Mexico — Baja university becomes 5th college campus in the country to receive US accreditation

LatinaLista — While the debate over the value of unskilled immigrant labor threatens to drag on indefinitely, there’s no issue over skilled immigrant labor. Anyone who has the type of high-tech skills needed for a future global economy based on technology, engineering, science and mathematics has always had the red carpet unrolled at their feet by eager companies drooling to hire them.

Dr. Fernando Leon, President of CETYS University, receives the accreditation presented by Dr. Richard Osborn, Vice President of WASC. El Dr. Fernando Leon, Rector de CETYS Universidad, recibe la acreditacion por parte del Dr. Richard Osborn, Vicepresidente de WASC. (PRNewsFoto/CETYS University)

However, unless the worker was schooled in the US or at a school abroad that was comparable to US education standards, there was little chance of that immigrant realizing his/her American Dream. Yet, for students of one Mexican university system, the dream of coming to the US — if that’s where they want to go — just got a lot easier.

Last month, CETYS University System in Baja California, Mexico received American accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). WASC is one of six regional accrediting agencies in the US and usually only accredits universities in California.

Accrediting CETYS, marks the first time that WASC has accredited a university outside the US, but it’s been done before by other accrediting agencies, just not often. According to a press release issued by CETYS, the university is the 5th university in Mexico and the 7th in Latin America to be accredited in the United States.

It’s not something that happened overnight. The school, founded in 1961 by business and community leaders in Baja, California in direct response to keeping their young people from moving to other parts of Mexico for school by providing them with a high-quality curriculum, has worked on getting US accreditation from WASC since 2004.

During that time, the CETYS university system — which includes campuses in Tijuana, Mexicali and Ensenada — achieved some notable milestones that bode well for its students and their prospects to immigrate wherever they want:

It was the first university to offer–prior to any other state higher education institution — undergraduate programs in the fields of Industrial Engineering, Business Administration, Public Accounting, Computer Sciences, Psychology, Marketing, International Business, and Manufacturing Engineering. Additionally, it was the first higher education institution in the State of Baja to get connected to the Internet.

Is the University which currently has the highest number of graduate students in Baja California.

Has made English not only a requirement, but an important part of its undergraduate curriculum, and as a result, 100% of its alumni are fluent in English.

Provides Grants and Financial Aid that benefit over 70% of our student population.

Is the country’s North-Eastern private university with the highest number of international exchange programs (52 signed agreements) with the best universities in Europe and both North and South America, making them the institution with the highest percentage of undergraduate students participating in international exchange programs in Mexico.

Is the only university in Baja that has been publicly recognized by the Federal Government as a High Academic Level Institution, and as an Institution of Excellence by the State Government.

In addition to the academics, the school strives to embed in its students a couple of other qualities that American universities are struggling with their own student bodies — ethics, honesty and empathy. But in a country that has gained a reputation of having such qualities in short supply, the hope that more universities in Mexico can achieve such goals would mean not just a new future for its people but for Mexico itself.

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