Recent News

Cal Poly Ranks First in the Nation in Study Abroad Survey

Nov 15, 2021

Institute of International Education shares data on first day on International Education Week

SAN LUIS OBISPO — Cal Poly sent the most students on study abroad experiences among master’s-level institutions, according to the Institute of International Education’s annual statistical survey of U.S. campuses for the 2019-20 academic year released today in celebration of International Education Week.

"Study abroad at Cal Poly remains an integral aspect of our students’ degree programs and reflects the global mindset of our students, faculty and staff,” said Cari Vanderkar, Cal Poly’s senior international officer and assistant vice provost for international programs. “We are thrilled by the ranking and look forward to our continued strong participation in study abroad and international education generally as the world navigates out of the pandemic.”

Since 2000, Cal Poly has ranked as a top sender in the nation among master’s-level universities for internationally bound students.

In 2019-20 year, the most current numbers available, Cal Poly sent 863 students abroad to 46 nations (including some multi-country programs). Participation was through Winter 2020, as study abroad was suspended worldwide in March 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2018-19, Cal Poly sent more than 1,200 students abroad. Study abroad resumed in Fall 2021, with around 150 Cal Poly students currently abroad.

In the past two decades, the university also has ranked in the top 10 among those who study abroad for long-term (an academic year). For mid-length programs, which run for a semester or a quarter, Cal Poly ranked first in the nation for the third straight year with 786 participants. It has ranked in the top eight since 2004-05.

International Education Week (IEW), Nov.15-19, celebrates the benefits of international education and exchange worldwide. This joint initiative of the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Education promotes programs that prepare Americans for a global environment and attract future leaders from abroad to study, learn, and exchange experiences.

Cal Poly is celebrating International Education Week with a host of events to provide opportunities for the campus community to learn more about study abroad, international perspectives and participate in educational and cultural programming. A full list of events is available at

Cal Poly’s vision for internationalization is to provide foundational experiential learning, teaching, service and scholarship opportunities at home and abroad that will best equip graduates and the campus community at large to solve complex global challenges sustainably, ethically and inclusively.

The Institute of International Education is the leading not-for-profit educational and cultural exchange organization in the U.S. It has conducted the Open Doors Report annual survey since 1919, and since the early 1970s, it has been aided by support from the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Open Doors surveys about 2,000 U.S. universities and colleges with study abroad programs.

About Open Doors

Open Doors is published by the Institute of International Education, which has conducted an annual statistical survey on international students in the U.S. since its founding in 1919 and in partnership with the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs since 1972. Open Doors also reports on the number of international scholars at U.S. universities and international students enrolled in pre-academic intensive English programs. Additional details on the Open Doors 2018 surveys and findings are on the Open Doors website. 

About the Institute of International Education

IIE works to build more peaceful and equitable societies by advancing scholarship, building economies and promoting access to opportunity. As a not-for-profit with 18 offices and affiliates worldwide, IIE collaborates with a range of corporate, government and foundation partners across the globe to design and manage scholarship, study abroad, workforce training and leadership development programs.

About the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs

The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs builds relations between the people of the U.S. and the people of other countries through academic, cultural, sports, professional and private exchanges, as well as public-private partnerships and mentoring programs. These exchange programs improve foreign relations and strengthen U.S. national security, support U.S. international leadership, and provide a broad range of domestic benefits by helping break down barriers that often divide us. ECA sponsors the flagship Fulbright Program, the Benjamin A. Gilman Scholarships for U.S. undergraduates with financial need, the Critical Language Scholarship Program in support of U.S. foreign language study abroad, and the EducationUSA network of more than 400 advising centers worldwide.

Cal Poly’s yakʔitʸutʸu Residential Community Earns LEED Gold Certification

Nov 12, 2021

exterior of housing complexstudent housing building with Chumash name

SAN LUIS OBISPO — Cal Poly’s newest residential community has earned Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification for being inclusive, healthy and efficient, and home to cost-saving green building features.

Located off Grand Avenue and opened to students in September of 2018, the $198 million yakʔitʸutʸu residential community includes seven three- to five-story residential buildings, containing a total of 1,475 beds, and an adjacent four-level parking structure — all of which were designed and built with social and environmental sustainability as a primary objective. The complex also celebrates the yak titʸu titʸu yak tiłhini language, land, people, history and future.

Cal Poly Launches Campus Shuttle Program

Nov 2, 2021

SAN LUIS OBISPO — Cal Poly community members in need of a ride across campus have a new option: Mustang Shuttle, a free convenience shuttle service that gives students and employees a ride on campus in the evenings.
“We are pleased to offer this service to help our campus community members access different parts of campus a little more easily, especially after dark,” said Marlene Cramer, director of the university’s Transportation and Parking Services. “This is part of our continual effort to improve services and access around campus.”
Transportation and Parking Services partnered with SLO Safe Ride to provide shuttle service seven days a week. The service launched Monday, Nov. 1.

Cal Poly Honored Again as a Tree Campus by Arbor Day Foundation

Nov 2, 2021

Cal Poly faculty member Matt Ritter with students holding Tree Campus USA sign in front of trees on Cal Poly's campus.
SAN LUIS OBISPO — Cal Poly has been again named a Tree Campus that recognizes that trees and green space make colleges and universities more livable and healthy for students and beautiful for the community, the Arbor Day Foundation announced.
The 2020 award (the foundation honors campuses for their previous year’s commitment) recognizes Cal Poly’s best practices in managing one of the largest university urban forests in the nation and the most diverse in the 23-campus California State University. Cal Poly has received the honor for the seventh consecutive year.

Cal Poly Symphony to Present ‘Gabrielian Plays Shostakovich’ on Dec. 3

Nov 2, 2021

Tanya GabrielianSAN LUIS OBISPO — The Cal Poly Symphony returns to performing live for an in-person audience for its fall concert at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 3, in Miossi Hall in the Performing Arts Center’s Christopher Cohan Center. 
For the concert, titled “Gabrielian Plays Shostakovich,” the symphony welcomes guest soloist Tanya Gabrielian, hailed by the London Times as “a pianist of powerful physical and imaginative muscle,” to perform Shostakovich’s Piano Concerto No. 2. An acclaimed soloist, Gabrielian has performed with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Royal Scottish National Orchestra and Boston Pops, among others.

Cal Poly Choirs to Present Fifth Annual ‘Holiday Kaleidoscope’ on Dec. 4

Nov 2, 2021

 SAN LUIS OBISPO — The Cal Poly Choirs will be back live and in person with the fifth annual “Holiday Kaleidoscope” at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 4, in Miossi Hall of the Performing Arts Center.
Continuing the tradition of community collaboration, the choirs will be joined by the Cabrillo High School Madrigal Singers, directed by Cal Poly alumna Jennifer Peterson (Music, '95), and the San Luis Obispo High School Chamber Choir directed by Rick Robbins.

Cal Poly’s Mustang Media Group Takes Home 28 National Awards

Oct 28, 2021

SAN LUIS OBISPO — Cal Poly’s Mustang Media Group took home 28 national awards at the 2021 virtual ceremonies of the Associated College Press (ACP) and the College Media Association (CMA).

Despite the challenges of a virtual year, the Cal Poly Journalism Department’s student-run integrated media organization continues to produce innovative and creative stories, powerful campaigns and compelling journalism.

Of the 28 total awards, 16 were individual, including advertising, video, digital, print and broadcast journalism. The organization received three first-place awards, four second-place, two third-place, five fourth-place, one sixth-place, one 10th-place, and three honorable mentions from ACP.  Among these awards, eight of the 16 were in the Best of Show Category.

Cal Poly Names UC San Diego Executive as New Vice President of University Development and Alumni Engagement

Oct 26, 2021

 Zachary Smith will also serve as CEO of Cal Poly Foundation
Zachary SmithSAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. — Cal Poly today announced Zachary Smith, executive director of development for the Jacobs School of Engineering at the University of California San Diego, as its new vice president of University Development and Alumni Engagement and CEO of the Cal Poly Foundation.
Smith, who will start at Cal Poly on December 20, 2021, brings extensive higher education, nonprofit management, and fundraising experience to this role. In addition to his time at UC San Diego, he also has previous fundraising and leadership experience at California Western School of Law, Portland State University, as well as the Palomar Health Foundation.

Cal Poly Partners with PPI to Offer Industrialized Construction Certificate Program

Oct 19, 2021

Register Now for Education and Certification in Industrialized Construction

SAN LUIS OBISPO — Cal Poly’s Construction Management Department and California Center for Construction Education have teamed up with the Project Production Institute, a San Francisco-based policy group, to offer a certification program in modern construction management production concepts.

Cal Poly will host the first class, “Offsite Fabrication Done Right,” Dec. 2-3 at its Construction Innovation Center (Building No. 186). The first course is part of the Industrialized Construction Certificate Program, which is geared toward specialty contractors, general contractors, owners, construction managers, architects, engineers, and materials suppliers.

Cal Poly Fall Jazz Concert Celebrating CD Release Set for Nov. 12

Oct 15, 2021

SAN LUIS OBISPO — After more than a year of virtual music making, Cal Poly’s jazz groups will return to in-person concertizing at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 12, in the Pavilion of the Performing Arts Center.
The Cal Poly Jazz Ensemble, Vocal Jazz Ensemble and Contemporary Jazz Ensemble will be joined by the new Commercial Music Ensemble, which performs rock, Motown, funk, modern pop, video game music, and other styles of popular music from a jazz perspective. Arthur White, director of jazz studies, directs the groups.
The concert will celebrate both the return of live concerts and the release of the double album “another time, another place,” which was recorded during the pandemic from students’ homes. 


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