Opened in the former Arcata Grammar School, Humboldt State Normal School was opened in northern California in 1914 to train teachers. Abutting the natural beauty of California’s redwoods in Arcata, Humboldt has evolved to meet the changing needs of its student body without losing their commitment to education (it still offers many continuing education programs for teachers).
Humboldt State University was officially coined in 1974 (the same year their student body swelled to 7500 for the first time). At an estimated 7800 in their student body, made up of graduate and undergraduate learners, as well as certificate seekers and many credential programs, Humboldt offers a great variety of majors for Bachelor, Master, and post-graduate professionals.
Currently offering baccalaureate in 29 different majors (with another 84 minor degrees), 12 graduate programs (MBA, MA, MS, and MSW degrees in a graduate program that was established in 1947), and 21 credential programs, Humboldt majors run from Biology to Nursing to Elementary Education. Housing 3 main colleges (Arts/Humanities/Social Sciences, Professional Studies, and Natural Resources/Sciences) on a 144 acre main campus (with another 1000 acres of additional facilities), it includes some very unique disciplines and firsts. They are one of only two Botany programs in the state, include an Energy, Environment, and Society graduate program (unique to California State Universities), and include programs in Native American Studies, Scientific Diving, and Multicultural Queer Studies (all pretty much solely found at Humboldt).
Distance learning opportunities at Humboldt include programs for matriculated students as well as certificate programs that can be completed entirely online. In addition to online courses for traditional students to help lighten transportation costs, there are also many programs online for continuing education. There are no online degrees offered, but Humboldt does offer certifications through the Web for Ecotourism Planning&Management and Exercise Nutrition.
Many options for online learners at Humboldt are meant for continuing education, including both credit and non-credit courses. Online professional development courses for teachers are available at all times through their CE Credits Online program and can be used either as a professional development tool or towards college credit. Some courses at Humboldt are offered online through their Open Education program, allowing people to take college courses without even applying to the school in an asynchronous format. Though on campus Open Education allows for taking any open course, online offerings are slimmer, but any offerings can be used towards credit, or just to improve knowledge or allow students to examine a certain class/program at the College. All online courses require web chats, emails, and even include a Moodle training course for teachers looking to utilize online requirements, as well as online learning of 6 different languages.
Humboldt is also proud of its extensive hands on and research facilities, the least of which being their location in Northern California on the coast of the Pacific (they have a recognized Oceanography program). A fire lab for Forest Professionals, a Marine Laboratory, and a faculty that connects with students, as well as having extensive training in their fields. Students are brought in to the field with educated professionals who have spent years in the fields they teach and often hold terminal degrees.
With multiple awards, including Top Tier awards for a Western school, Colleges with Conscience recognition (for its fantastic service programs and community outreach), and the High Times top 10 Counterculture colleges award (which although it ranks schools from a cannabis perspective also cites the level of academic quality), Humboldt remains diverse, relevant, and hard to pin down.