Admission deadlines, efforts to bolster the graduation rates and support programs to help students succeed were among the topics discussed when Cal Poly Pomona hosted meetings with area high school and community college leaders.
More than 50 administrators attended the events held March 14 and 15, including Pomona Unified School District Superintendent Richard Martinez and Mt. SAC President and Chief Executive Office William T. Scoggins.
University President Soraya M. Coley highlighted how Cal Poly Pomona has been a national leader in promoting social mobility for the past 20 years. She cited CollegeNET’s social mobility index, which looks at affordability, graduation rates, campus resources and how well graduates do after they earn their degrees, adding that Cal Poly Pomona recently ranked third in the nation.
“This type of metric defines who we are as a university and our role as a national leader in altering the trajectory of our students,” Coley said, “and it is important that we work together in crafting the strategies necessary.”
By 2030, California will have a shortage of 1.1 million workers with bachelor’s degrees, a problem Cal Poly Pomona hopes to help solve.
“We see our goal, quite frankly, as serving as an engine of opportunity,” Coley said. “It’s about providing opportunities to succeed and thrive at Cal Poly Pomona, but it is also about what happens after they leave our university.”
Jessica Wagoner, senior associate vice president for enrollment services and management, provided information on the application process, admission notifications and efforts to reduce the number of impacted programs.
The university received more than 39,600 first-time freshman applications for fall 2019, the largest percentage increase in the volume of applications of all the CSU campuses, Wagoner said.
The demand for the programs Cal Poly Pomona offers is also high but the university has reduced the number of impacted programs to 19 from 29 previously in fall 2016, Wagoner said. Wagoner also shared that due to the new CSU local admissions priority policy for impacted programs, Cal Poly Pomona was able to admit an additional 4.2 percent first-time freshmen and 2.7 percent upper division transfers into impacted programs this fall 2019. Some impacted programs experienced as much as a 100 percent increase in local area admits.
Terri Gomez, associate vice president for student success, discussed how the university’s efforts to increase graduation rates has borne fruit. The efforts are related to the CSU’s Graduation Initiative 2025.
Gomez also shared information about extra support students can receive in math and English through supplemental instruction, longer classes known as stretch courses and programs such as Bronco Scholars, a summer program for qualified incoming freshman that includes tuition, housing, meals, books and parking. Summer Bridge also is an option for students new to the college experience who might need additional support, she added.
The programs are part of the university’s holistic approach to helping students.
“Our commitment is to serve our most vulnerable students,” she said.
At the high school event, Pomona Unified School District Superintendent Richard Martinez shared how his district and Cal Poly Pomona have partnered, including opening Innovation Orchard at Ganesha High, a maker space for budding entrepreneurs. The district’s program for robotics and another effort designed to help train elementary school science teachers also are examples of collaboration, he said.
“I really appreciate all you have done, especially for those students who are underprivileged,” Martinez said.