With the academic calendar switching from quarters to semesters in fall 2018, semester conversion was the main subject during the fall quarter Pizza with the Presidents.
University President Soraya M. Coley, ASI President Farris Hamza and senior university administrators answered questions submitted during the lunch-time event on Nov. 2.
President Coley began the Q&A by giving students an overview of the tools available to help them transition to semesters. These include meeting with academic advisors, their departments, student ambassadors; attending workshops (Nov. 21 and Nov. 28); and using MyPlanner and the forthcoming curriculum conversion guides. The president encouraged students “to proactively seek out the information available.”
- Sequence classes will be part of the semester system, and past quarter sequence courses will correspond with future semester sequence courses. According to Provost Sylvia A. Alva: “2018-19 is going to be a transitional year, and we will work across the university to try to make sure we can be as flexible as possible. We are currently looking at courses that will plug into existing gaps to make sure students don’t fall behind and will make sure to get information out to you.”
- The conversion guide and fall 2018 schedule will be released this month. “We are working as fast as we can to get information out so that you can make decisions,” Provost Alva said. More than 3,000 courses (about 99 percent) have been reviewed and are now in the system. Aggregated data from MyPlanner will help the university in course scheduling.
- An accelerated term during winter break is a possibility in the semester system. “The semester schedule would give us a wonderful opportunity to think of short-term classes to help students move forward,” Alva said. “They are a great opportunity to focus on one course. My hope is that we will have an intersession.”
Summer 2018 Tuition & Schedule
The 2018 summer session will be just five weeks with courses offered Monday through Friday. There will be a concerted effort to offer courses that will help students graduate before conversion. Students should fill out MyPlanner with the courses they need so the university can offer more sections of high-demand classes during the summer.
Summer session fees are not affected by semester conversion, and the university is examining ways to keep costs down for the summer term.
Administrative offices will be open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Title IX, Safety and Student Wellness
President Coley reaffirmed her commitment to student safety and support services. “We are fully committed to making our campus as safe as possible. When something does happen, we want to make sure that students feel safe coming forward,” she said.
The university takes a coordinated and proactive approach in training students, clubs and organizations, resident advisors, faculty and staff on the issues. Information about the university’s plan and response is available on the Title IX webpage. The site includes information on training, reporting incidents, and available resources, both on and off campus.
Students seeking resources in mental health should go to the campus’ Counseling Services, which provides individual short-term counseling, group therapy, mentor programs, a hotline and outreach services. For more information, visit the counseling website.
Additionally, the campus’ Survivor Advocacy Services offers confidential crisis intervention services for survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence and stalking. These services are provided to Cal Poly Pomona students, staff and faculty by licensed professional. Survivor Advocacy Services can be reached at 909-869-2196 and are located near Counseling Services in Building 66.
“We are here to help you,” said Lea Jarnagin, vice president of Student Affairs. “[We are] focused on your holistic well-being… everything from your emotional state to your physical state to your financial state. Do you have enough food to eat? Are you struggling with having a safe and consistent place to live? These are all issues that are connected to one another that will deeply impact your ability to be in the classroom, to do your studies, to engage in your aspirations and your dreams for the future.”
The university has been examining a variety of ways to help students who are homeless or who are experiencing housing insecurity.
Vice President Jarnagin said a committee is working on a comprehensive initiative to support those students and to connect them with available resources. In the interim, the campus has been working with students on a case-by-case emergency basis.
ASI is also focused on housing insecurity, Hamza said. “ASI would like to use one of red brick residence halls for possible emergency housing,” he said. “We also have a resolution that would call for some of Lanterman (Campus South) to be used for student housing needs, and we are researching co-op housing as a possible solution.”
Other topics from Pizza with the Presidents:
- Place for Prayer on Campus – Student Affairs and ASI are working together on identifying a permanent space for prayer. Hamza noted that there are discussions to establish a temporary space in the meantime.
- Career Fairs for the Arts – The Career Center sponsors multiple career events each year attracting a broad range of employers and industries. The center works closely with each of the academic colleges and is available to speak to classes and student groups upon request.
- Creating a Campus Fun Run – President Hamza said a fun run is possible because ASI is looking for ways to bring fun events to campus. He encouraged those interested to stop by the ASI office in the BSC.
Answers to questions that were not addressed during Pizza with the Presidents are available in this PDF document and will be continued to be updated as answers are available.