his political career to the student uprising and backlash of the UC Berkeley movement.
Some historians mark the end of the ’60s as May 4, 1970, when national guardsmen opened fire on students at Kent State in Ohio, killing four.
College in the ’60s was tumultuous, but my most memorable college experience involved President John F. Kennedy.
I lowered the school’s flag to half-staff on that that history-changing November afternoon in 1963 when he was assassinated.
Circumstances required me to take a sabbatical to provide for my family. Then, in the blink of an eye, decades passed, and I came back to college in 2010.
Returning to college required the retrieval of my old records.
When I originally enrolled, records were kept on 3 x 5 index cards. It surprised me that my records had survived the decades and were still intact.
Fortunately, I was given full credit for all the classes that I took so long ago.
The most noticeable change in the human aspect between a half-century ago and now is the switch in the preponderance of men students on the college scene.
In the 60s, men outnumbered women in enrollment by 57 percent to 43 percent. Exactly the opposite is true today, according to the Population Reference Bureau.
Women surpassed men in gaining a college degree in the 1970s and the gap has widened, according to The Huffington Post’s Mathew Lynch.
Fifty years ago, professors preferred typewritten paperwork. They accepted handwritten work, however, if the papers were written ink. Computers and word processors have now made college work so simple, that it often seems enjoyable.
At this point in time, the entire world is at our fingertips.