The energy was full of hope and excitement when community college leaders from the region gathered for a Leadership Summit hosted by Cal Poly Pomona. Leaders collaborated on how their institutions can support students to successfully finish high school and community college and earn a four-year degree.
The topics discussed included providing additional support services for transfer students, clarifying the CSU’s new ethnic studies requirement and taking the next steps as higher education leaders to support student success post-pandemic.
About 30 leaders attended the summit on March 15, and some of those in attendance were Pasadena City College Associate Dean of Transfers and Honors Services Tamika Alexander and Mt. SAC President and Chief Executive Office Bill Scroggins.
In her opening remarks, University President Soraya M. Coley highlighted Cal Poly Pomona being named a 2021 Champion of Higher Education by Campaign for College Opportunity for exemplary work in enrolling and supporting Associate Degree for Transfer students. She then touched on the importance of being in person for the event and moving forward as leaders advocating for student success.
“Despite the adversities and challenges of the pandemic we must see this moment as an opportunity for us to innovate efforts going forward,” Coley said. “[We can] turn these collaborative opportunities into new heights; do it better, together.”
Jessica Wagoner, senior associate vice president for enrollment services and management at Cal Poly Pomona, presented information on fall 2022 admissions. Although Cal Poly Pomona is one of the least impacted campuses systemwide, with a 21 percent increase in first-year applications, it has continued to experience slight declines in transfer applications for fall 2022. Wagoner elaborated on efforts to build a pathway for transferring students from community college to a four-year university. Identifying barriers in order to promote transfer success and simplify the process of applying to a CSU was a prevalent topic of the day.
At the end of the day, Scroggins said the leadership summit was a great opportunity to discuss these topics with colleagues who understand and can provide clarity for one another.
“Relationships are important, and there are challenges every step of the way, from new state requirements to the articulation process of how we will aid our students. When we gather at an event like this, it allows us to solve problems on a personal level. It’s great to have a relationship with Cal Poly Pomona through dialogue on how Mt. SAC is doing and what we can improve upon.”
An additional leadership summit event was held for high school leaders on March 8 to discuss further methods of supporting incoming first-year students.