For the past decade, concerns about a student’s success in his/her higher educational career are growing, with reason. University student retention is a nation-wide issue, and at Cal Poly Pomona, it’s extremely important to our institution that we pay close attention to student graduation rates, and it’s our obligation to increase them through a wide array of curricular and co-curricular activities. The National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE Studies) indicates that “student success is directly linked to student involvement. NSSE measures student involvement in academic and co-curricular programs and activities, and the effect they have on students.”
With that said, students are more likely to be invested at their institution, demonstrate academic excellence and will continue to re-enroll each semester, eventually leading them towards graduation. Because student involvement is so important, it’s vital for an institution to create a culture, not just a campus. When students are involved and engaged, they feel like they are a part of something as this sense of belonging fosters loyalty and pride in their institution as well as academic achievement, and community involvement. Cal Poly Pomona is known for integrating the “learn-by-doing” philosophy that prepares students, not only to learn in a classroom setting but also apply their knowledge gained in a practicum setting both on and off-campus.
CPP’s Academic Strategic Plan, which was adopted in spring 2009, has adapted to further collaborative relationships across the campus with organizations and departments like Associated Students Incorporated (ASI), in hopes of creating an intersection of teaching and scholarship through campus programs and activities.
“The relationship between academic affairs and what we provide through programs and services in student affairs, is an important factor in a student’s college success. The two divisions must continue to work together in harmony to execute the university’s learn-by-doing philosophy by providing educational and fun programs for students,” Coordinator of the Cesar Chavez Center for Higher Education, Lorena Marquez said.
In full support of the student college experience, CPP’s Graduation Initiative listed engagement as an objective to promote active student involvement on campus, to keep students connected and increase graduation rates and to improve students’ self-identification as scholars and future professionals.
“I enjoy being involved on campus with the clubs and councils I represent. I must say, if I didn’t participate in these activities, I don’t think I would feel like I was a part of this university, and I wouldn’t have a sense of campus community and pride,” fourth-year public relations major, Jeff Sumida said.
At ASI, we continually strive to offer programs and services to students that complement their academic careers. In our 2009-14 Strategic Plan, one of our initiatives is to fortify our commitment to academic excellence by strengthening connections and partnerships with academic departments through collaborative programming. The educational benefits of student employment and leadership within ASI make our organization one of the premiere learning laboratories on campus.
For more information on ASI, visit us at asi.csupomona.edu