CSUSB Alert: Power is out on the San Bernardino Campus

An unplanned regional power outage impacting the San Bernardino campus occurred shortly after 2 p.m; all operations will be closed the rest of today. Normal operations will resume Thursday.

Facilities Management will monitor the situation and respond to campus building issues once power is restored. 

Main Content Region

Summit Theme

“El Plan de San Bernardino:  Transnationalism, Academic Mobility, and the Reframing of Education"

Lea la versión en español - Tema.

In 2022, the United States and México celebrated 200 years of diplomatic relations, although the much broader scope of relations between the two countries extends way beyond official and diplomatic relations.  Our relations encompass extensive cultural, commercial - trade, and educational exchange, in addition to hundreds of thousands of people who cross the border daily.

By intersecting histories, shared geography, and cultural / familial ties, the two countries are each other's closest and most valued neighbors and partners.  Whether the issue is climate change, or public health, human trafficking, entrepreneurship, trade and economic development, education exchange, citizen security, drug control, migration, technical innovation, or environmental protections.

LEAD Summit XIII, though, will address Education as the principal issue by which we choose to frame our bilateral relationship; and for the purposes of this thematic explanation, we share two ways to view and consider Education; and the process and content of Education. First, Education should be viewed as a right, not a privilege; and second, Education should be viewed as an investment.

In short, the U.S. and Mexico should collaborate, officially, to better plan its shared mutual future by undertaking far-reaching binational and transnational interventions that expand and promote academic mobility, the education marketplace, and equitable advancement and opportunity for all.

Creating a positive future will require a reframing of Education, Citizenship and Belonging, to where post-traditional and transnational students and global citizens must be; 

  • equipped to compete in a global economy;
  • part of a literate and well-educated labor and consumer base;
  • a pool of linguistic and cultural talent that would serve to strengthen ties;
  • significant component of a highly productive work and business force that contributes to the tax base and therefore the economic well-being; and
  • poised to participate and shape the political landscape on both sides of the border through voting and civic engagement.

El Plan de San Bernardino

  1. Define educational projects of academic extension and collaboration based on the proposals and discussions held at binational higher education meetings;
  2. Promote long-term educational and cultural exchange programs through networks of higher education institutions, researchers, teachers, legislators and students on both sides of the international border; and
  3. Promote research, teaching and dissemination of factors related to the migration of Mexicans, their insertion into society, their economic and cultural contributions to both countries, the Latino education crisis, and the barriers and role transnationals play at the global level.

Summit Strands

In the U.S., Latinos play a crucial role in the U.S. economy and currently account for a $1 trillion market, despite being challenged by lower-paying jobs, less education, and the bias they face. Overall, U.S. Latinos account for the fastest-growing portion of US GDP. If we considered Latinos as their own country, it would be third only to the GDP growth rate of China and India in the past decade.  Latinos make just 73 cents for every dollar earned by White Americans. They face discrimination when it comes to securing financing to start and scale businesses. Latinos struggle with access to food, housing, and other essentials. And their level of household wealth - which directly affects their ability to accumulate and pass on wealth from generation to generation - is just one-fifth that of White Americans. Furthermore, both COVID-19 and high inflation have had a disproportionate impact on Latino lives and livelihoods.

This is but the latest indicator of inequity in how Latinos are disproportionately pumping more value into the U.S. economy yet are continually short-changed when it comes to adequate funding and support for education. One puzzle piece of the Latino education crisis makes it more urgent than ever to understand the barriers and role Latinos play in the U.S. and to undertake far-reaching interventions that promote equitable advancement and opportunity. That is, structural and practical economic interventions (such as better compensation and reskilling for workers, increasing access to capital, and financial inclusion) would not only support Latinos to consolidate their economic significance in the United States — closing the gaps, but hold massive gains for society as a whole.

The pandemic laid bare many inequities, as it also showed the benefits of education. Highly educated workers were much more likely to work from home and less likely to have lost their jobs. Latinos have the lowest educational-attainment levels of any race or ethnicity in the U.S.; they were also the least likely to telecommute, and many risked their health and that of their families by continuing to work on-site. Investing early and consistently toward college degree completion improves Latino labor market prospects and social integration. If Latinos were fully and equitably included in the U.S. economy, gains for the broader society could be tremendous. If we follow through with new lines of educational exchange, a more equitable treatment for Latinos will strengthen and improve U.S. society for all. Latinos are a bridge to a post-Pandemic future, as well as a post-Pandemic economy. As the growth population, what happens to Latinos in education and in the workforce development has profound and significant implications for everyone, whether or not they are in that population.

Population growth among Hispanics/Latinos has been a major source of increasing ethnic and racial diversity, not just in California but in the United States overall. However, diversity within the Hispanic population is frequently obscured by the tendency to lump all Latinos together. Mexicans by far constitute a majority or plurality of Latinos, and diversity levels and structures have remained relatively stable over time. The current ongoing decline and defunding of Education is unfortunately taking place at the time that Chicana/o, Mexican, Mexican-origin transnationals and post-traditional students across both sides of the border are a super-majority.

As an example, in addition to the state of California enjoying strong ties with international markets due to its proximity to México which allows for increased global trade opportunities, there is consensus as to why California is the 5th largest economy in the world, due to its most significant investment made in the 1960’s.  With the creation of, arguably, the best public higher education system in the world, the Master Plan for Higher Education created a three-tiered system of higher education that provided a place in college for any Californian seeking the opportunity. Unarguably, investments in higher education is what catapulted California into its world leadership and its Growth Domestic Product. Although the CA Master Plan never fully served its Chicano/Latino/Mexican students, what is even more certainly true today is that its design no longer reflects the current economic and workforce demands, as it has further led to the uneven degree attainment and income inequality we currently experience.

As we continue to face the current waves of post-traditional students entering higher education, it would be a mistake to waiver from the commitment to universal access to higher education. For today’s global economy, both the U.S. and Mexico need additional college graduates and a more ambitious plan to help us meet the imperatives of the current era. To remain globally competitive and meet workforce demands, we must make certain that college preparation and opportunities are provided in a more equitable way. 

Although both countries have done well to focus on addressing socio-economic disparities, improving access, quality, and equity in their respective domestic education systems, the increasingly needed focus on internationalization has so far been relatively limited compared to other areas. Despite major institutional efforts carried out by higher education institutions across both countries to foster greater internationalization of their academic programs, their campuses, foster collaboration with global partners, and promote cross-cultural learning opportunities for students and faculty alike, the various governmental sectors to date have not done nearly enough to actively promote a comprehensive agenda for internationalization in its education systems across the U.S. / Mexico border.

Expanding on the concept of Megaregion, the U.S. and Mexico are an inevitability where two neighbors' proximity tend to be greatly and deeply tied, in namely economic and deep cultural links. It was 1994's North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) that accelerated the commercialization of the megaregion, particularly its specialization in advanced manufacturing. The current scenario of Southern California - U.S. and Baja California Norte - Mexico is a working example of how an integrated North American economy creates opportunity on both sides of the border. Each side ensures a steady migration of labor and skills.

However, if we have governmental agreements over Trade, why not have similar agreements over Education? To move beyond the margins, a new plan is necessary, one that moves toward a solutions-based bilateral relationship of mutual respect, collaboration, development, and research. As a placeholder, we are calling this “El Plan de San Bernardino”. What is needed is for this framework to structure ideas about and can include the goals set for community development. One that disrupts and reframes the definitions of the public good, the narratives around the definitions of citizenship that create wider distinctions than before between the "deserving" or "super-" citizen, and the undeserving or "sub-" citizen.

Undocumented students and immigrants continually face barriers in accessing and obtaining an education. More must be done to ensure their student success, particularly a postsecondary degree. The anti-immigration and anti-Latino agenda of the former administration and its impact on education made this issue of paramount concern. We must pay special attention to the differentiated rights of different groups. We need to better illuminate and elaborate on the educational conditions of this student population, as these learners exemplify, respond to, expand, and disrupt the definitions and debates around the bounds of citizenship, citizenry, rights, deportation, and belonging that are based on socio-economic conditions, systemic prejudices, and other hegemonic frameworks. In this reality of Latino Transnationalism, the concept of the nation-state is increasingly less relevant as an organizing principle of social interaction. One's unified social world is made up of multiple attachments that can stretch and transgress across borders.

Very recently, the U.S. Department of Education's Office of English Language Acquisition rolled out the new “Being Bilingual is a Superpower,” initiative. In the letter to families, educators, and leaders from U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona, he doubles down on the U.S. Department of Education’s “Raise the Bar: Lead the World” call to action to transform education and unite around what works - based on decades of experience and research - to advance educational equity and excellence. As part of the Raise the Bar efforts to create pathways for global engagement, the Department is working to provide every student with a pathway to multilingualism while ensuring equitable access to a high-quality education for students who are English Learners (ELs), who historically have been underserved. The number of people in the U.S. who speak a language other than English at home has nearly tripled over the last three decades, and its economy is becoming ever more globally connected. We must do all we can to improve learning environments and increase access to high-quality language programs so that they, along with all students, have the opportunity to become multilingual.

Leaders in education, workforce development, and economic development must also work collaboratively with leaders of education systems and employers — along with legislative partners and stakeholders representing diverse students, parents, education professionals, labor, business, and community groups — to further develop pathways in Career Education.  Accessing and broadening employment opportunities and economic mobility strengthen career pathways, prioritize hands-on learning and real-life skills, and advance universal access and affordability through streamlined collaboration and partnership across government and the private sector. It can benefit workers who want to get into good paying jobs and presents the opportunity for economic mobility by reimagining the way we think about how learning and education connect to jobs. As the intersecting economies of the U.S.- Mexico megaregion evolve and unmet need grows for various types of skilled labor in the trades, green energy, and healthcare sectors, a new paradigm of career education will prepare learners for the workforce of tomorrow.

Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs) educate a diverse and talented student population, and thus are a seedbed for Global Engagement. HSIs are defined in U.S. federal law as accredited and degree-granting public or private nonprofit institutions of higher education with 25 percent or more total undergraduate Hispanic full-time equivalent student enrollment. A focus on how U.S. institutions can develop and catalyze relationships with institutions and faculty from Mexico and how facilitating low-cost study abroad experiences for both Mexican students to the U.S. and vice versa, potentiates the opportunity for the two countries to share in the development of their respective future leaders. As institutions learn to better understand the potential of student needs and assets and how they impact academic performance and aspirations, integration of this knowledge can lead to higher graduation rates, increased social and cultural capital, and economic prosperity for students on both sides of the border.

Higher Education networks have already allowed institutions to access a broader pool of expertise and resources, increase visibility and impact on a global scale, improve student experiences and outcomes - help them to develop the skills and experiences that are needed to succeed in a globalized world, and a platform for research and innovation - fostering collaboration among researchers and institutions. Advancing international higher education will advance the global learning of post-secondary education organizations through the exchange of information and dialogue, advocacy for international education, professional development, and discovery of new approaches to international education.

Lastly, let's take heed to the calls for internationalization, and the unified effort to provide increased access to higher education. Bilateral collaboration will help us face – and overcome – the challenging headwinds that include declining college enrollment, budget cuts, shifting demographics, growing polarization, and deep skepticism about the value of a degree. Among the many relevant outcomes of such a binational collaboration will enhance the understanding of global issues and world cultures among students, faculty, and staff; enhance curricula by increasing the inclusion of topics and course materials related to global matters; support more faculty in globally focused research; and increase and develop study abroad opportunities. Such will encourage more students-faculty-staff to participate; create a global research learning community; and enhance student participation in globally focused research through scholarships and paid assistantships.