College of Professional & Global Education

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SF State creates new online degree completion options

It’s never been easier to complete bachelor’s degrees in Business Administration, Criminal Justice Studies and Psychology

According to the most recent data from the National Center for Education Statistics, the six-year graduation rate for U.S. college students is 64%. That means more than a third of students don’t finish their degrees within six years of starting college.

That’s a lot of dreams put on hold. And it’s why San Francisco State University’s College of Professional & Global Education (CPaGE) has launched three new online degree completion programs that make it easier than ever for former students to get back on the path to graduation.

Created in collaboration with San Francisco State’s Lam Family College of Business, College of Science & Engineering and College of Health & Social Sciences, the online programs — for bachelor’s degrees in Business Administration, Criminal Justice Studies and Psychology — will begin in the fall. Anyone with 60 college credits can enroll, no matter what their previous major was or what school they attended. Applications for the Business Administration and Criminal Justice Studies programs are currently being accepted, with a deadline of April 15. The Psychology program began accepting applications earlier this spring and quickly filled to capacity — an indication of the demand for online degree completion, which accommodates the busy schedules of former students looking to further their careers with the power of a bachelor’s degree.

“Research shows lifetime earnings for college degree-holders are up to 41% higher than for those with just an associate’s degree, and up to 52% higher than those with only some college credits under their belt,” said Eugene Sivadas, dean of SF State’s Lam Family College of Business, citing a study by the Center on Education and the Workforce. “So completing their degrees fully online is a fast, easy and effective way for former students to significantly boost their earning potential.”

The online courses — such as “Starting a Small Business” in the Business Administration program, “Crime, Data and Analysis” in the Criminal Justice Studies program and “Future Directions for Psychology Majors” in the Psychology program — will be taught by SF State professors. Students will have access to a CPaGE online success coach as well as advising from faculty program directors. Financial aid is also available to those who qualify.

“This is a great opportunity for anyone who had to interrupt their educational journey,” said CPaGE Dean Alex Hwu. “Thanks to the flexible online options this program makes possible, former students can continue their journey — all the way to a degree.”

Learn more about CPaGE’s online degree completion options.

Registration opens for Sierra Nevada Field Campus summer classes

Anyone can be a part of the scenic campus’ 75-year history by taking a class

Registration for the 2024 summer season at San Francisco State University’s Sierra Nevada Field Campus (SNFC) is now open. This year will be the field campus’ 75th anniversary, and the summer course lineup is as strong as ever. The 7.1-acre campus is in the remote Sierra County near the Sierra Buttes and the North Yuba River. Both landmarks inspire countless SNFC visitors.

“SF State students have an incredible opportunity to take a class in the Sierra Nevada with expert instructors, enjoy three meals a day and connect with a whole community of people with shared interests in the environment and the arts,” said SNFC Director Darrow Feldstein. “This season will be filled with great opportunities for learning and connection.”

With nearly 40 different classes and workshop offerings — an SNFC record — there’s something for everyone. (And everyone’s welcome to register since SNFC classes aren’t just for San Francisco State students.) From June to mid-August, the campus will offer a variety of accredited classes (through SF State’s College of Professional & Global Education) and non-credit workshops with experts in everything from science and art to climate change and conservation.  

The 2024 listings include courses in natural history, local flora, watercolor and pastels, and even a new course on bear tracking (yes, bear tracking). Also new this year are a few courses about climate, culture and social justice that SF State students can take for credit.


Two women holding snakes
Three people smiling at a fourth person's finger with a butterfuly sitting on it
Someone standing outside near a cabin exterior wall of pastel art
Backs of three people painting as they face a mountain and trees
Starry night sky with trees and cabin light up with the glow from a campfire

Students and SNFC visitors can chose to participate in a variety of experiences, including engaging with wildlife, learning a variety of art forms or crafts using natural materials, and making new friends around a campfire. SNFC students and expert instructors come from SF State and beyond.


SNFC offers mini-grants and scholarships to students interested in summer courses or research experiences. Throughout the year, student and faculty researchers use the campus as a basecamp for field research. Beyond the summer classes and research, SNFC is also increasing opportunities for people to volunteer, hold events or get involved in other ways.

“This place was created 75 years ago for the University community and beyond. Everyone should be taking advantage of this incredible place whether for a class, a job or just to enjoy the mountains and take a break from it all,” Feldstein said.

Consider registering for an SNFC summer course or reach out to get involved in other ways.

Learn more at

CPaGE International Business Certificate graduate honored in Newsweek Japan

After earning his certificate from the College of Professional & Global Education, entrepreneur Sota Watanabe went on to found two successful tech companies

Sota Watanabe, a former College of Professional & Global Education (CPaGE) International Business student, has been selected one of “100 Japanese people the world respects” by Newsweek Japan for his impressive record as a young entrepreneur. Prior to this, he was selected for the Forbes “30 Under 30 Asia” list in 2022. 

Watanabe was an Economics major at Keio University in Japan and wanted to expand his global business experience. He applied to the International Business Professions program run by ICC Japan. As part of this program he enrolled in CPaGE’s American Language Institute to improve his English. Following completion of the English for Academic Preparation program, Watanabe earned a certificate in the SF State International Business program. This program helped Watanabe develop the knowledge and skills to become a global leader.

“The groundwork for working globally, including English and business skills, was developed while I was in San Francisco. Without these experiences at SF State, I can’t imagine where I would be today. It was an experience that allowed me to experience and interact with cutting-edge technology and broaden my horizons,” said Watanabe.

During his program, he spent time in the San Francisco Bay Area attending IT, art and language exchange Meetups and visiting technology headquarters in Silicon Valley. Watanabe was able to visit Google, Facebook and Apple. He also completed an internship for Silicon Valley startup Chronicled. When he left SF State, Watanabe returned to Japan and founded Stake Technologies, the first company in Japan to adopt blockchain acceleration sponsored by UC Berkeley. Watanabe received an unprecedented four rounds of funding from Web3 Foundation, which he is using to further innovation at his company. He also founded another tech company, Astar Network. He later participated in the 2021 International Student Journey event hosted by CPaGE’s Center for Global Engagement as an alumni panelist.

International Business Professor and Department Chair Bruce Heiman taught Watanabe in “Research in International Business and the Global Market.” From his interactions with Watanabe in and outside the classroom he shared that he  sees him as an example for past, current and future students. In addition to being a high academic performer while a student at SF State, Watanabe was well respected by his peers and became good friends with many other students as well as professors. The International Business courses he followed while at SF State helped him achieve a solid comfort level working in groups comprised of members from diverse cultures. His outgoing nature and ability to span cultural boundaries has served him well in his career.

“We are proud to have Sota as an example of a graduate of our certificate program,” Heiman said.

“From the first day Sota arrived at SF State, it was clear he was going places,” added CPaGE Assistant Dean Saroj Quinn. “Sota is one of the most inquisitive, passionate and charismatic students I have met. Every time I spoke with Sota during his program, I learned something new about the innovation and entrepreneurship landscape of San Francisco. Sota truly made the city of San Francisco his classroom, using his free time to build a global network.”

Learn more about the College of Professional & Global Education.

The cover of a Japanese-language edition of Newsweek

Registration for SF State’s Sierra Nevada Field Campus now open

Anyone can enroll in courses ranging from birding to painting to astronomy at the scenic SNFC

Situated in the Gold Lakes Basin and Sierra Valley regions of the Sierra Nevada — a little more than 200 miles northeast of the main campus — is San Francisco State University’s Sierra Nevada Field Campus (SNFC). With scenic views and lots of wildlife, the campus makes for a unique classroom experience for anyone who enjoys learning about (and being in the middle of) nature. Registration for the SNFC’s 2023 workshops and classes is now open.

Every year from June to mid-August, the campus offers a variety of opportunities to learn about a range of topics, from birding and alpine painting to courses in insects, flora, fungi and more. Participants can immerse themselves in the beautiful locale as they learn. This year the SNFC is offering seven accredited classes (through San Francisco State’s College of Professional & Global Education) as well as 25 non-credit workshops.

Registration is open to SF State students as well as the general public. The campus is also home base for researchers studying the local terrain.

“That’s one of the nice things about the field campus in general is that we have a really broad variety of classes and workshops,” said SNFC Director J.R. Blair. “We have the researchers and we have people of all kinds of different backgrounds who come here, and they interact informally usually at dinner or perhaps around a campfire if we have that. It’s really neat to witness that there’s a lot of interaction.”

Though the SNFC was closed for the 2020 and 2021 seasons due to COVID-19, last year’s season may have been the biggest it’s ever had, Blair says, estimating that there were about 300 registrants compared to previous highs closer to 200.

“I have to say that our instructors are fabulous … ,” he explained, noting that one professor emeritus has been coming for 40 years. “And there are many instructors who’ve been doing this for 20, 25, 30 years. Everybody is really good at what they do, and the response from students is almost 100% favorable across the board. They really like it. Plus they like the food!”

SNFC has also hired a new SNFC Lead, Darrow Feldstein, who begins in early February.

Learn more about the Sierra Nevada Field Campus and register for classes today.

SF State’s College of Extended Learning renamed College of Professional and Global Education

Based in the University’s Downtown Campus, CPaGE offers weekend, evening and online courses, online degree completion, international education and much more

San Francisco State University’s College of Extended Learning is now the College of Professional & Global Education (CPaGE). The name change better reflects CPaGE’s current programming and mission: to provide student-driven educational opportunities for students to enhance their careers domestically or internationally, whether in the form of a degree or certificate.

The College of Professional & Global Education has over 60 programs, including online degree completion programs. The programs are achievable for new students, returning students, individuals in the midst of their careers and those who seek deepening knowledge in areas of their choosing. Many of these programs are online or hybrid.

Located in the heart of the Financial District, CPaGE is based at San Francisco State’s Downtown Campus, offering a different experience from the SF State main campus. Surrounded by innovative companies such as Google, Salesforce and more, students in all CPaGE programs can experience this unique location when classes are on-site. 

CPaGE global programs offer international students the opportunity to live in one of the world’s most famous cities, tour the beautiful state of California and participate in fun events at SF State with their American counterparts, all while taking courses to improve academic and language skills, earn a certificate or enroll in a pathway program to degree-seeking status at SF State.

“The new name will truly reflect SF State’s commitment to providing an accessible and affordable education pathway for all non-matriculated students and the international population,” said CPaGE Dean Alex Hwu. “The old name of ‘extended learning’ is very confusing for our partners and makes students feel that the courses are of lesser quality or not part of SF State’s offerings. CPaGE is welcomed by our staff and faculty members; it highlights their dedication to student success and social upward mobility for all learners. At the same time, it will align well for our strategic planning effort for the next three to five years.”

“I have worked with Dean Hwu for many years and am very excited about this latest accomplishment,” added Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs Amy Sueyoshi. “This name change will have a positive effect for all of SF State as we work to better serve our local and international communities.”

Learn more about CPaGE programs.