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Guest Post: CSUN: More Than A Last Resort

The following is a guest post from Megan Popiel, a senior Journalism/PR major at CSUN here to discuss CSUN's newest designation as an Hispanic Serving Instuition (HSI) which just received a $5.5 million grant for the Engineering and Computer Science department to increase the number of underrepresented and low income students graduate with degrees in engineering and computer science (which this country is definitely lacking)

California State University, Northridge serves a community of nearly 36,000 students, with more than 4,000 faculty and staff, and nine different colleges located on a 356-acre campus. Within the heart of Los Angles, CSUN is the nation’s largest single-campus university and a San Fernando Valley melting pot of students and ethnicities.  

As an incoming freshman, entering college is a mixture of emotions all jumbled together in hopes of survival. Attending a larger university, especially that of CSUN’s mass, may come off intimidating and one may worry about getting lost in the sea of students and academics.

Without knowledge of campus resources, clubs and organizations, and a newly-developing social life, freshmen have much to be concerned with. Fortunately, supportive outlets such as the HSI mentor/mentee program helps guide these new students in the right direction to get the most out of their academic and social college years.

Being a designated HSI, Hispanic Serving Institute, CSUN serves a campus population of about 30 percent of Latino/Latina students. In order to increase graduation rates among them, the federal funded mentor/mentee program introduces freshmen to the great opportunities this campus offers such as tutoring resources, clubs and organizations, and social events.

“The one thing that stuck with me,” Jacqueline Jerez explained about her mentor Hermine Khachatrian, “was that she said ‘I wasn’t born this way.” Khachatrian, an Accounting, Finance, Business honors major set to graduate in Spring 2012, learned these skills throughout the years and experience of going through college Jerez added.

By being “mentors on-the-go,” Khachatrian explains her main goal is to inspire students to be as active and successful as they can be on campus, to make them enjoy coming to school. As both accounting majors, the mentor/mentee program creates these parings based on similar interests to identify these relationships as more friendships than mentors.  

Beginning her first year at CSUN with a bang from the mentor/mentee program, Jerez reflects on her initial fears of entering college. “I was really afraid and worried it would be so hard. But there are so many resources that you just do it, and you don’t think about it so its not as hard as I thought” she said.

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Marty Mcfly

Anything and everything about the San Fernando Valley. This blog will take you back in time when the valley was covered with dirt and orange groves to a leader in the space race to its current status as America's suburb. Come along and join me on this adventure, I guarantee you have been influenced/impacted by the San Fernando Valley in one form or another even if you have never visited or heard of the SFV.

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