Professor Alvaro Huerta would like to see Cal Poly Pomona students aim higher than a four-year degree.
Huerta, who teaches in both the urban and regional planning and ethnic and women’s studies departments, wants to encourage students to pursue graduate and professional studies, whether on this campus or elsewhere.
“Sometimes, students at the Cal State level think that graduate or law programs at elite universities like UC Berkeley, UCLA or Harvard are out of reach,” he says. “I’ve taught both at UC Berkeley and UCLA, where I’ve found Cal Poly Pomona students to be equally smart and committed to their studies.”
Students at Cal Poly Pomona who meet the minimum standards for graduate or professional elite universities should apply, he says.
Huerta will host a workshop on Thursday, Nov. 20 to provide students with information about the graduate and law school application and admissions processes.
The event will include a panel featuring representatives from Cal Poly Pomona’s urban and regional planning department, UCLA’s urban planning program, USC’s Sol Price School of Public Policy and Loyola Law School.
Huerta, who is new to campus this year, says he hopes this inaugural workshop will become an annual conference.
Prior to coming to campus, he conducted similar workshops at UCLA while he was a visiting scholar. Raised in East Los Angeles’ notorious Raman Gardens housing project, Huerta earned a bachelor of arts degree in history at UCLA and a master’s in urban planning. He has a doctorate in city and regional planning from UC Berkeley.
Huerta said he also has hosted workshops on diversity issues, and plans to hold one in the future that focuses on the lack of racial minorities in graduate and professional programs.
He recalled seeing only one African American student in his urban planning classes while in graduate school. As a first-generation college graduate, Huerta says increasing diversity in master’s and doctoral programs is an issue he cares about.
“My message is, ‘Don’t limit yourself to a B.A.,’ ” he says. “’Aim to get a master’s, medical, law or doctoral degree.’”
The workshop, which is co-sponsored by the urban and regional planning and ethnic and women’s studies departments, the American Planning Student Association, César E. Chávez Center for Higher Education and African American Student Center, will be held from noon to 1:50 p.m. in Room 100 of Building 7.
For more information, contact Dr. Huerta at firstname.lastname@example.org