California Baptist University and NSWC Corona Division Extend Partnership

By: Sharjeel Sohaib


Sep 8, 2023


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  • California Baptist University (CBU) and the Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC) Corona Division have inked a five-year Educational Partnership Agreement (EPA) with a plan to reshape the educational experience for CBU students, offering access to defense technologies and expertise.
  • NSWC Corona Division personnel will teach courses, assist in curriculum development, and engage CBU faculty and students in defense laboratory research.
  • The partnership has tangible benefits: NSWC Corona Division is already the top employer of CBU’s engineering graduates.

In a significant move, California Baptist University (CBU) and the Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC) Corona Division have inked an Educational Partnership Agreement (EPA). The renewed collaboration, extending a partnership formed in 2014, will shape the educational experience for CBU students and enhance the country’s defense capabilities. In this article, we’ll delve into the details of this partnership, its implications, and how it benefits students and the defense sector alike.

Partnership Aims to Excel in Data Science

Under the leadership of Dr. Charles D. Sands, CBU’s provost and senior vice president for Academic Affairs, the new five-year EPA aims to provide CBU students access to NSWC Corona Division staff expertise, unique facilities, and specialized equipment. The focus will be on academic disciplines such as data science, emphasizing data analytics, data visualizations, and networked environments.

Learning Opportunity

Dr. Sands highlights the uniqueness of this partnership, stating, “Extending our partnership with NSWC gives CBU students unique educational experiences through emerging technologies utilized by the military.” This exposure to cutting-edge technology and real-world applications positions students for success, particularly if they aspire to work with high-tech employers like the Department of Defense.

Collaboration Beyond the Classroom

A standout feature of this agreement is NSWC Corona Division’s commitment to teaching courses at CBU and assisting in curriculum development, particularly in STEM fields and business. CBU faculty and students will actively engage in defense laboratory research and technology transfer projects. Faculty will also have sabbatical opportunities, and students will benefit from internships and volunteer opportunities.

Captain Michael P. Aiena’s Perspective

Captain Michael P. Aiena, USN Commanding Officer of NSWC Corona Division, highlights the significance of this partnership in building a qualified defense workforce. He emphasizes the importance of preparing for evolving defense needs and believes that collaborating with universities like CBU to share resources and technologies is the way forward.

Tangible Outcomes

The impact of this partnership is already visible. Since the initial EPA signing in 2014, NSWC Corona Division has taken on over 50 CBU interns and hired more than 70 graduates, making them the top employer of CBU’s Gordon and Jill Bourns College of Engineering graduates. Dr. Anthony Donaldson, founder of the College of Engineering at CBU, was even named an honorary Technical Director of Naval Sea Systems Command at NSWC Corona in 2016β€”a testament to the fruitful collaboration.

A Legislative Push for Educational Partnerships

It’s worth noting that Education Partnerships between the Department of Defense and educational institutions in the United States were signed into law in 1990. The goal was to encourage and enhance study in scientific disciplines at all levels of education. This partnership between CBU and NSWC Corona Division is a living example of the benefits envisioned by this legislation.

Looking Ahead

The updated Educational Partnership Agreement is set to be activated in the upcoming 2023-2024 academic school year. As CBU students gain access to cutting-edge technology and real-world defense applications, and NSWC Corona Division benefits from fresh perspectives and research contributions, this collaboration paves the way for a brighter future for education and national defense.


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