Transfer Retreat: Community College Outreach
On April 19th SWE held its first annual Transfer Retreat. Community college students were invited to campus to participate in club projects and attend a panel about the transfer experience. The event gave the students a feel of Cal Poly engineering. We wanted to introduce the hands-on experience of Cal Poly, seen in the abundance of projects in classes and clubs on campus. SWE was able to partner with clubs and staff on campus to execute this fun and educational experience.
Community college students were split into groups with a Cal Poly transfer student. Each group rotated to the clubs’ activities and in this blog post we will “follow” one group through their day. The first club we went to was WISH, Women Involve in Software and Hardware. Students were taught about programming using music and clapping as an analogy for while loops. The next club was QL+, Quality of Life Plus. They had a thumb casting lab to show how prosthetics are made to reflect the look of existing limbs. After QL+ we go to CP Racing. CP Racing had parts of their cars and asked the students to design their own as well. Finally, we came to SHPE, Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers. Students built their own mini pneumatic bridges. Syringes filled with water were able to raise and lower the bridges. Students were exposed to a variety of clubs and majors from computer science to mechanical engineering. One student told us that the labs were great and that we should get even more clubs involved.
After the rotations to each of the clubs, students came back to the panel. We had current Cal Poly transfer students and staff on the panel. Rachel Klemm, Lousie Ibuna, and Luke Dougherty shared their experiences as transfer students. They were able to describe the transition into the four-year university and impart tips on how to manage the quarter system. One of our staff panelists was Dr. Jane Lehr. She contributes so much to Cal Poly but represented LSAMP for our panel. LSAMP is the Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation in STEM which most transfer students are eligible for. She was able to provide information about resources available to transfer students when they leave community college. Our other staff panelist was Ashlee Burt from Engineering Student Services. She explained the complexities of transferring and how MEP, the Multicultural Engineering Program, can help students adjust to the Cal Poly community.
We had a great day with the students and hope that in the following years we are able to reach out to more people.