Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Cal Poly San Luis Obispo
California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo (also known as Cal Poly) is located in San Luis Obispo, California. The university offers a full spectrum of degrees though it is best known for its technical programs.
The university was founded in 1901 as a state technical high school, and over the years evolved into a full-service university offering BA, BS, and Masters degrees in seven colleges:
- Architecture & Environmental Design,
- Liberal Arts, and
- Science & Mathematics.
There are approximately 20,000 students currently in attendance.
The school is officially part of the California State University System. California State Polytechnic University, Pomona (aka Cal Poly Pomona) was formed as a satellite campus in 1938 on the former Voorhis School for Boys in San Dimas, California by Charles Voorhis. The two campuses separated into independent entities in 1966. Since 1949, the two universities have cooperated on a Rose Parade float.
Students are required to choose a major when they apply and each candidate is judged against others applying to that major. Because of this, there is a large disparity between what type of student is admitted in different majors. However, the number of applicants in all majors exceeds the number of spaces available. The architecture science majors and some liberal arts majors are particularly difficult to get into. The agricultural majors are the easiest. To prevent students from applying for an easy to get into major and then transferring to another, the transfer process has been made extremely difficult. In some majors it is all but impossible.
In Fall 2004, 27,063 students applied to Cal Poly, and only 9,880 were accepted. That's an acceptance rate of about 37%, and of those accepted, 3,836 (38%) enrolled. The average GPA of freshmen admitted was 3.77, but even higher in some majors. In Fall 2004, 9,043 (57%) men and 6,784 (43%) women were enrolled in Cal Poly. As with everything else, the number of men and women is skewed by major. Liberal arts majors are dominated by women, while engineering, physics and architecture students are mostly male. It is not unusual for classes in these majors to have few or no members of the opposite sex.
As of November, 2004, tuition for the average student is approximately $1300 per quarter. Tuition has increased rapidly in the past several years. In 1997, tuition was only about $700. Some of the increases were to make up for the budget cuts in education by the state of California. The others were made to higher additional teachers and to improve campus facilities.
Cal Poly owns more land than any other California university, except UC Berkeley. There are 9,678 acres in total. The lands are all used for student education, mainly agriculture. The land includes the main campus, two nearby agricultural lands and two properties in Santa Cruz county.
Parking on campus is a perennial problem, eliciting strong emotions in students and nearby residents. A large portion of students live off campus and commute to Cal Poly, in spite of the very high rents. Many choose to live off campus because of the campus-wide ban on alcohol, the long distance to downtown San Luis Obispo and the additional freedoms of off-campus living. Cal Poly has responded by building additional dorms and trying to make living on campus more enjoyable. The measures have been been at least partially successful. A more direct approach to the parking crisis was the building of parking structures. However, the completion of the first parking structure was delayed for years, and the others aren't even scheduled to start for several additional years. The parking situation has been made worse by the closure of one of the largest and most convenient parking lots on campus. The parking lot was cleared to make way for additional engineering buildings. Parking will undoubtedly remain a problem for years to come.
- Mark Lucovsky, software architect known for being a part of the team that designed and built the Windows NT operating system for Microsoft.
- John Madden, sports broadcaster and former American football coach for the Oakland Raiders, who led his team to a win in the Super Bowl of the 1976-1977 season.
- Laci Peterson
- Scott Peterson
- Burt Rutan, designer of SpaceShipOne which won the ten million dollar Ansari X Prize
- Kristin Smart, went missing whilst attending in 1996.
- Ozzie Smith, Major League Baseball player
- Weird Al Yankovic, pop music singer known for his parodies
Points of Interest
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