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Center for Regional and Continuing Education

Our Mission

The Center for Regional and Continuing Education strengthens and expands the resources of the University to respond to lifelong learning needs.

Serving the campus

Recognizing the varied needs of the on-campus student, Continuing Education administers credit and non-credit courses beyond the regular University class schedule, including accelerated academic sessions during the winter and summer that increase student access to courses.

Serving Northern California

As the anchor institution in Northern California, California State University, Chico serves a twelve-county service area, the largest in the CSU system. Continuing Education is dedicated to providing higher education access to this distributed population through regional programs, Open University, and the delivery of accredited degrees via distance education.

California and Beyond

California State University, Chico is internationally recognized for a wide variety of academic achievements and programs. Sharing and maintaining this public trust with the world is a primary mission of the Center for Regional and Continuing Education .

Regional and Continuing Education

The service area of CSU, Chico covers 32,200 square miles—approximately 21 percent of the state of California—with a resident population of about 821,000, which is approximately 2 percent of the state’s total population. To accommodate the variety of demands and interests expressed by the people living in the rural areas of Northern California, Regional and Continuing Education has developed numerous programs and services.

Special Session

Special Session courses are approved course offerings available on a selected basis throughout the year. They carry residence credit with no limit on the number of units that can be applied to a degree program. Fees are charged on a per-unit basis and are separate from regular University semester fees.

Frequently, organizations and groups of individuals express a desire for special courses, seminars, or workshops to satisfy their own specific needs. Whether the need is for a course carrying credit or no credit, Continuing Education staff will meet with representatives of groups or agencies to plan the program.

Special Session courses are open to the general public and there is no formal admission requirement. Enrollment in Special Session or Extension does not constitute formal admission to the University.

Fees for courses providing academic credit are listed on the Continuing Education website,

Regional Programs

Regional programs,, support the University mission by extending educational programming and services throughout Northern California.

The Extension program offers a wide variety of non-credit workshops encompassing personal enrichment and professional development topics, classroom-based and online computer training, financial planning, and test preparation. In addition, Extension develops contract education and training solutions for small businesses, corporations, and government agencies.

A nationally recognized leader in distance education, CSU, Chico has provided degree completion programs for students who live at a distance from campus since 1975.

CSU, Chico also offers degree completion programs and the Master of Social Work program at Shasta College and the Shasta College University Center in dwontown Redding. Students can complete degrees without traveling to Chico, or take courses and transfer to the main campus.

To serve the professionals of the region, Continuing Education offers a wide variety of non-credit workshops and conferences encompassing personal enrichment and professional devlopment topics.

Regional programs also serve the needs of federal, state, county, and non-profit community agencies. Initially established in the 1970’s, CSU, Chico’s Local Government Leadership Institute,, provides professional education to public service managers in areas such as leadership, strategic planning, and ethics.

In 1999 CSU, Chico established the In Service to Families, Children & The Courts, , program to provide professional development opportunities for those who work with Family Court Services.

Customized education and training solutions for small businesses, corporations, and government agencies are also available.

Conference Services

Continuing Education offers complete conference planning and event management services, for professional groups and academic associations to advance their fields and share learning opportunities. Every year, these conferences attract thousands of participants to the beautiful Chico campus, many for the first time. Conference services include program design, marketing, online registration, financial management, media support, evaluation, and special event coordination. Recognized by the Association of Collegiate Conference and Events Directors as a 1Stop Certified Conference Facility, Chico State offers an environment where learning is fostered through collaborative work in a relaxed setting.

Open University

Open University,, provides an opportunity for residents of CSU, Chico’s service area to have access to regularly-scheduled University classes on a limited basis, without formal admission to the University. Students select the classes they wish to attend through Open University from the current schedule of courses and attend the first meeting of the desired course to request permission of the instructor to enroll.

Permission is contingent upon whether or not there is a vacancy, as well as other criteria established by the instructor, the department, or the college. Detailed instructions and Open University forms are available through Continuing Education.

Enrolling in courses offered by the College of Engineering, Computer Science and Technology requires the appropriate department chair’s signature. Some colleges may require additional signatures.

Open University fees are $280per unit. Any debts to the University or registration holds must be resolved before registration can take place.

Students participating in classes as a regularly-enrolled student may not take classes as an Open University student. Open University students who decide to apply for admission to the University must meet all the regular admission requirements.

The maximum number of Open University units that may be applied towards an undergraduate (B.A. or B.S.) degree is 24 units. All undergraduates, as well as graduate students pursuing a master’s degree, should refer to the department office of the appropriate major for the unit limit.

Open University for Disqualified Students and Students Who Have Been Denied Admission
Students disqualified and/or denied admission at CSU, Chico may be eligible to take regular University courses on a space-available basis through Open University (some restrictions apply). To participate in Open University, students will need to complete the petition part of the Add/Drop form. This form is available with the Open University registration forms and must be completed with proper signatures.

Complete Open University policies and procedures are available from Continuing Education or on the web at

Chico Distance & Online Education

Chico Distance & Online Education,, offers a variety of courses and degree completion programs online.

A comprehensive list of distance education and online courses and degree programs is available on the Chico Distance & Online Education website at

Students may combine Chico Distance & Online Education, Special Session, summer session, and on-campus attendance to meet the degree requirements of these programs. Advising is mandatory in all distance education degree programs.

Distance Education Technologies

In 1975 CSU, Chico transmitted its first computer science programming via a microwave link to UC Davis. From this initial project, Chico quickly expanded its video transmission capabilities to include a microwave transmission system that encompassed the community colleges and various sites throughout Northern California.

With new innovations in satellite technologies the University installed a ten-meter Scientific Atlanta “earth station” on the campus in 1983 and a Ku-band station in 1987. For more than 35 years, CSU, Chico has maintained distance education technologies for receiving and transmitting educational programs throughout the world.

In 1997, CSU, Chico demonstrated the use of videostreaming technology as a means of transmitting video images over the Internet. Today, CSU, Chico offers more than 150 online courses each year.

In addition to educational programming, CSU, Chico maintains a state-of-the-art two-way video facility and can access meeting rooms around the globe.


The American Language and Culture Institute (ALCI Chico),, provides intensive English language instruction and introduces the American culture and the system of higher education to international students. Many students who attend

ALCI have applied for University admission and have met all other entrance requirements, with the exception of language proficiency.

Non-University bound international students and adults seeking to improve their English language and US American culture skills for personal and professional development also attend ALCI Chico.

In addition to intensive English language course-work, students participate in various recreational and educational activities designed to facilitate a smooth transition to the University environment and enhance an understanding of American society. Instruction is offered year round: four seven-week sessions during the academic year and one seven-week summer session.

Osher Lifelong Learning Institute

Established on the Chico campus in 2004, through the generous support from the Bernard Osher Foundation, the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI),, is a peer-led, learning in retirement organization that offers a wide vareity of non-credit classes and activities for adults, age 60+ or retired. OLLI provides members the opportunity to stimulate the mind, meet other adults in the community, explore new topics, discuss current events and network with other talented and interesting people.

Regional & Continuing Education Registration Fees

Please see the Regional & Continuing Education website,, for complete fee information.

Catalog Cycle:11