Our Cypress College Puente and Honors Programs recently toured Cal Poly San Luis Obispo’s beautiful Central Coast campus. Nestled in the region’s impressively lush, verdant hills and equipped with stunning facilities, SLO left its mark on our group.
First stop on our tour was the newly constructed Waren J. Baker Center for Science and Mathematics. If you’re in a STEM field of study, this seems to be a very interesting, up-and-coming place to be. Aside from its gleam of sheer “newness” – always appealing – every student and faculty member we came across was full of pride for the institution and its focus on the undergraduate experience.
Cal Poly lives in accord with its “Learn by Doing” philosophy, which means that students are expected to take part in experiential learning opportunities. They work directly with senior faculty (not T.A.’s) on compelling research and final year projects: finding antidotes to malaria, creating a company acquired by Google (Punchd), founding Jamba Juice… exceptional examples of Cal Poly students at their best. They take part in summer internships. They build relationships with professors who, given small class sizes and an institutional emphasis on teaching, prioritize mentorship.
Our guide selected Cal Poly over Berkeley because of this undergraduate focus, which she felt would provide her with a stronger educational base. We heard similar stories and sentiments from other STEM students we met.
Following our tour of the new science and mathematics building, we also viewed the similarly new gym. Incredible. Students have access to top-notch equipment, indoor and outdoor basketball, tennis, and track facilities, pools, sand volleyball courts, professional classes in spinning and yoga, and so much more. It’s no wonder that most people on campus seem exceptionally fit.
Capping off the day, we went into the very college town of San Luis Obispo and found food at the earthy, hip, lively evening Farmers Market.
A gallery of our half-day tour can be found online here.
Cypress College is recognized as one of California’s top community colleges. Recent accolades include:
– #1 in the U.S. | Top Toyota T-TEN Auto-Tech Program in the Nation.
– #2 in C.A. | Top Two ESL & Basic Skills English Programs in California.
– #3 in C.A. | Ranked as a Top Three California Community College (Schools.com)
– #3 in the Region | Ranked Top Three in Greater Los Angeles & Orange County for Student Transfer and Graduation Rates (EdSmart.org)
– 15 of 113 | California Community Colleges piloting a Bachelor’s Degree (Mortuary Science)
– #17 in the U.S. | National Ranking on MTV-U’s website “Rate-My-Professor”
– Top National Licensure Exam Pass Rates | Perfect state licensure pass rates for students in the following programs: Dental Hygiene, Diagnostic Medical Sonography: Abdomen; Diagnostic Medical Sonography (OB/Gyn); Diagnostic Medical Sonography: Physics; and Mortuary Science: Sciences. 90+% state licensure exam pass rates for students in the following programs: Dental Assisting; Mortuary Science (Arts); Radiology Technology. And85%+ state licensure rates for students in: Health Information Technology; Nursing; and Psychiatric Technology.
– 2/3ds of the Class of 2015 qualified for transfer to a UC or CSU institution.
– 75 Orange Empire Athletics Conference Titles
– 25 California Community College Athletic Association State Championship Titles