October 29, 2008
Long Beach Press-Telegram
By Kevin Butler
The California State University system – including its Long Beach campus – has received $1.6 million in federal money to continue a program that trains students in foreign languages deemed critical to national security.
President Bush late last month signed into law a bill that includes the money for the Strategic Language Initiative.
The multi-campus program focuses on training more students for defense, intelligence, diplomatic and business employment utilizing strategically important foreign languages such as Arabic, Chinese, Farsi, Russian and Korean.
Cal State Long Beach provides intensive instruction in Mandarin Chinese as one of several CSU campuses involved in the Strategic Language Initiative.
This is the third fiscal year that the program has received federal funding.
The initiative aims to provide students with intensive foreign language instruction and opportunities to study abroad.
Rep. Laura Richardson, D-Long Beach, who co-sponsored the program during the Congressional appropriations process, said she hoped that the program would provide opportunities for Southern Californians to get jobs in the U.S. Foreign Service.
“At a time when the cost of college is rising, these funds will stabilize a vital program that might otherwise be reduced,” she said in a statement.