In November the NASPA Western Regional Conference was held, but this year it was done completely virtual. Joe Diggins, Catalyze partnership manager at College Possible, was able to present alongside faculty at partnering college California State University Stanislaus. The presentation touched upon who Stan State is, the students they serve, and a story direct from one of the coaches at their university. To watch the full presentation click here.
Stan State is located in California’s Central Valley with a campus of nearly 10,000 students in attendance. Stan State was ranked among the top 30 colleges in the West, and ranked No. 5 for being most transformative, according to Money Magazine.
Stan State prides themselves on a strong commitment to diversity and inclusion. Eighty-two percent of their undergraduates are from underrepresented groups, and around 25% come from low-income backgrounds and are Pell Grant eligible. The university is working hard with College Possible to serve these students, many of whom are the first in their family to attend college.
One way College Possible does this is by having recent alums serve as near-peer student success coaches. These coaches are recent graduates from the same university who commit a year of service to help students get the resources they need and make their college experience a successful one. During the 2019-20 academic year, three success coaches served 344 students at Stan State. In 2020-21, that number increased to four success coaches serving 532 students.
Alondra Hernandez is an alum from Stan State at the Stockton campus where she was assigned a College Possible coach while attending school there. Alondra is now serving her first year as a College Possible success coach at the Stockton campus. She spoke about her experiences of having a coach while in college and the transition of becoming a coach after graduation. Alondra explains, “My coach Merce was absolutely the best coach that I could have asked for. She made me feel comfortable and supported, and that’s why I became a coach myself. I joined a club on campus and started going to more events on campus because of my success coach.”
More than just giving a student a coach, College Possible gives students a support beam. They want coaches to be personable with their students and to build trust between them. Coaches help with questions students might face about where to go on campus, or how to find the right advisor. Coaches also setup daily meetings with their students to see how they can help assist students better. Another role coaches play is reminding students of registration deadlines and FASFA dates.