Cal Poly Pomona Takes New Approach to Welcoming Veterans

Cal Poly Pomona has demonstrated its ongoing support of veterans and their education through the establishment of a campus-wide Veterans Services Initiative led by President Michael Ortiz and composed of working groups of faculty, staff and students.

The university is one of four in California and one of 20 nationwide to be recognized with a $100,000 grant to meet the needs of student-veterans and their families. The initiative is supported in part by the American Council on Education through a grant from the Wal-Mart Foundation.

Development of a personalized e-orientation program for student-veterans is well underway.

The program is designed to foster connections with the campus community and other students, and provide an online orientation to information technology, academic advising, enrollment and campus resources.

Faculty advising will be an important component of the program, and students will be encouraged to visit campus for a tour designed to their needs and backgrounds.

Jose Lopez, a Navy veteran and junior at Cal Poly Pomona, says veterans often struggle to assimilate after spending time in the service.

“College is a completely different environment than the service, so it was a culture shock for me to go back into the studying-and-taking-classes world,” says Lopez, an electrical engineering student.

The e-orientation program will be accessible through Blackboard, the campus' e-learning system, and will be available to student-veterans before they register for their first term.

“Our veterans do a great deal for this country, and whatever we can do to help them succeed in their academic pursuits, we should,” says Kathleen Street, associate vice president for enrollment services.