Cal Poly Pomona highlighted the university’s efforts to bolster student success and support those struggling with food insecurity, mental health and housing instability at a California Senate hearing.
The special hearing of the Senate Select Committee on Student Success, which included State Senators Steve Glazer (D-Orinda), Richard Roth (D-Riverside) and Ling Ling Chang (R-Diamond Bar), was held on campus Oct. 8.
President Soraya M. Coley shared ways the university is working to chart a path for student success in the wake of growing enrollment – including hiring more tenure-track faculty, tapping into data to identify students who need additional assistance, and strengthening basic needs efforts to ensure they are supported.
“These endeavors demonstrate our commitment to data-driven decision making, our focus on innovation, our steadfastness in carefully measuring our progress and our collaborative approach to considering the needs of the whole student,” Coley said.
The hearing featured a panel of administrators, faculty, staff and students. CPP speakers highlighted the hiring of new advisors, the implementation of a financial wellness program, the Billy Chat and the efforts around the CSU’s Graduation Initiative 2025, among other programs.
The hearing was part of a tour the state lawmakers are doing of CSU campuses to examine how challenges in and out of the classroom are affecting graduation and dropout rates, as well increasing student debt.
Glazer lauded the university’s summer completion grant program, which started in 2018 to help students close to graduation get over the finish line and committed to look for additional state support.
“To take those 327 students that were 8 units away from a degree – and you know the difference between a degree and no degree, it’s a massive difference economically – and to be able to get them over the top with that summer program is incredibly valuable for them and for the state,” he said.
Glazer also gave Cal Poly Pomona high marks for being an early pioneer in starting a graduation pledge program in 1999.
The hearing also gave university representatives an opportunity to share its efforts in helping students grappling with mental health issues, as well as food and housing insecurity. After the hearing, the lawmakers toured the Poly Pantry, a food pantry on campus for students in need.
Click here to watch the hearing.