The Bronco Student Center’s Ursa Major echoes in a crescendo of voices.
Students set to become Broncos in the fall clutch Cal Poly Pomona tote bags filled with a water bottle from the Bronco bookstore, pens, highlighters, a toothbrush and a new student resource guide. After gathering into groups led by orientation leaders, they grab a bagged Subway lunch and file out into the afternoon sun to dine under the canopy of trees.
Regina Bradford, an incoming freshman from Los Angeles, decided to stay close to home – but not too close. Bradford, who plans to major in psychology, says she enjoyed spending three days on campus to get a better feel for what being away from her family would be like.
“This school is not too far and not too close, so it’s perfect,” she says. “It’s very spacious. It’s not like a little small college, and the staff and students are very friendly.”
Bradford is one of 5,367 new faces Cal Poly Pomona is welcoming this summer with orientation events for freshman and transfer students.
While the summer months are often thought of as a quiet period on university campuses, the season proves busy at Cal Poly Pomona. There are more than 14,000 people participating in campus activities, from undergraduates taking classes to children participating in the new Discovery Camps to foreign students traveling from China, Korea, Mexico and Brazil to study in the university’s language programs.
Enrollment in summer classes is up this year, making the campus even more lively.
The number of students taking college-level courses this summer is 9,431, up from 9,088 last year, says Associate Provost Claudia Pinter-Lucke. That marks a 4 percent increase overall and a 7 percent jump in those taking lower-division classes.
The university increased the number of sections this year to 521 from 490 last summer, a 6 percent rise.
The Additional Bottleneck Classes (ABC) Committee regularly identifies courses that need additional sections. Several of the most backlogged courses, including specific upper division business and engineering courses, have been added to accommodate the demand from students. Other classes in the committee’s Top 10 were added this summer, including courses in chemistry, mechanical and electrical engineering and technology and operations management.
“We’re offering more of the classes that help students towards getting a degree,” Pinter-Lucke says. “As we move closer to when we change over to the semester calendar, we’re need to be more intentional in helping students complete the classes they need on the quarter system before the change.”
The College of the Extended University, which oversees the summer sessions, has not only seen an influx in the number of Cal Poly Pomona students taking classes, but also has experienced an uptick in outside individuals participating in its other programs.
The Cal Poly Pomona English Language Institute welcomed students from across the globe, including 100 from the University of Ulsan in South Korea who came for a course on English for electrical engineering. Students from Ulsan also participated in English for naval architecture and ocean engineering classes.
Mexican nationals also came to the institute as part of Proyecto 100,000, an English-language program Mexico sponsors, and a group of teenage students from China arrived in mid-July to study English and learn about campus life.
“These are things we do in addition to our regular programs,” says Daniel Lesho, the institute’s director. “It’s right in line with the mission of the College of the Extended University, which is to have the university’s reach go beyond our campus community.”
Lisa Xue, director of global education programs, says the college welcomes hundreds of participants in professional training and camp programs, as well as the International Student Leadership Institute. It’s a good way to introduce perspective students to the campus, she says. The CEU works with various academic departments and colleges to host these programs.
“The role of the College of the Extended University is to be a facilitator, to try to involve the campus in our programs and activities,” she says. “It’s like a hand in glove. There is a lot of synergy and collaboration. We are one Cal Poly Pomona family, so we need to support each other.”
Other CEU programs set to add to the summer activity on campus include an aviation hospitality program for 100 university students from China.
Growth in programs has become a theme this year. Howard Evans, the CEU dean, says the number of delegations in the college’s Global Education Programs has expanded from four groups last summer to 20 this year.
“There’s always something wonderful going on,” Evans says. “We try and promote things that deal with Cal Poly Pomona’s expertise. There is a synergy between areas of more recognized competence and what we can offer to different groups.”