3-D technology – these days you can experience it at the movie theater, your closest big-box electronic retailer and sometimes even at your local library. But what does the future of virtual reality really look like? NSPR’s Nolan Ford headed to Chico State where its Department of Media Arts, Design and Technology  recently got some new top-of-the-line VR headsets to find out.

With the recent decision to end Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals within sixth months, North State schools are struggling to find ways to support their students.

Chico State, for example, does not ask students for their immigration status. There’s no box on your application that you would check, so it’s hard to know how many students on campus will be directly impacted by the decision. Elizabeth Alaniz is the associate director of financial aid at Chico State.

Librarians Wrangle Tech, Students, Books In Schools

Aug 3, 2017
Elizabeth Castillo

When Leslie Tharp agreed to work as the librarian for Red Bluff’s Vista Preparatory Academy, she didn’t realize she’d be the keeper of the school’s most popular technology.

“Imagine 30 kids coming in at lunchtime, all wanting to use the 3D printers,” she said. “It got a little bit crazy.”

Tharp’s library houses shelves stacked with books and posters promoting reading. But, it also has a communal space called a Makerspace. It combines manufacturing equipment, like the 3D printers, with education. While tech plays a role in a makerspace, Tharp said it’s about learning.

Colusa County Office of Education

It’s harvest season for peas and peaches, among other North State crops, and thousands of migrant farmworkers have come to the area to work in the fields for the season. They’ll stay until November, and many bring their families with them. NSPR reporter Adia White tells us how Williams Unified School District is adapting to their nomadic lifestyle to help students graduate.

The cost of living in California is one of the highest in the nation. And the cost of attending a state college has increased three-fold in the last 20 years. These financial burdens coupled with any kind of personal crisis can leave today’s California State University students struggling more than ever before to meet their basic needs. NSPR’s Kacey Gardner has more on why and how state universities are trying to help.


Roughly 70 students opposing a proposed 5 percent bump in tuition and fees marched and rallied at Chico State yesterday.

On Tuesday, trustees of the 23-campus system scheduled a vote on the increase for March. If approved as written, basic tuition would rise to $5,745. That’s before other mandatory fees, campus fees, department fees, textbooks, food or housing.

First-year student Alejandro Alfaro.

“They raise our tuition and then dare to ask why we don’t graduate,” he said.

Beth Lamberson / NSPR

Chico State rang in the new academic year yesterday with an official convocation by the University’s new president, Gayle E. Hutchinson.

The optimism was palpable at a mostly full Laxson Auditorium following several years of growing acrimony under the former leadership.

Timothy Sistrunk, a history professor and chair of Chico State’s labor council, said faculty and staff are eager to work with Hutchinson on pay and equity programs, on campus climate issues, and on the declining number of tenured faculty.

 School district officials in Chico are expected to ask voters to approve a $152 million bond measure to cover repairs and some new facilities.

Assistant Superintendent Kevin Bultema said if approved, the district would proceed with priorities already identified in an earlier master plan.

“We have elementary schools that were built in the late ’40s that really haven’t received any improvements, modernization or renovation; and this bond is largely to address that," Bultema said. This is not gold plating.”

North Valley Community Foundation

Growing up, Jacob Peterson was the beneficiary of some support from a community member outside of his family. This person helped Jacob down the path to his eventual college education, and one day he looked back and thought maybe he could give that same gift to others. As the executive director for the Junior Leadership Development Program, that's exactly what he aims to do. 

Chico Children's Museum

The Chico Children's Museum exists in plans, ideas, a board of directors and more — but it doesn't exist in its physical form yet. When it does open (currently planned for April 2017), it will be a big space for a big vision. On this installment of Common Ground for Common Good, we hear from Dana Leslie, the museum's president and founder. She explains the museum's conception, and its ultimate goal of providing children with a place to play, socialize, make mistakes, experiment, and  — most of all — learn.