Project Success


Project Success

Mission Statement

Cal Poly Pomona’s Project SUCCESS is a mentoring program to address the national need of men of color retention and persistence in higher education. In its third year of operation, Project SUCCESS assists male students of color at Cal Poly Pomona (CPP) with a strategic focus on African American, Latino, Native, and Southeast Asian male first-time freshmen. Through mentorship and intentional connections with CPP faculty, staff, alumni and the community, Project SUCCESS helps students successfully navigate the educational process. Furthermore, Project SUCCESS will contribute to the CSU Graduation Initiative 2025, which focuses on increasing 4-year graduation rates and eliminating the achievement gap between underrepresented minority students and their peer counterparts. 

Project SUCCESS Goals

  • To develop and sustain a culturally-relevant mentoring program that advances the success of men of color across the educational pipeline
  • To increase first-year persistence and retention of men of color enrolled at Cal Poly Pomona
  • To engage men of color participation in cocurricular involvement
  • To sponsor the Project SUCCESS First Year Experience Course, specifically designed for the advancement of men of color student success
  • To engage participants’ family and parents in the process of learning and engagement for men of color success

Men of Color Persistence Data


Fall 2015

Fall 2016


Ethnic Group





Total Change

African American/Black






Indigenous/Native American








992 (86.9%)


907 (79.4%)




407 (90.2%)


376 (83.4%)


Project SUCCESS Philosophy 

We believe in a student-centered approach that surrounds our students with upperclassmen, graduate level, faculty, staff and alumni support. Through an assets-based framework our intentional first year experience fosters project-based learning. The program’s culturally relevant philosophy is designed to support retention and persistence for men of color with a focus on cognitive, social, and institutional factors. Our mentors serve as in-class agents and out-of-class agents to validate our students, which is contingent upon their ability to be involved academically and interpersonally. We recognize the invalidation that can often occur through Eurocentric curriculum that does not celebrate the background and communities of our students. And thus, we focus on the innate talents, strengths, and experiences that students of color bring with them to higher education.

  1. Freire, P. (2000). Pedagogy of the oppressed. Bloomsbury Publishing.
  2. Kuh, G. D. (2008). Excerpt from high-impact educational practices: What they are, who has access to them, and why they matter. Association of American Colleges and Universities.
  3. Rendon, L. I. (1994). Validating culturally diverse students: Toward a new model of learning and student development. Innovative higher education19(1), 33-51.
  4. Swail, W. S., Redd, K. E., & Perna, L. W. (2003). Retaining minority students in higher education. Hobokan.
  5. Yosso, T.J. (2005). Whose culture has capital? A critical race theory discussion of community cultural wealth. Race, Ethnicity and Education, Vol. 1, pp. 69-91.

Project SUCCESS Articles

University Program for First-Year Male Students Earns $100,000 Grant
FEBRUARY 14, 2018


PERSISTENCE PAYS: Program Focused on First-Generation Male Students Creates a Culture of Success
MAY 17, 2018

Prospective Broncos Get a Chance to Preview Success
JUNE 1, 2018


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