Building stronger ties between universities and community colleges is a critical component in developing a robust pipeline for transfer students, a prominent researcher in education stressed at the PolyTransfer symposium at Cal Poly Pomona.
Daniel G. Solórzano, a professor of education and Chicano studies at UCLA, also cited outreach efforts, institutional change and a commitment to academic resources as other factors to improve the rate of transfer students to universities.
“We need support for our students transferring from community colleges,” said Solórzano, who holds a doctorate in sociology of education. “We must create a transfer-receptive culture, which is an institutional commitment by a four-year university to provide the support needed for students to transfer successfully and earn a bachelor’s degree.”
Solórzano’s scholarly work focuses on critical race theory in education. He also seeks to spread awareness of educational access to students of color.
By 2030, the state will face a projected shortage of 1.1 million of workers who have a bachelor’s degree.
“The supply of BAs can only be met through community college transfer students,” he said.
Solórzano’s address on April 20 was part of the Transfer Symposium hosted by the College of Education & Integrative Studies’ PolyTransfer program, which was followed by a round-table discussion.
He lauded the PolyTransfer program, which offers transfer students workshops throughout the year to ease the transition to Cal Poly Pomona and encourages academic success and engagement in campus activities.
“PolyTransfer is a special program,” Solórzano said. “The polytechnic part of this university makes a difference in comparison to other California State universities. When discussing math and science development programs, what better place to do it than Cal Poly Pomona?”
PolyTransfer is one of the first programs of its kind in the CSU and is funded in part by an Academic and Student Success Grant from the CSU Chancellor’s Office. Since its creation in 2014, the program has helped over 200 students transfer to Cal Poly Pomona.
After the symposium, Solórzano, Provost Sylvia A. Alva, CEIS Dean Nancy Hurlbut, Pomona Unified School District Superintendent Richard Martinez, Deborah Brandon, the executive director of admissions and outreach, José M. Aguilar-Hernández, the interim director of PolyTransfer, and S. Terri Gomez, interim associate vice president for student success and founder of PolyTransfer, examined how Cal Poly Pomona and local school districts can make a difference in providing educational resources and programs to help students get into college.
Last December, Cal Poly Pomona and the PUSD signed a ground-breaking pact that guarantees university admission to certain majors for students who meet academic requirements and other conditions.