CPP advising honored with NASPA Excellence Award

By Allison Larrimore, Feb. 27, 2024

The National Association of Student Personnel Administrators recently recognized Cal Poly Pomona’s advising community for its achievements in creating campaigns and strategies to promote student success.

CPP advising received a 2023-2024 Gold Excellence Award for “Implementing Coordinated Campaigns Strategies for Focused, Proactive Advising Support,” naming Erin Lion DeRosa, Cecilia Santiago-González, Vannessa Lopez, Jay Ebue and Pedro Navarro as the recipients. According to the announcement by NASPA, the award, which will be formally granted at a ceremony in March, honors faculty who advance higher education through excellent programs, innovative services and successful administration.

“It’s an acknowledgement of the hard work that the advising community has done over the past couple of years to really improve advising practices at CPP,” said DeRosa, executive director of University Advising.

DeRosa hopes the initiatives will serve as an example of impactful work for similar programs implemented at other college campuses.

University and Student Success Advising staff partner with students to provide academic guidance and eliminate any potential barriers in the way of their success, such as helping break procrastination habits or enroll in unfulfilled courses. The services offered include creating personalized degree plans, financial aid programs and discussions on how to help students reach both educational and career goals as efficiently as possible.

Ebue, interim associate director of Student Success Advising, emphasized the importance of students forging a connection with their adviser and having a “go-to” person who can help them when necessary.

“In building that rapport just anecdotally from talking with students and advisers who know the history of the advising session and the student’s academic journey, they’re more able to help them progress through challenges,” said Ebue.

One campaign implemented in the last five years gave students the ability to create semesterly course planners as well as schedule appointments with advisers through CPP Connect. According to data the advising community has received from this tool, referred to as “intervention effectiveness” by Ebue, students who seek assistance through CPP Connect and other similar advising programs are graduating at an increased rate with higher GPAs and units enrolled per semester than students who forgo such services.

“Seeing that these practices are working, it motivates us to continue to look for ways to continue to support students, whether that means adopting our current efforts or creating new efforts that are going to promote student success,” said Lopez, senior associate director of Student Success Advising.

Using the new proactive outreach model, advisers can contact students who may benefit from their services, willing and ready to support them in any area where they may need it most, according to Ebue.

“Just take that one first step, trust the process and we’re here to help,” said Ebue. “All of the advisers are really passionate about seeing their students graduate and walk at commencement and see them get their degree.”

DeRosa also emphasized the value in seeing an adviser early and often, regardless of whether students are having academic difficulties.

“It’s like brushing your teeth,” said DeRosa. “It’s good proactive work to do so that you don’t have to have a cavity later.”

Students interested in seeking advising can visit the Bronco Advising Center website or go in person on the first floor of the Student Services Building weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Feature image courtesy of Alexander Novoa.

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