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New Center Offers Additional Academic and Career Opportunities for Graduate Students

Graduate Resource Center
The Graduate Resource Center on the second floor of the University Library is open to graduate students in any field of study.

The Graduate Resource Center has evolved from being solely an online entity into a physical office on the second floor of the University Library.

The center is open to graduate students in any field of study and aims to be an academic and career resource while helping to increase retention and degree completion rates. The mission of the Graduate Resource Center falls in line with one of the pillars Cal Poly Pomona: student success.

In its online incarnation, the center offered tutoring, academic support and advising, assistance with financial aid and scholarships, and workshops and events. Those same support services along with enhanced resources are available in a one-stop shop.

graduate-resource-center1-1.jpgThe nearly 1,300-square-foot facility, which took 10 months to complete, offers four computers, workstations, computer ports, outlets for laptops and other devices, video conferencing capability for events with industry leaders, a conference room, and “huddle spaces” where graduate students can gather for collaboration and networking opportunities.  

The second floor of the University Library contains the Maker Space and the Bronco Community Center and was selected as the site for the Graduate Resource Center to capitalize and enhance the synergy of that floor.

“This was the perfect place. There’s so much more activity and energy on the second floor. A centralized location gives graduate students the flexibility to find the resources that they need that will help them graduate sooner,” said Andrew Naranjo, the capital projects specialist in Academic Affairs. “This was an excellent opportunity to establish a physical location where graduate students can meet and engage with other graduate students.”

A nearly $200,000 federal grant through Project LOGRAR (Leverage Opportunities for Graduate Research and Resources) funded the construction of the center. Project LOGRAR also will provide financial aid, financial literacy training, tutoring and writing assistance, workshops, and guest speakers to enhance the graduate student experience.

The biggest challenge posed in building the center within a confined study space such as the library is noise. This necessitated close coordination of construction work schedules between Facilities Planning & Management, Academic Affairs and the University Library.

“It is always a challenge to work in the library because of the need to keep a low-decibel environment,” said Jaime Landman, the senior project manager in FP&M who oversee every step of the process. “You try to accommodate by scheduling any work that is going to be noisy early in the morning so you don’t have students around.”

“Through the day you do the type of work that is not going to create much noise. This is part of the planning that we do and there’s a lot of coordination involved,” Landman  said.

The center will be open during library hours for the nearly 2,100 graduate students at Cal Poly Pomona. When a security door is installed, graduate students will be able to access the center with their Bronco ID card.  

“Just because the Graduate Resource Center is open, we’re not done. You’re basically building a foundation. It doesn’t stop here,” said Naranjo. “It always keeps on adding and adding because of the new trends and technologies and keep up with what’s out there. We want to give graduate students the best available resources.”