What is it Like to Attend California State Polytechnic University, Pomona?

Toni earned her bachelor’s degree in hospitality management from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. As a tutor, she specializes in PSAT tutoring, study skills tutoring, and many other subjects. Read on for her college experience interview about her time at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona.

Describe the campus setting and transportation options. 

Toni: California State Polytechnic University, Pomona’s campus is beautiful! Located in Los Angeles County, it’s hard to wrap your mind around such a hidden gem. The campus is suburban with ample opportunity to get to Orange County or downtown LA quickly. The security on campus is great. There wasn’t a moment I was too afraid to walk to classes. The university does offer security escorts for students and staff who would like to be accompanied during the day and at night.

How available are the professors, academic advisers, and teaching assistants?

Toni: What comes to mind is a professor who once said, “The professors and staff will always be there for the students; the students need to utilize the staff because we do not beg you to come to our office hours.”

With this being said, the teaching staff and supporting staff are available either with open door policies or scheduling appointments to meet. Utilize the staff!

How would you describe the dorm life—rooms, dining options, location, socialization opportunities with other students?

Toni: When I was a freshman, I lived on the honors floor, which was amazing because it was quiet enough for me to study. The commons are incredibly close to the dorms and have great food options. The resident advisers are constantly preparing and putting on events for the students who live in the dorms. The suites are the other on-campus living option. They are farther from the commons, but the meal plan options encourage dining in that part of campus through the combination of meal plans and meal points. 

Which majors/programs are best represented and supported? 

Toni: The university is known for its design and engineering programs. I went to the university for hospitality management because the Collins College of Hospitality Management is well respected. California State Polytechnic University, Pomona prides itself on “learning by doing,” so all majors have a hands-on aspect intertwined into their classes. For example, instead of doing book work on how customer service should be done, we had to go to a hospitality establishment a minimum of three times and rate the service, leadership, and cleanliness based on a rubric we were presented.

How easy or difficult was it for you to meet people and make friends as a freshman? Does Greek life play a significant role in the campus social life?

Toni: Personally, I thought meeting people was going to be extremely hard because, at the time, I was extremely shy. However, the university’s activity services do a phenomenal job with icebreakers, putting on a variety of events, and encouraging student involvement. I made a core group of friends I still interact with daily. Greek life and non-Greek life is balanced. The Greeks don’t shame non-Greeks for not being a part of their world.

How helpful are the Career Center and other student support services? 

Toni: Honestly, I never used the main Career Center because Collins College of Hospitality Management had a fabulous career coordinator who was constantly working with organizations, and even individuals, for career placement. California State Polytechnic University, Pomona has a large career fair for the main university, and then each college has their own fair where the participants are more specialized to the college. For instance, my college has a larger amount (and variety) of fine dining, 4- to 5-star hotel properties, and aviation recruitment than the main career fair offers.

How are the various study areas such as libraries, the student union, and dorm lounges? Are they over-crowded, easily available, spacious?

Toni: The library is large enough that during midterm and final exam season there are seats for everyone. There are multiple student unions, all of which offer free printing, ample seating, and community. The best part is you don’t have to belong to a center group to use the facilities. Everyone is welcomed in each union!

Describe the surrounding town.

Toni: If you’re looking for a traditional college town, that’s not Pomona. The area is mostly industrial. Downtown Pomona is artsy with a great food scene and a couple of galleries. There is also a venue in downtown Pomona that some great acts have come through.

How big or small is the student body? Were you generally pleased or displeased with the typical class sizes?

Toni: It’s an average size. If you’re looking to get lost in the crowd, this isn’t it. The largest class is about 150 students (an introductory course), and the class sizes range from 30 students to 10 depending on the course. I loved the structure and size because I was able to develop relationships with people who were in every single class.

Describe one memorable experience with a professor and/or class. Perhaps one you loved the most or one you regret the most.

Toni: My most memorable moment was when I had a family member pass away right before finals, and my professors pushed my final exams back by a week to allow me to attend the funeral without worrying about missing class. I am so glad California State Polytechnic University, Pomona was my foundation.

Check out Toni’s tutoring profile.

The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent the views of Varsity Tutors.