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Episode 17 Transcript

Michael Hayes 04/06/2021 38

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 The Right Type of Support

Time: 43:14


students, carmelo, deanna, programs, community college, transfer, campus, first generation students, faculty, support, bit, work, college, people, framework, community colleges, chico state, higher education, helping, access


Carmelo Miranda, He-Lo Ramirez, joshuah whittinghill, Teresa Hernandez, Introduction Music, Deanna Pierro


He-Lo Ramirez 00:00

Heytanayem nikki yam sa He-Lo nikki Mechoopda Maidu. Hello everyone. My name is He-Lo and I’m a Mechoopda Maidu. We acknowledge and are mindful that Chico State stands on lands that were originally occupied by the first people in this area, the Mechoopda. And we recognize their distinctive spiritual relationship with this land and the waters that run through campus. We are humbled that our campus resides upon sacred lands that have sustained the Mechoopda people for centuries, and continue to do so today.


Introduction Music 01:02

Introduction Music


joshuah whittinghill 01:04

Okay. We are recording.


Teresa Hernandez 01:10

Welcome everyone for tuning back in for our podcast, first generation, one of many. So today, we have a super exciting episode, as always, of waiting for you all to learn a little bit more about our current topic, which josh is going to introduce later on. And so of course, like I mentioned, welcome back to first generation, one of many, our mission is to create an archive of discussions with and about first generation student experiences in and out of the classroom. We hope to continue raising awareness and understanding provide voice for students and alum as well as present resources for faculty, staff, and students working for and collaborating with first generation students. So again, the man of the hour who also is my fellow co-host, I’ll like to welcome and introduce joshuah whittinghill. Sup, josh?


joshuah whittinghill 01:56

Not much Teresa, what’s up with you today?


Teresa Hernandez 01:59

No, not much. So it’s actually been a pretty good day. So far, a little bit of a rough morning start, but we’re here.


joshuah whittinghill 02:06

Yeah, I’ve been talking with people all week. And for some reason, even though it’s Wednesday, now, when we’re recording, all Monday, Tuesday, everyone’s been having this sort of shared sentiment that it felt like Thursday afternoon the whole time this whole week for some reason. And I’m loving the weather despite the 30 to 40 mile an hour winds around here today, it’s just nice to look out and see the blue and the sun and, and you know, and seeing people out walking around and stuff has been great in the neighborhood. But yeah, I’m really excited for today’s episode. To be able to bring in two people I consider role models, mentors and friends that I’ve known for a while and have gone through a handful of different personal and educational experiences with one of them gave me a kick in the butt one day and said Hey, why don’t you go get a doctorate man it’s about time you do that. And then the other one the other one joined in the process along the way we were already friends and we got to do that journey together and and quite a bit of ups and downs and hotel rooms and different different fun things though and got to really learn a lot about each other and and develop our relationship and then sadly, he up and decided to move away from Chico so but it is great we’re gonna have and though these two people are Deanna Pierro and Carmelo Miranda, welcome you too. How are you today?


Carmelo Miranda 03:32

Yeah. Thank you for having me. Or having us.


joshuah whittinghill 03:36



Deanna Pierro 03:37

And ride solo today. Thanks for having us.


joshuah whittinghill 03:40

No, yeah, yeah. And Deanna was a gracious host along with her partner, hostess or host along with her partner for me, during the time of traveling to UC Davis and Sacramento for her schoolwork. And let me crash in our house. And it was just a great time as well. So um and so our topic today is going to be about being first generation and in working and attending Community College. And what that experience is like comparatively, maybe to, you know, a four year school. And so both Carmelo and Deanna work in community college. So that’s, of course why we have them on the show today. And we’re going to give them a little we’re going to give a little background about them and then have a wonderful discussion. And first, as usual, we’re going to start off with a couple of quotes. And again, these were both offered up and shared with us by our guests. So Carmelo was saying that enable to do the work he does. He often refers to the quote he has written on his whiteboard right there behind him. It says, basically, simply, if there’s a will, there’s a way and Carmelo did you want to expand on that a little bit.


Carmelo Miranda 04:58

Um, so I always reflect on this quote, because with the worked that we do with our community college students, each student is different, we can’t put them in the same basket as other students. So even though they’re first generation students, they still have their own. They come with their own like set of circumstances that I have to figure out how to help them. So a longtime passionate about helping students, we’re trying to find a way to come up with a solution. So that’s why we have that quote, written on the whiteboard to kind of remind me every single day that there’s always a solution, there’s always a way to help these students.


joshuah whittinghill 05:36

You know perfect, that’s great. And sometimes, right, we find in our work there, there is there’s often always three or four solutions sometimes which helps students to have those choices and options depending on what we can do and what they can find out there. So thank you for that, quote, reminder for us all. And the next quote, was shared, Deanna picked out for us. And it comes from John Lewis, and the late great activist and civil rights activist and he said, Get in good trouble, necessary trouble and redeem the soul of America. Deanna thanks for sharing that you want to talk a little bit about that? What that means to you why you shared it, because when I heard it, and when you share that out, that is Deanna right there. Yeah.


Deanna Pierro 06:24

That’s good to hear. I try to embody that as much as possible, I think especially during these times, right. It’s resonated with me more so than before, and I hope resonates with our students who are also. And that quotes about having a voice when you’re underrepresented and standing up for what’s right. And I hope that our students can also learn to embody that themselves.


joshuah whittinghill 06:47

Yeah, thank you very much. And so let’s get right into some bio information so the listeners can know a little bit more about each of you and then learn as we discuss after that. So Deanna Pierro is a full time faculty member at Woodland Community College and has worked in higher education since 2005. The bulk of her career has been spent working with and for underrepresented populations. Her doctoral dissertation and professional efforts revolve around increasing access and informalizing education. Alright, welcome again, Deanna. Now, let’s hear about Carmelo


Teresa Hernandez 07:24

Yes, awesome. So my pleasure to introduce Carmelo Miranda, who is a first generation student, which is one of the reasons why he enjoys working for educational support programs. His first generation experience allows them to connect with students and assist them with their academic goals. Welcome to our episode, Carmelo, how are you doing?


Carmelo Miranda 07:43

Thank you for having me. I’m doing rather well.


Teresa Hernandez 07:46

Yeah. Thanks again for being here with us. So definitely wanting to get to know you both a little bit better. And what better place to start and then to ask Where did you both begin in your professional careers and what got you both into higher education? So we can start with Carmelo if you’d like to?


Carmelo Miranda 08:04

Yeah. So I think what got me interested in pursuing this career, I reflect a lot at the job that I had as a college student as an undergraduate student. So I started at Sonoma State University and got involved eventually got involved in their being a tour guide for Sonoma State, and then eventually also worked for admissions and records for the University such as helping out students and just getting interact with students. And then when I transferred to Chico State, I got hired as a peer mentor for the student, Student Support Services SS TRIO program. So I really enjoyed it. I really enjoyed being an RA and just kind of helping students and talking to them and trying to figure out how to help them out in providing guidance. And when I graduated with my degree, I was working in the private sector and healthcare, and I did not enjoy it. I dreaded going into the hospital. So I end up quitting that job and just took time to really reflect what made me happy and it always came back to helping students so I decided to go back into education.


joshuah whittinghill 09:12

Can I brag about Carmelo for a minute.


Teresa Hernandez 09:15

Yes, we’d love to know more.


joshuah whittinghill 09:17

He didn’t put it in there. It’s not in there. But But he is officially Dr. Carmelo Miranda also.


Teresa Hernandez 09:24

Oh congratulations.


joshuah whittinghill 09:26

And and did his doctoral research on working and supporting undocumented students so just wanted to make sure we share that out there because that’s something that he has worked very hard at went through a lot and, and is amazing at what he’s doing out there.


Carmelo Miranda 09:40

Appreciate that Josh


joshuah whittinghill 09:41

I do like to brag on Carmelo


Teresa Hernandez 09:44

Should’ve added that into your bio. That’s awesome. Prefect. And Deanna. What brought you into higher education or what was your your beginning?


Deanna Pierro 09:54

Yeah, you know, I think it actually started in high school. I hadn’t quite an affinity for being a teacher and as well as learning, of course, and so I had aspired at that time to be a PE teacher got into college and realize that kinesiology major, which is required for a PE teacher requires a lot of science, which was not my forte per se. So I quickly switched over to, I think, my next best strength, which was English and composition. And during the undergrad, I was actually a tutor, the tutoring center at Fresno State University. And then for my graduate work, I was a TA. And so I think both of those experiences is actually what launched me into higher education, I would not be where I am without those experiences. And in fact, I’m still part of my role now is overseeing tutoring services. So yeah, it’s it’s very much aligned with sort of my early beginnings.


joshuah whittinghill 10:56

Yeah, and you you both mentioned kind of your some of your work that you’ve done. And it touches on that you both have worked at four year and two year campuses now. So what are what are some differences and some similarities that you see, for the students you’re working with in these settings?


Deanna Pierro 11:16

I guess I’ll jump in. Carmelo might still be pondering that way. Well, I think, you know, there is obviously a lot of similarities, right? Both higher education institutions or missions are very similar programs that we offer very similar. There’s EOP, EOPS on one end, and EOPNS on another right. And lots of programs are same, but different titles. And so I think all of that is very much similar, I think where we’re most different is probably in our population sizes. Right? Okay, I know Carmelo could agree with this is that, that poses some challenges for sure for community colleges and the work that we do, for any first generation, even low income programs, we do a lot of events, and it that becomes tougher at a community college when your population sizes a lot smaller. And then we’re also not a residential campus, there’s only I think, 11 out of the entire 112 community colleges that are residential campuses. So most are not and that poses other obstacles, you know, it’s difficult to create communities, for the students when, you know, there’s not much of a community that exists on the campus itself. So obviously, those are probably some of the greater disparities between the two.


Carmelo Miranda 12:39

And then for, for me, I, so I been at the college for the commuinty college for three years now. So when I started, I realized the age different of the students like for University there rather, they’re kind of more younger students and the community college, not so much. So for me with getting used to working with students that are parents that are older than me sometimes. And so trying to help them out with my life experience, even though they’re older than me just trying to, like guide them and try to reflect on how can I help them out. And Deanna mentioned about the events that we that we have, sometimes it’s difficult for students who attend events, because some of them are working a full time job, and just taking classes here and there. So for me, it’s adjusting to the student population and hear more stories of perseverance that our students, for example, like, especially with COVID, some of them lost their homes and living off in cars and trying to figure out how to do remote learning, using whatever Wi-Fi they can. So it’s just a different population of students and adjusting to that and making sure that I’m being helpful and, and hearing them out.


joshuah whittinghill 13:55

Yeah. Can I mean I mean, you both are doing amazing work out there. And can I share a fun story about sort of events and what it takes and what you are doing to make sure it’s supporting students, one of the first nights Carmelo and I went down to Sacramento, we were going to meet Deanna for dinner, because we were staying at her house. And we got a text from Deanna about 6:30. Oh, I’m gonna run a little bit late. We’re getting back from this event over in the Bay Area. And so we’re waiting another half an hour goes by, oh, I we’re still a little bit late. We’re coming. We’re almost there. And then by time, we got in touch with Deanna and she made it back to Woodland, to the campus, it was about nine o’clock. And then she said, Oh, we need help, we need to get this van back to the airport to the rental spot. And so Carmelo and I are driving around with her. And by the time we got done, though, the students that, you know, came back with her, she had said, you know, they were they were still with her at nine o’clock coming back from the event excited, pumped up about what they had done for the day, was a great opportunity for the students to do something that they normally wouldn’t have had in their day or their time. If it was like, hey, from eight to five, we have to do these things at this time only. So it really shows what you’re doing and then eventually the night round up great. We’ve had some, I think we went to a pizza place. I think it was the only place that was open anymore by the time we got to dinner, but it just shows.


Deanna Pierro 15:11

Wow, great memory there man. That’s a great story. I had almost completely forgot actually about that anything that you know said something that it just becomes such a normal part of our day when we’re working with students that you know will stay longer, whatever, adapt their schedules because we have to that you forget that it’s probably not normal for most. But yeah good memory. That’s a good one. Y’all really came through for me that night, by the way. So thank you both again.


joshuah whittinghill 15:37

Yeah. But I think it’s also the connections, right? I’ve just working in higher-ed understanding, what what those things mean and what it means to help support. And then the last 12 months, there’s been a lot more discussion around no matter what we’re doing to help students that we personally as staff and faculty are making sure we take care of ourselves. And we’re not just doing everything that it takes to support students sometimes because that means you’re neglecting your own personal well being at times. And that seems to be unclear. But both of you have always done a good job about balancing and doing that for yourselves for the most part from what I’ve seen as well. Carmelo, Carmelo


Deanna Pierro 16:16

Actually it is perfectly, I think indicative of where I’m at as well. So yeah, I agree. We can do better, I think.


Carmelo Miranda 16:24

Yeah, we can definitely do better.


joshuah whittinghill 16:26

Yeah. I don’t see you for, I haven’t seen you for a year. And now you’re just going okay, you got to get back to where you were before. In your personal care in areas.


Deanna Pierro 16:35

Yeah, you think Carmelo doesn’t have his dissertation or got anywhere, you’d be in a better spot. But I don’t know. Different beast, I think.


Carmelo Miranda 16:43

Yeah, especially during COVID time. It’s there’s times that I work 12 hours a day, just because of the nature of adjusting to, to COVID and providing the same services. But our students are pretty much all over the place. But yeah.


Teresa Hernandez 17:01

Yeah, it’s definitely something to that COVID has done and I feel like josh and I have had this conversation a lot with our co-workers, and also our other guests on our episodes is, is what COVID has illuminated in needs of our students, especially within our own students within the EOP program, and just in other programs in higher-ed overall in general. And, and we’ve spoken about some of those issues. But in regard to your to the experience for both of you, what are situations issues or concerns that you see that are crucial that we need to be talking about regarding first generation student personal and academic achievements. And whoever’s ready can take this one.


Carmelo Miranda 17:40

I want to touched a little bit about that regards to the work that I did in my master’s program because I try to focus on technology integration with first generation student. Now we as educators assume that students know how to use technology for academics, but they’re using technology for social media gaming and other things. Some of it could be transferred, transferred over to academics but working with work in this community college, one thing that I understood right away is a student’s lack of understanding how to effectively use a laptop or how to use Microsoft or Excel or how to open a PDF, or even how to do reading newton’s digital material. So there’s a lot of things that students, our first generation students need to understand before they get to college is how to do the basic stuff. One thing that I that comes to mind a story is that as I was helping a student, and it’s like, oh, just you need to just download the PDF, and then open the document and you’ll be able to get access to information. And then a while after it took a while, but then he came back to me. He’s like, how do you open and download a PDF? Like, for me as I know, I thought it was a simple process. But for the student, it was a huge challenge. So just things like that. It’s just adjusting to the student. And so COVID kind of brought that into light more is that one, a lot of our first generation students lack the proper technology to at home to be able to do their academics, especially with now they’re using proctorio for exams, and some that their laptops are not up to date. So they got to figure out how to get another laptop, they might not have good Wi-Fi to stay connected all the time, Via Zoom. I actually had to invest a lot myself in getting my Wi-Fi up to par in order to be on Zoom. Because it was a struggle at the beginning. But I’m very fortunate to have the funds to do that. Not most students do not. So just things like that came into light, but a lot of it is just helping students understand how to use technology a little bit more effectively for their academics.


Teresa Hernandez 19:46

I definitely agree with that one.


Deanna Pierro 19:49

I would say this is a really good question, by the way, because I think there’s something that’s really big that’s usually left out of the conversation when talking about first generation students. One we know, obviously, financial hardships often coincide with being first gen, right, is also being low income. And, and that means often a tremendous impact on even students access to food and housing, for example. And so for me, I think, you know, shelter and food insecurity is often left out of the conversation with discussing first generation population. Unfortunately, I think that has a lot to do with the fact that we’ve done a tremendous job in finding ways to celebrate and find pride in being a first gen right with the whole new me first movement, right that that folks are now saying, you know, I am first gen and that’s a good thing. But we have not been able to find the same pride obviously in self identifying as food or shelter insecure, right, for obvious reasons. Um, and so with that, what what ends up happening in turn is that then students don’t feel comfortable in talking about those things and sharing those things. And yet, they’re dealing with these hardships that ultimately impact their academic achievement. And so I think that’s one that’s very critical to the conversation that we need to do better at and then find ways to open the door for students to feel comfortable to discuss those things, maybe providing panels where even you know, faculty and staff maybe share some of their stories in the past of dealing with those hardships. But that is absolutely a critical piece that I think is not discussed enough.


joshuah whittinghill 21:32

Yeah, and that that even goes back to one of our episodes, we were talking with some faculty from the College of Agriculture and a student from that area. And that was one of the main issues they were talking about in their different fields within agriculture, of how they’re trying to address this and look at that situation. Now, that’s coming more to the forefront of not even just first generation students, but a lot of students, you know, in general, in the total in the whole population are facing are facing more food insecurity in the last five to 10 years. And it’s coming to light now, with different basic needs programs and, and things that are popping up around higher education areas. So if you’re living near a place where there is a university or community college, you may even have a little bit more access. But if you’re living somewhere that’s a little bit farther away from any kind of campus, in higher education, some of those resources might be a little bit less at this time, but it’s an excellent point, and so many to move forward. Because there was always this sort of, you know, the joke or the myth of like, I’m a college student, I eat top Ramen all the time. And that’s it. But but it was always more serious. And now we see the impacts of that on on students. And you mentioned first generation students in that realm, and connected to community college, it seems like it’s like what Carmelo mentioned about the age of students at community colleges being different than the four year schools. And that means quite often, a lot of community college students come to school already as parents or guardians as well, compared to the to coming into a four year school. So So we see that impact, it’s more than just the student. It’s also people that they are responsible that they’re taking care of as well.


Deanna Pierro 23:15

Yeah, yeah. You know, I think there is something there, Josh and Carmelo, I don’t know if this has been your experience. But for me, I feel like we’ve certainly had been helping a lot more students, a greater portion of our students have, you know, self-identify as, as housing or food insecure at the community college level, it is very prominent. Um, and so yeah, that that’s, it’s been an interesting experience in that regard. You’re right.


joshuah whittinghill 23:45

And, and in working with students and colleagues and community members and things that we’re doing, can can the two of you maybe for time sake, we have a few other questions we really want to get to that we have here. But for this one, if each of you can maybe share and talk about one specific framework that you utilize, or that you see being utilized on your campus that really helps support the mission and the goal of what your campus is doing. Alright everyone at once.


Deanna Pierro 24:19

I guess I’ll jump in on this one. I think this is a really good question as well. And I think in terms of, you know, theoretical frameworks, I think, even if it’s unknowingly a lot of these programs are built or should be built on the idea of cultural social capital, right? We recognize that our students are coming to us with already some type of cultural capital in their own right. But also linking them to you know, the culture of the institution and showing them how to navigate that, as well as hopefully linking them to faculty and peer mentors as a way to access social capital. But for me in in my dissertation work, and you mentioned it in the in the bio earlier that I realized that really accessing cultural and social capital comes from informality and creating informal spaces. And so I can’t necessarily speak to the college campus and their mission. But I can say for my work as far as my work is concerned, I always look for ways to infuse informality into the programs that I run. And, and that’s, again, we recognize and I have found in my in my research that in those informal spaces, students are more inclined to ask those questions that they otherwise felt uncomfortable asking, and making those connections with faculty and other peers that provide them that social capital. So for me, that is certainly the the guiding framework of the work that I do. And I think the work that we should be doing in in all all rooms.


joshuah whittinghill 25:57

Okay, time to brag on Deanna. Now it’s Deanna brag time. So but one of our recent episodes, we had two staff and two students from CSU Chico’s reach program, and that is developed and based on informality in higher education, but of course, it would have never been started. It was founded by Deanna. So if you haven’t listened to that episode, you can learn more about what Deanna is talking about, about informality and a little bit of how these things happen outside of the classroom.


Deanna Pierro 26:31

Yeah, yeah, you’re absolutely right, that entire program was built on that framework. The connections with the faculty with the peers events is all informality, and you know that that program is now thriving because of it and so it’s just something that we we don’t know a lot about, and maybe even do it subconsciously. But certainly, we should be looking at ways to infuse that into our work even more so.


joshuah whittinghill 26:56

Yes, and


Deanna Pierro 26:57

Thanks for that.


joshuah whittinghill 26:58

And it is it is it is a program that has a population a little bit under 200. But the data is showing the last number of years that the retention rates for students in the reach program are above the campus average of the campus average, you know, for retention of all of their students. So so it is it is doing something, obviously, to help students in that part. But even more so it’s helping students in their personal growth, I think a lot of just as developing as people and learning about who they are, what they want to be doing, where they want to be going and having a goal towards their future as well. Right, Carmelo, do you have a specific framework in mind, conceptual or theoretical?


Carmelo Miranda 27:40

One that based on the dissertation I did was yosso community cultural wealth framework and also validation theory, where sometimes the education system does not include students all knowledge they don’t take, they don’t value that or the knowledge that they gained from their family, we tend to see it as not important. But with your yosso community cultural framework, wealth framework is it highlights that students come to campus with a lot of knowledge information, and that they’re tapping to different resources, and we just need to do a better job at understanding those resources they come with and acknowledging that they are at of valued, not that they come in to the college for us to give them value, but they also come in the other way around. So I think about what MESA is doing in regards to hearing our students hearing their voices and hearing their stories, and validating their experience and saying, you’re right, you know, you’re, you’re definitely come with a lot of good information, let’s use that. Let’s tap into that. So one of in a shout out to, she’s the one that kind of brought that model into the MESA program. So she kind of, you know, reached up but also brought all the same value to MESA here at Woodland community college.


joshuah whittinghill 28:59

And maybe maybe just to add to a little bit for listeners that may not be familiar with these frameworks. Right? That’s the first one of community cultural wealth, looks at specific capitals and how we as faculty or staff, working with students, how can we help them connect to those and see that those capitals carry over into education? And I think there’s there’s about six, right, so we can look at there’s navigational, capital, resistant capital, familial capital, social capital, now a navigational capital did I say that one already and then linguistic, linguistic right, what else we leave off


Carmelo Miranda 29:39

Aspirational capital.


joshuah whittinghill 29:40

Thank you, aspirational capital. So so those are in there in different ways. If you’re interested in that we can we’re gonna put that in the show notes. We’ll put a link to some work by Tata Yosso and you can see some of the literature that’s been out there, we’ll share some of that. The second one is really I think, interesting and important because it was started in the early 90s. On community college campuses with Laura I. Rendón did some work on validation theory and got a lot of her data and information, like I said, from community colleges, because she was seeing increasing numbers of students identify as female. There was more parents and guardians, there were more veterans, there were more former foster youth students and just started seeing these populations growing and, and more first generation students. And so that really is an amazing framework as well. And and students had a lot to say about what’s important, right? For us, as faculty and staff to be aware of and be contributing to, it comes down to one of the most basic ones of validation theory that came out of that research is that, hey, when faculty and staff know my name, I feel like I belong. I get you know, that was one of the more basic results that came out of it as well. So thanks for sharing that one. That’s great. All right.


Teresa Hernandez 31:00

I also like I’m learning about new frameworks, too, because it kind of helps because I even messaged Josh, and I was like, what was the first one? Why haven’t I heard about this one. And I immediately Google that on my other screen over here, because I’m always trying to find different ways and develop my methods and new skills and sharpen my skills in terms of working with the students overall. So definitely something a resource to look into for our listeners, as well as myself. And when, with the diversity of the students that you all work with, especially coming from a community college, what are some some methods or things that you would recommend that you see that would be best, the best ways to support students, transfer students when going into or transferring into a four year school? And this one can be tough. I feel like there’s maybe so many things that one can think about, and how to best use that that transition. But Diane, do you have any recommendations for us?


Deanna Pierro 31:59

Ah, Deanna. But yeah.


Deanna Pierro 32:03

Apologies for that.


Deanna Pierro 32:04

It’s all good. Um, yeah, you know, I think this is an interesting question, because I think transfer students are often overlooked, partly because they fare really well, when they get into four year institutions. And in fact, the data shows that they have higher success rates than first year students. So but the result of that is that then we focus all our efforts on first year students at the four year college, right, because they need the most assistance. However, in that what I think happens is that we establish communities that these students are a part of in the community college, and then when they transfer, they lose those communities. And and those aren’t necessarily reinvigorated for them and recreated for them at the four year college, I think we can do a lot better in creating programs that are actually dedicated. And for transfer students, I don’t think we’ve gotten there yet. None that I heard of had have done that successfully. But I think it’s definitely a part of the conversation that we need to continue.


Carmelo Miranda 33:10

Definitely agree with Deanna what she said, there’s one program I do want to highlight. So UC Berkeley have a transfer program to help students come to ease into UC Berkeley. But I definitely agree with Deanna that like I’m reflecting back and I have students that left MESA from a community college, but they always come back to me for help. There at Sacramento State, there UC Davis there’s one at UC Santa Barbara. And these students, although they’re not part of the program anymore, they always come back and it’s like, hey, Carmelo I need help getting this resource or finding this and X, X, Y, and Z. And I think a lot of it has to attribute to what was mentioned, there’s no no support at the call, once we get to the for university, to help them move forward. Although we do encourage our students to apply to, to partners at the universities, not all of them do get in into those programs. So once they’re left out, they’re kind of back to square one kind of figuring things on their own. Especially it’s kind of difficult if you’re moving far away for, for example, the student that UC Santa Barbara, they’re far from where they’re originally born and raised. So I think that’s one of the biggest things that four universities could do is help help develop a center and program for transfer students. I’m trying to think of Chico State has one, josh maybe you would know, but I can’t think of any program that Chico State has specifically only for transfer students.


joshuah whittinghill 34:46

There are there are different efforts and discussions happening to try and make that you know, become a little bit more. There are a few courses that were started up this last year as connection courses. One was developed for transfer students. And so that rolled out Last fall, and then hopefully it continues next fall for students with any EOP, we try and do some specific work for transfer students. But it you know, it is a slow process. Unfortunately, to get some of these things going, we were able to bring in a new advisor and admissions tech or admission specialist, or transfer students in EOP. But of course, she was only working with us for about three to four months, and then we’ve been working remote. So a lot of efforts are kind of on hold to really, hopefully engage transfer students a lot more excessively. But you know, she is doing in EOP is doing with the cam for that group of students. But yes, the bigger picture of transfer support, then is usually kind of sparked out to individual colleges and departments. And some things are happening slowly in those areas as well. To raise support for transfer students, of course, Teresa, anything else that you think of? On campus for transfer students specifically? Because you meet with different groups.


Teresa Hernandez 36:08

Yeah. Let’s see. Specific programs geared towards transfer students I can’t think I can’t think of any off the top of my head. I’ve also been on campus for a year. I mean, a couple of months physically, but no, no, but one thing I can say is that I definitely recognize have seen and been observant that the need for the support programs to exist for transfer students is evident and has been recognized and there are programs working towards structures to be able to create that and implement them in their programs for for transfer students specifically, EOP being one trying to work around and trying to see how we can develop that with with the help of our co-workers who specifically works with transfer students, any EOP but, um, I would say that that’s a great start to extend that into recognizing it and validating that these transfer students, you know, do at least need a touch a touch program for to be able to, to ensure their continued success and support so, um, but I would love to re re-record this podcast in a year or two years from now and see what programs we can actually highlight on here, which is I’m excited about, I definitely think there’ll be a few.


joshuah whittinghill 37:22

Yeah, and then, of course, there is the the new orientation and new programs that have some stuff stuff specific for transfer students as far as coming in. And that beginning part of the experience, but it’s the, the experience after by the that they come in and are on campus. And I think, unfortunately, we are hitting that wall of time. Pretty hard, we moved fast. That was a quick 15 minutes to get to this point. And so we’re gonna need to go ahead at this point in time, and go into our recommendations of what we’d want to share with the listeners today. All right, then Carmelo, do you have a recommendation to share with us today?


Carmelo Miranda 38:10

I do, although we didn’t talk a lot about DACA, or undocumented students at a community college. And that’s really my focus in my dissertation work, I would highly encourage your listeners to check out immigrant writing website has a lot of good resources for educators to learn more about how to help undocumented students, but also for undocumented students out there. There’s specific scholarships out there that you could apply to. So definitely check out that website.


joshuah whittinghill 38:38

So then thank you, that is definitely needed. Right. And a lot of people working in higher education are working with DACA students and not even necessarily know that working with DACA students. So just to have the information and knowledge when all of a sudden you are aware of someone or some people you’re working with who are DACA students, you can have some of that to share, and then be supportive in that as well. All right, Deanna, do you have recommendations for us today?


Deanna Pierro 39:07

just sort of going along the lines of some of the things I mentioned earlier today about shelter and food insecurity, which we realized, you know, impacts our students and their successes, you know, the access to money, and scholarships, and I I’d like to recommend first rise first dot org, which is a website focused solely on first generation students and provides a nice, comprehensive list of scholarships, and you can sort by location, California and college and all of that, so that you can find scholarships and sort of easy money, I think, in a lot of ways for students. And so students don’t generally I think they’re intimidated by the process of applying for scholarships a lot of the time and don’t really realize that in it’s actually easier than we think to to get awarded. So. Yeah, please check that out.


joshuah whittinghill 40:00

That’s great. Yes, another great resource, right for everyone out there. And I have I have one for today, it came out recently, and it’s from the 21st century Commission on the future of community colleges. They published a report, titled reclaiming the American dream, Community College’s and the nation’s future. And so it really kind of is a synopsis and a look at what community colleges are facing as far as different challenges. And it has about seven that are listed there. And then some discussion about how to move forward from there and to kind of say, to share the impact of it and what it means, in response to this, Dr. Walter Bumpus, who’s the president of the American Association of Community Colleges, in an interview, said, For years, we’ve been focused on access. And now we need to turn our attention equally to student access, it takes courage to say we can do better. And so it is it is a wonderful report. And it has a lot of these I said a lot of different issues and concerns. And there have been challenges that community colleges are working with right now and trying to work through. And so all of us working in higher education, then will be impacted by some of these in one way, whether we work with students who transfer to a four year school or you’re at a community college. And you may see some of these things I talked about in the report as well. That’s mine for today. And Teresa,


Teresa Hernandez 41:29



joshuah whittinghill 41:29

What’s on your mind today?


Teresa Hernandez 41:31

Well, I know I, I usually have a recommendation, but I can’t think of much right now I feel for me for this episode, I absorbed a lot. And I learned I learned a lot about what our topic today. So if I do have a recommendation, it would be for listeners to go ahead and look up these frameworks, and the different theories that were mentioned. Because a lot of them might be something similar to what you’re already doing, or something that you are willing to explore to better help and serve your student populations. So and I know that as as far as educators, faculty, and staff, we’re all we’re all passionate about that and working towards finding new ways to be able to develop our skills to better serve our, you know, ever changing population of students, which is amazing. And so I want to thank both of our guests for being with us here today. Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedules, with work and just life in general, and joining us. So again, shout out to both of you for being here today. And to our listeners for tuning in. Thank you again for supporting us. Our podcast restoration one of money. So a bit of farewell to you Carmelo and to you Deanna, thank you so much for being here with us.


Carmelo Miranda 42:45

Thank you for having me.


Deanna Pierro 42:46

And since y’all been so gracious and giving shoutouts guys want to give a shout out to both of you for creating this and making this happen for students. It’s just, I think a very creative way of providing resources for students and you know, getting out their levels, speaking their language and doing that during this time is is perfect. I mean, it makes it you know, assessable so just great job all the way around. And thanks for having us.


Teresa Hernandez 43:09

Thank you.


joshuah whittinghill 43:10

Thank you. Goodbye.

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