Representatives from Cal Poly Pomona and Pomona Unified School District are being recognized at the White House this week due to a partnership the institutions developed to help underprivileged Hispanic youths get into college.
The university has long had agreements with local community colleges that ease the path for such students, but S. Terri Gomez, interim associate dean for the College of Education and Integrative Studies, said more can be done.
“We know that if we really want to have an impact, we have to extend that pipeline to K-12 students,” she says. “We want to facilitate educational access, which will lead to economic mobility.”
The program, dubbed Pomona TRANSFERmation, is an outgrowth of the PolyTransfer program.
It was created in response to a call for greater access to higher education from the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics.
Pomona TRANSFERmation, a collaborative effort of Student Affairs, Academic Affairs and Pomona Unified, is designed to create pathways from PUSD graduates to two- and four-year colleges and universities, as well as improving their college readiness in English and math, and building support networks for them.
“It’s through important partnerships such as the one we have with Cal Poly Pomona that we are able to offer tremendous educational opportunities to our students and support them in their academic, professional and personal endeavors,” says Richard Martinez, superintendent of Pomona Unified. “This truly is a transformative initiative that will change the lives of our first-generation and underrepresented Latino students, who often face challenges to success.”
Gomez and Martinez were expected to gather at the White House on Thursday for a meeting with the president and White House staff.
“I am looking forward to meeting the president and celebrating Hispanic heritage at the White House,” Gomez says. “It’s a wonderful opportunity.”