UC Santa Cruz establishes satellite campus in Silicon Valley

The Silicon Valley Campus is a multidisciplinary teaching and research hub that will enable greater partnerships and collaborations among faculty, students, industry, and government

The Silicon Valley Campus, 3175 Bowers Ave., Santa Clara, has UC Santa Cruz teaching and research programs along with UCSC Extension under one roof.

UC Santa Cruz is relocating its Silicon Valley professional masters programs, Silicon Valley-facing research, and Silicon Valley Extension to a permanent home in Santa Clara.

The UC Santa Cruz, Silicon Valley Campus, a 90,000-square-foot academic building at 3175 Bowers Ave., will support UC Santa Cruz’s ambitious growth plans for the region–developing a stronger connection and greater interaction between faculty, students, and Silicon Valley industry; establishing professional master’s programs aimed at meeting the needs of the region; housing Silicon Valley-facing research programs and educational and research partnerships with other UCs and regional universities; and hosting events that share campus expertise with the Silicon Valley technology community.

“This building represents a significant step in growing UC Santa Cruz’s presence in this global hub of innovation,” Chancellor George Blumenthal said. “It will be a home for our existing ventures and give us room to offer courses and degrees that will help Silicon Valley address some of its greatest challenges.”

Under the direction of Vice Chancellor for Research Scott Brandt, the UC Santa Cruz, Silicon Valley Campus is responsible for developing and coordinating near- and long-term strategies for sustaining and enhancing the UC presence in Silicon Valley.

In addition to providing professional education and workforce development, UC Santa Cruz is looking to further expand and enhance its industry engagement and research alliances.

The UC Santa Cruz, Silicon Valley Campus currently offers a master’s degree program in Games and Playable Media and is planning to offer additional advanced professional degrees based on faculty proposals submitted from across all academic divisions. Those proposals are currently under review.

The Silicon Valley Campus is also home to UCSC Silicon Valley Extension, the professional training arm of UC Santa Cruz. For more than 40 years, UCSC Extension has offered UC-approved courses that reflect the latest tools and technologies, and since 1987, Extension has offered courses in Silicon Valley. UCSC Extension provides professional training that reflects the academic rigor of the University of California and the hands-on, roll-up-your-sleeves practicality of Silicon Valley culture. Developed with guidance from key industry leaders and academic experts, Extension’s certificate programs in more than 40 disciplines match the economic demand of multiple industries, from engineering to business, education to bio-science, and environmental safety.

During the 2014-2015 year, UCSC Extension enrolled 18,000 students; 11,000 adult learners and 6,000 middle school and high school students through Scout from the University of California, an online program designed to meet the needs of first-generation, socioeconomically disadvantaged, and English-language learners.

UCSC Extension’s growing programs for international students have attracted professionals from more than 30 countries, many of whom have taken advantage of internship and Optional Practical Training (OPT) programs, the first step in finding work in the United States. The move also marks the opening of a new English language training center, which will offer English language instruction for non-native speakers and language learners. Extension also partners with retraining and job development programs in the Bay Area, which draw students eligible for federal and statewide workforce training.

UC Santa Cruz has relocated its programs from 2505 Augustine Drive in Santa Clara. Campus leaders said the relocation to a larger building in a prominent location is a commitment to Silicon Valley, and that the additional programs, new connections, and other activities will bring additional revenue and provide great value to the campus, its faculty and students, and to Silicon Valley’s residents and industry.

UC Santa Cruz began full operations in the new facility on April 18. The Bowers Avenue building, built in 1978, was certified LEED gold after a 2013 renovation.

“UC Santa Cruz will have a strong presence in Silicon Valley for years to come,” Campus Provost/Executive Vice Chancellor Alison Galloway said. “It makes sound strategic and fiscal sense to acquire this building to serve as a central place to house our new efforts.”