STOCKTON (CBS13) — Excitement is building in the City of Stockton following Governor Newsom's proposed state budget. The budget includes $2 million to explore the possibility of building a California State University campus in Stockton.
Mayor Michael Tubbs says Stockton is the largest city in the state without a public university in close proximity. Tubbs said the new campus would bring new jobs and other economic benefits, but students CBS13 talked to said there are other advantages as well.
Edgar Benavitez is studying criminal justice at San Joaquin Delta College in Stockton. He's planning to transfer to Sacramento State to get his bachelor degree but isn't looking forward to the long drive.
"It would be about an hour or an hour and a half depending on the commute or the traffic," said Benavitez.
He said he wants to become a police officer in Stockton police officer and supports the idea of building a new Cal State University in Stockton.
"I mean, it would be a good idea to create a university here or a big campus so people save money, instead of transferring over and moving away," he said.
In a joint news conference in Stockton Thursday, Tubbs and Assemblymember Susan Eggman announced Newsom's budget proposal for the new CSU campus.
Tubbs and Eggman said a Stockton campus would shorten commute times for students, generate jobs in the community, and increase the number of people with a four-year degree in the region.
"I'm a first generation graduate myself, I know how transformative a college education can be and I know if you can't see it, you can't be it.," Eggman said.
Tubbs and Eggman said they felt confident that a new campus will eventually be built in Stockton, and if the budget is approved, work can get underway within the next 10 years.
CSU Stanislaus has a separate campus in Stockton which opened in 1974. The campus offers courses with full academic credit, allowing many students to take courses without commuting to the main campus in Turlock.
Enrollment at the Stockton campus has been growing according to university leaders. Enrollment was up 17 percent from 2017. Around 800 students count the campus as their home site, which accounts for 8 percent of the university's total enrollment.
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