POMONA – Pomona Unified School District and Cal Poly Pomona on Oct. 15 were recognized at the White House for crafting a partnership to help underrepresented Latino youths get into college.

Cal Poly’s program, dubbed Pomona TRANSFERmation, grew out of the state university’s PolyTransfer program, which was created in response to a call for greater access to higher education from the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics.

Through the partnership, TRANSFERmation will create pathways for PUSD graduates to enter two- and four-year colleges and universities, as well as improve their college readiness in English and math, build support networks for them and engage parents.

“We are proud to forge this four-year partnership with Cal Poly Pomona to offer our Latino students a pipeline to college and help remove barriers to higher education by prioritizing early intervention, as well as parent engagement efforts,” said Board of Education President Andrew Wong. “We remain committed to fostering a college going culture, enhancing academic and educational programs, and making acceptance to a four-year university not only a possibility, but a reality.”

Cal Poly Pomona has long had agreements with local community colleges that ease the path for students, but Terri Gomez, interim associate dean for Cal Poly Pomona’s College of Education and Integrative Studies, said more can be done.

“We know that if we really want to have an impact, we have to extend that pipeline to K-12 students,” Gomez said. “We want to facilitate educational access, which will lead to economic mobility.”

As part of Cal Poly Pomona’s commitment, the university will provide college and financial aid workshops for PUSD high school students; bilingual workshops at the high schools for Latino parents; bilingual campus tours for parents and students; peer mentoring with Cal Poly Pomona transfer students; and a summer program for prospective Latino high school and community college students.

The partnerships that the District has cultivated with local universities, community organizations and parents are critical to the success of its students, Pomona Unified Superintendent Richard Martinez said.

“It’s through important partnerships such as the one we have with Cal Poly Pomona that we are able to offer tremendous educational opportunities to our students and support them in their academic, professional and personal endeavors,” said Martinez, who was recognized at the White House earlier this year for bolstering student achievement and increasing access to technology at PUSD schools.

“This truly is a transformative initiative that will change the lives of our first-generation and underrepresented Latino students, who often face challenges to success, and also supports our efforts to provide the children of this community with a high-quality education,” Martinez said. “I want to thank Cal Poly Pomona for its foresight and leadership. It is an honor to jointly receive this White House recognition.”