March 2023

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Message from the Dean

ChatGPT has been a trending topic in recent weeks.


Since it launched late in November, 2022, ChatGPT has generated more media buzz and attention than any other types of technological advancements in recent years. Online forums, social media postings and mainstream media publications, to name a few, are all filled with ChatGPT discussions.


People are experimenting with ChatGPT and sharing their experiences using it. I have seen many postings of what users can do with it. They use it to write a poem, praise a loved one, write school essays and even generate a set of computer coding.


Out of curiosity, I logged into my computer and created an account to access OpenIA where a free trial version of ChatGPT is housed.


My question: What is the history of the CSUSB Palm Desert Campus?


A few seconds after I typed in my question, the following essay appeared on my screen:


The California State University, San Bernardino (CSUSB) Palm Desert Campus is a satellite campus of California State University, San Bernardino. It is located in Palm Desert, California and was established in the year 1996.


The campus was established to serve the residents of the Coachella Valley, providing access to higher education opportunities in the area. In its early years, the campus offered a limited selection of undergraduate and graduate programs, primarily in the fields of business, education, and nursing.


Over the years, the campus has expanded its offerings to include a wider range of academic programs, including liberal studies, psychology, and environmental studies. It now offers a variety of bachelor's and master's degrees, as well as certificate programs and community education courses.


The CSUSB Palm Desert Campus has a strong commitment to serving the local community, and has established partnerships with various organizations and businesses in the area to provide students with practical experience and training in their chosen fields.


The campus is equipped with modern facilities and technology, and offers a supportive learning environment for students. With its growing reputation and expanding programs, the CSUSB Palm Desert Campus continues to be an important resource for higher education in the Coachella Valley.


The essay about the history of PDC is pretty good, right? On the surface, it is. It only technically made one mistake and used 1996 as the year PDC was established. In reality, it was 1986 when CSUSB began offering classes in the Coachella Valley. It seemed to have provided what most people need to know about the campus. It was well written in terms of the structure and language usage in only five paragraphs.


After a closer look, we can see there is no information about the efforts of local citizens, philanthropic entities, and cities to establish the campus here; there is no current enrollment data, nor did it mention the recently approved $79 million state budget allocation to build the new Student Services Building on campus.


In addition, it did not capture our new program offerings such as social work, hospitality management, cybersecurity and a few others.


So, what is ChatGPT?


ChatGPT stands for “generative pre-training transformer” that is an artificial intelligence (AI) application, or an AI-powered chatbot developed by OpenAI. It uses AI technologies such as advanced natural language processing tools to generate text, summarize information and even create computer coding.


Many users on the Internet worry that ChatGPT will eliminate jobs and replace teachers. Bill Gates said that ChatGPT will change the world and make jobs more efficient. A Harvard Business Review article calls it a tipping point for artificial intelligence (AI).


By looking at the essay generated from ChatGPT based on my question about the history of PDC, I am not convinced that this AI tool will replace classroom teaching and school learning. Instructors will adapt as well.


For example, they could ask students to generate different essays on an assigned topic with questions from different viewpoints (input into ChatGTP) and provide analysis of generated essays (output from ChatGTP). Hence, critical thinking and learning.


I am always positive about technological innovations, especially how they can make our lives easier without diminishing our intelligence and compromising our values.

Jake Zhu, Ph.D.

Dean, CSUSB Palm Desert Campus

Campus News

CSUSB and its Palm Desert Campus awarded $2.25 million grant for social work programs

The California Department of Health Care Access and Information has awarded a $2.25 million grant to support the School of Social Work at CSUSB!

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CSUSB celebrates Womxn's History Month

The theme for this year’s Womxn’s History Month is, “Meeting at the Intersections: What’s HERstory?” to highlight the significance of intersectionality in the movement for justice and gender equity.

Learn more

Zero Tolerance event at PDC

Members of the community are invited to an important event at the CSUSB Palm Desert Campus on Friday, March 31.

Speakers at the "Zero Tolerance: A Different Approach to Preventing School Shootings" event will discuss approaches for eliminating existing school vulnerabilities.

There is no charge for admission, but advanced registration is required to [email protected] (Subject line: School Shootings) or by calling (909) 537-8270.

PDC nursing students and faculty administer COVID-19 vaccinations

PDC nursing faculty and students administered COVID-19 vaccinations at a special community event in Coachella on Feb. 22 utilizing the new community mobile medical clinic they have been selected to partner with.

PDC Showcase

Hosted by the PDC Faculty Scholarly Research and Creative Activities Committee and the Offices of Student Research and Community Engagement, PDC held the PDC Showcase on Feb. 23, an event which celebrated student life in

the areas of creative arts, scholarship and

engagement at CSUSB.

PDC Career Showcase

The Career Showcase took place at PDC on March 2, where students looking to secure a job or internship had the opportunity to connect with local businesses and organizations.

CSUSB Palm Desert Campus Ombuds services

The Ombuds serves as a designated neutral person for both the Palm Desert and San Bernardino campuses to provide confidential, informal, independent, and neutral assistance to students, staff, faculty, and community through dispute resolution, and problem solving methods, which may include conflict coaching, informal mediation, facilitation, and shuttle diplomacy.

Learn more

Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI)

Are you an adult over 50 looking to learn new things and meet new people? OLLI at CSUSB Palm Desert Campus offers non-credit, university-level courses, but without the grades, tests or homework.

Visit the OLLI website to learn more!

Free OLLI speaker events open to the public

Looking to enjoy an evening of delicious food, classic cocktails and jazz?

Join us on March 5 for our "New York, New York" gala to celebrate and support our hospitality management program!

Purchase tickets to the "New York, New York" gala