As North County’s education hub, San Marcos is fueling a workforce pipeline that will strengthen our region for generations to come while demonstrating how the city can collaborate with local institutions to benefit the community.

The City of San Marcos and California State University San Marcos (CSUSM) joined forces to launch Democracy in Action, a program that lets students spend a semester working on city projects.

In this community engagement practice, the university contracts with the city in the capacity of consultant. CSUSM faculty and students partner with a local city government to conduct research, gathering qualitative and quantitative data to benefit city projects that are back-logged or need additional attention. 

Faculty and students work closely with city officials to hone their expertise on specific scopes of work; the students provide a polished, final report to the city.  In the process, students learn about city government, attend city council meetings, become more civically engaged, and ideally consider the prospects of working in local government. 

Recently Completed Projects

Parks and Recreation User Survey - Dr. Elizabeth Ridder, GEOG 450 Parks and Protected Areas

North City Art Plan Guidelines - Dr. Kristin Moss, AMD 421: Art and Social Change

Entrepreneurial Center Project - Dr. Sam Clarke, ENTR 320  Creativity, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship

Senior Center Project  - Dr. Eliza Bigham, HD 497 Applied Research in Human Development

Emergency Medical Services Project - Dr. Matt Atherton, SSCI 495 Capstone in the Social Sciences & Jenny Duffy, EMS Coordinator for City of San Marcos Fire Department

Sports Tournament Project - Dr. Vassilis Dalakas, MKTG 452 Sports Marketing and Sponsorship & Buck Martin, City of San Marcos Parks & Recreation Director

Storm Water Project - Dr. Robert Brown, ECON 421 The Public Economy & Reed Thornberry, City of San Marcos Storm Water Program Manager

San Marcos Video Project - Jonathan Berman, VSAR 328-Video Art History and Theory & Sarah Macdonald, City of San Marcos Communications Officer

Parking Study Project - Dr. Jill Weigt, SOC 361 Qualitative Methods in Sociology & Dahvia Lynch, City of San Marcos Development Services Director

Website and Social Media Analytics Project - Dr. Rebeca Perren, MKTG 484 Marketing Analytics & Sarah Macdonald, City of San Marcos Communications Officer