A Message from the Dean

At the College of Natural Sciences & Mathematics, we transform our students’ experience through innovative classroom instruction, involvement in unique and timely research opportunities, and strong mentorship and advising.

Dr. Marie Johnson, Dean of the CSF College of NSM

As we embark on a new school year, we are focused on building community to support student success – from the beginning to the end of their journeys here.

To give students the very best start possible, we offer summer programs that engage, prepare, and encourage students before they officially join us on campus. Our Summer Stem Academy, ALEKS (Assessment and Learning in Knowledge Spaces) program, and Think Like Einstein course for first-year students all help them develop the critical thinking skills necessary to succeed in science-based college majors and careers.

Data show us, however, that we are most likely to lose students between that first year and their return for their second year. The two biggest predictors that students will not persist to graduation are failing a class in the first year or feeling like they don’t belong at the university. We are dedicated to building that sense of belonging among our students, as well as supporting them academically, by increasing both undergraduate research and peer mentoring opportunities.

Preparing students for their college experience and supporting them so that they persist to graduation are long-term challenges that will not be solved overnight. The keys are to help students learn how to learn, believe in their own potential, and connect with successful mentors who are following a similar path. By doing so, students may be able to see themselves as a budding scientists or mathematicians. That confidence translates into an educational path that launches them into a future they often don’t see for themselves when they enter Cal State Fullerton. This growth can be life-changing for the student and their family.

Providing inspiration, support, and connection will ideally show students they belong at the College of Natural Sciences & Mathematics. It will help them develop their own vision for future success and motivate them to take advantage of every opportunity they have here to prepare to attain advanced degrees and embark on successful careers in science and mathematics.

We are here to transform our students’ educational experiences in ways that will allow them to direct their own lives and successfully navigate the world around them. I am so grateful for the dedication to that mission that our incredible faculty and staff continuously demonstrate, for the support of our donors and partners who allow us to offer the enlightening experiences that show our students they belong, and for the students and alumni who inspire us every day with their innovative spirit and perseverance.

Marie Johnson, Ph.D.
Dean, College of Natural Sciences & Mathematics

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