San Diego State University and Qualcomm Incorporated (Nasdaq: QCOM) today announced they will form the Qualcomm Institute for Innovation and Educational Success at San Diego State University (SDSU). The institute will be established through a gift of $14.5 million from Qualcomm over the next four years, the largest corporate gift in the university’s history.
The mission of the Qualcomm Institute for Innovation and Educational Success is to identify and address major issues critical to the long-term prosperity of the San Diego region. The Qualcomm Institute will support professional development for teachers, curriculum improvement and institutional transformation in schools throughout San Diego and other parts of the country. The goal is to improve the level of instruction across the educational continuum – supporting teachers and students at K-12 schools, universities and beyond.
“Qualcomm and SDSU are deeply committed to improving our community. This partnership represents a true collaboration, combining our strengths and resources to make a sustainable difference in our region’s educational system,” said Dr. Irwin Mark Jacobs, chairman and CEO of Qualcomm. “We see education as the most powerful tool to enable success for our community, both socially and economically. Partnering with SDSU, a university with a reputation for community development and educational excellence, will ensure that these educational initiatives will have a far-reaching effect throughout San Diego County.”
Qualcomm’s gift will enable the new institute to immediately focus on four key initiatives. The first three aim at developing a more tech-savvy regional workforce via enhanced math and technical education. The fourth initiative will help establish a new center focused on partnering with challenged urban school districts around the nation to improve student performance. The Qualcomm Institute will pursue additional initiatives when other important priorities are identified and funded.
The institute’s current initiatives are:
- $5.5 million to expand the already successful Improving Student Achievement in Mathematics (ISAM) program administered by SDSU’s College of Education. ISAM is designed to improve public school mathematics instruction by enhancing teachers’ subject knowledge and instructional effectiveness.
- $1.4 million to expand SDSU’s involvement in Project Lead The Way. SDSU’s College of Engineering runs the only Project Lead The Way program in California. Project Lead The Way trains middle school and high school teachers to implement problem-based, pre-engineering coursework into their classes and aims to increase students’ interest in pursuing engineering majors in college.
- $2.6 million to accelerate SDSU’s recently launched Information, Communication and Technology (ICT) program across the university’s entire curriculum. The goal of the interdisciplinary ICT program is to eventually equip all SDSU graduates with enhanced skills in applying advanced information technology and working in collaborative decision-making environments.
- $2.4 million to help launch the National Center for Urban School Transformation (NCUST) at SDSU’s College of Education. The NCUST will work to enable public schools to tackle the breadth of issues present in urban classrooms and communities. The Center will serve as a catalyst to support transformation in urban schools across the nation.
“Qualcomm wanted to work together to find a way to make a distinct and widespread contribution to improving our region’s overall quality of life. Soon it became clear that education was the first critical issue we should address,” said SDSU President Stephen L. Weber. “Establishing this institute is yet another example of Qualcomm’s leadership on issues of importance to San Diego.”
Enhancing math and science education has grown into a red-hot national issue in recent years as several prominent international studies have shown American students, especially in the higher grades, falling farther and farther behind their contemporaries abroad in math and science skills. Reversing the trend, said Weber, requires comprehensive and sustained approaches to implementing education reform and those are the kinds of programs the Qualcomm Institute seeks to support.
“This will be the first of many initiatives to help our region,” added Weber. “The Qualcomm Institute will develop a new strategic plan for education in San Diego, one that broadens the traditional scope of literacy to include a much higher level of mathematical and technical skills. These skill sets are essential for San Diego to thrive and prosper, because virtually all professional fields, from business to health care to education, are becoming more dependent on mathematics and technology.”
In addition, Qualcomm is contributing $2.6 million to the President’s Leadership Fund at SDSU, enabling it to invest in other programs on campus that complement the goals of the new institute.
Qualcomm, which has already contributed more than $10 million to SDSU since the early 1990s to support a range of programs, initiated the idea of establishing a more ambitious partnership with SDSU to address regional needs.
As part of this partnership, SDSU has agreed to raise an additional $15.1 million in private support for the four key initiatives. Part of that effort will include hiring the university’s first-ever “Executive-in-Residence” who, as part of his or her duties, will raise awareness of the Institute’s mission and help launch a Corporate Partners Program.
Qualcomm Incorporated (www.qualcomm.com) is a leader in developing and delivering innovative digital wireless communications products and services based on the Company’s Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) digital technology. Headquartered in San Diego, Calif., Qualcomm is included in the S&P 500 Index and is a 2003 FORTUNE 500® company traded on The Nasdaq Stock Market® under the ticker symbol QCOM.
San Diego State University is the oldest and largest institution of higher education in the San Diego region. Founded in 1897, SDSU offers bachelor’s degrees in 79 areas, master’s degrees in 67 and doctorates in 14. SDSU’s more than 33,000 students participate in academic curricula distinguished by direct contact with faculty and an increasing international emphasis that prepares them for a global future. For more information log on to www.sdsu.edu.