Local Studies in LA: A redesigned college experience

March 28, 2022

Connecting people, personal trainers, in-depth training all help ASU local students succeed

Editor’s note: The story originally appeared in the winter issue of 2022 of ASU Thrive magazine.

Victor Sanchez appealed for individual support and individual attention during his college career. She expected that after her college preparation program she would attend high school called GEAR UP, a federal program for middle and high school students. This close connection and sense of community is what drew Sanchez to ASU Local-Los Angeles. Sanchez says that from the first communication, the reception staff were available and responsive.

“They approached me. They violated the financial plan. They followed me every step of the way, ”said Sanchez. “I feel like I belong here.”

Victor Sanchez, a second-year student, is trying to build affordable housing in LA Korea. ASU Local will help him in meeting with the town planners who can help him on his way to his goal.

Since then, Sanchez, a second-year urban planning student, says close ties and deliberate programming have helped him get closer to college goals in and out of college in a variety of ways.

With a deliberate focus on individual support, ASU Local launched in the fall of 2019 in Los Angeles to provide educational service resources and students to a well-known research university and to enable students to take root in their local communities.

The program’s innovative hybrid configuration combines online course work with one-on-one personal programming in downtown Los Angeles with support through professional training, project-based, internship, and programming focused on student well-being, combined with successful trainers. Coaches are a key part of what makes ASU Local different for students.

Expanding access to higher education

ASU Local, now located in Los Angeles, Washington, DC, and Yuma, Arizona, was founded by Maria Angiano, executive president of the educational institution, who saw the need to choose more flexible options for students.

The program allows students to access all coursework 24/7 online through ASU’s advanced digital learning platform. Students have access to more than 130 undergraduate degree programs as an option.

“It is built for students of all nationalities who are rooted in their communities and want to develop and make an impact in places that are important to them personally and culturally,” Anguiano said.

“This approach not only helps students gain access to existing family and friends support systems during their college visits,” says Angiano, “but their presence also ensures the economic, social, and cultural well-being of the communities in which they live. . “

Students can work in their current workplaces when needed, help their families when needed, rely on their roots, rely on already established social networks, and contribute to their careers.

Coaches on the deck

Success trainers are a key part of the program. When each tutor serves no more than 35 students, students participate in well-being programs, community programming, and networking, and receive support for their individual learning needs at the same time.

For educators, they see their role as helping to overcome any obstacle to success for their students.

“We are here to help not only through formal programming and the many resources of ASU, but also through our personal connections and understanding of each individual student in every way possible,” says success coach Jessica Guzman.

Jose Nava, a third-year student, says, “All the coaches, professors, and other helpers really know us. They care about us. This is a great advantage for having built-in trainers that come with this program. They feel like family. ”

A place to learn, grow and excel

ASU Local-LA students participate in on-campus programming two days a week and can use campus resources for up to several days.

One important benefit the campus offers: places for students to concentrate and prioritize their study with places to study and reliable high-speed Wi-Fi.

“For many ASU local students, the physical space as well as the facilities create a quiet and special place for them to focus and prioritize their studies,” Guzman says. Guzman adds that many students find time useful in this environment, where everyone is focused on their studies, studies and future careers.

The campus also provides an environment and programming for students to interact with their classmates and their success coaches.

Maria Visoso, a sophomore and behavioral science student, says she loves these community-building activities. She participates in joint projects with colleagues, as well as talks, presentations, study groups and student groups. She also enjoys regular workshops that offer advice on a variety of topics, from time management to well-being.

student portrait

Kara Smith, a communications and media expert, enjoys a sense of the ASU Local community and the way it allows her to organize her time.

The warm and welcoming atmosphere on campus is also noteworthy for second-year student Kara Smith. The writer, who was published in the Los Angeles Times while still in high school, is now a major in public relations and media.

Smith says one of the things he enjoys from ASU Local is his ability to take classes and do his job on time.

“I love being able to organize my time,” she says.

But she also loves going to campus because of her sense of community.

Career thinking

An important aspect of future success is preparing students for their careers. ASU Local professional training programming is a comprehensive approach to identifying students ’skills and talents and providing hands-on learning opportunities to prepare them for their unique career paths.

During programming, each student is given individual opportunities for their professional dreams. For example, Sanchez’s ultimate goal is to build affordable housing in Coretown, which offers some affordable middle-class housing. Through his success coach, he met with local leaders, including the city planning manager around LA, to learn about housing and gentrification issues that are unique to LA to help him build the stones toward his goal.

As real-world work experience is an integral part of job security and career success, ASU Local helps students with safety. work experience, including internships, project consultations, and shady opportunities. This internship covers all areas of the profession, from law to leisure to almost everything in between.

Sports management is what Nava, a business communications specialist, did to help ASU Local find and receive a five-week internship at the Institute of Influential Studies that helps people in accessing sports, media and entertainment. helped.

“It gives me a good foundation and the skills needed for a sport to pursue my goal of becoming the general manager of a football team,” Nava says.

Community, college and inclusion

Although ASU Local covers barriers to higher education to improve access to all, each location reflects local demographics. At ASU Local-Los Angeles, approximately nine out of every 10 students are from low-income communities. A little less than half of them are the first in their families to go to college. About 66% are Grant Pell recipients. The vast majority, 56.8%, are Spanish or Latin. The second largest group, 17%, are blacks or African Americans. White students make up 9.1% and Asian students 4.5%.

“The gap between white Americans and black and Latin Americans who have a college degree is more than 20 percent. In addition, we know that one-third of students who grow up with a college-educated parent drop out of college, ”says Anguiano.

“We are closing these gaps through a supportive community,” Anguiano said. “Many of these students are first-time or sole family members who have undermined their professional success and ultimately feel isolated and hesitant to apply. Through our network of success coaches, educators, peers, and well-being counselors, we balance the need for help and at the same time keep our expectations high for their performance in the program.

Transforming life

student portrait

Maria Visoso, a first-generation college student, appreciates the inclusive community she found at ASU Local.

“ASU Local is designed to equip students with a solid foundation for today’s fast-paced, global and global world,” said Martha Juarez, ASU Local President. “All of this together creates a targeted support network focused on student success.”

This has benefited students, including Visoso, who feels like a first-generation student in college, a warm and friendly community where he has been supported and activated.

“Maria is a wonderful example of why we are all dedicated to ASU Local and our relationship. With the support and resources here, Maria has become a trusted young leader. The program has been nothing more for her and for many of our students.” We want to help each student develop and realize their potential, be excited about their future, see opportunities in positive change that they can bring to their communities and the world, ”Guzman said. “That’s why we’re here. That’s why we created ASU Local. ”

Author Jamal Abdul-Alim

Pictured above: Jose Nava graduated from Wallis Annenberg High School in Los Angeles. He is currently participating in the ASU Local program with colleagues at the ASU California Center.

Photo by Amanda Lopez and Trevor Traynor

Leave a Comment