UNITE-LA recently wrapped up a multi-month community of practice with leadership from our L.A. Compact partner, California State University, Dominguez Hills (CSUDH). Over the course of our community of practice with the guidance of WestEd, we've engaged in a series of design thinking activities that centered on empathy, ideation and prototyping.
These sessions have helped us better understand the experiences of transfer students, culminating in the formation of two distinct prototypes:
- Objective: Foster inter-departmental collaboration to streamline and enhance the transfer student experience.
- Key Takeaways: We recognized the need for enhanced collaboration between departments to ensure a seamless transfer process. Primary areas of focus were Transfer and Returning Student Orientation (TRSO) improvements, strategic collaboration with community colleges and the establishment of dedicated support teams.
Transfer Week Committee:
- Objective: Organize a week-long event dedicated to introducing and integrating transfer students into the CSUDH community.
- Key Takeaways: We ideated around interactive sessions and initiatives designed to ensure transfer students feel an immediate sense of belonging and connection to CSUDH.
Despite recent changes in staff and structure at CSUDH, the hands-on leadership of key figures has been invaluable. Andy Drummond, Associate Vice President of Academic Advising and Career Development; Deborah Brandon, Associate Vice President of Enrollment; and Mayra Soriano, Interim Associate Vice President of Student Success, have each played a transformative role. Their direct involvement has streamlined our workflow and provided clear directions, demonstrating CSUDH's genuine openness to our ongoing support. Working closely with these leaders, we've assembled a team deeply connected with transfer students, enriching our initiatives and giving us keen insights into the unique hurdles and opportunities these students face.
Building on the momentum we've generated at CSUDH, we're eager to extend this successful collaboration model to our other CSU Compact partners. The experience has given us a template for engaging leadership and aligning resources that genuinely support transfer students.
For more information, please reach out to Matthew Moor, Manager of Postsecondary Initiatives, at [email protected].