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The Promise Project

The Promise Project is a multi-phase effort by Student Affairs to create a more impactful, supportive, and intentional experience outside of the classroom for Cal Poly students. 

Meeting Students Where and When They Need Us

Graphic of Promise Project phases

When students arrive at Cal Poly, they arrive with a diverse set of experiences and skills due to a variety of reasons: opportunity, access (or lack thereof), financial limitations, etc. These are the skills and experiences that complement the in-class learning environment and are essential to long term personal and professional success: leadership, cultural knowledge, problem-solving acumen, and more.

Furthermore, while Student Affairs already offers thousands of student engagement opportunities through Cal Poly Now, some students can feel overwhelmed by the choices in front of them. In short, they're not sure what to do, where to go, and what engagements would meaningfully help them grow. 

The Promise Project is about helping students understand what they want (and need) to experience and provides easily accessible and focused plans to help them be successful.

More intentional learning with Paths

In phase 1 of the Promise Project, Student Affairs will activate the Paths tool – an intentional co-curricular design tool available within Cal Poly Now. Paths allows students to more intentionally and effectively participate in the Student Affairs engagement opportunities they need, and build the skills and experiences to succeed.

What is a Path?

Paths are designed to move student engagement from a department experience approach to a user experience approach. This tool within Cal Poly Now guides intentional learning and experiences designed with specific events, workshops, training, and experiences to address learning topics like diversity, equity, and inclusion; leadership; problem-solving; and civic engagement, among other examples. 

After completing a pre-assessment to determine their skill and knowledge levels, students can enter Cal Poly Now and easily explore an accessible series of paths they want or choose to complete. The Paths tool then tracks progress through completion, offers valuable self-reflection opportunities during and after completion, allows students to showcase their competency, and provides them with certificates of completion and other recognitions to celebrate the completion of their chosen Path(s).

Finally, the system also allows the division to bring departments and programs together seamlessly and work together in a shared and collaborative approach to student learning and engagement.

Graphic of a Path within Cal Poly Now

How Students Benefit

  • Compliments Classroom Learning

  • Promotes Equity and Inclusion

  • Supports Holistic Growth

  • Enhances Career & Life Readiness

  • Simple and Easy to Use

Launching the Paths tool in Cal Poly Now will help students easily find and access experiences, allowing them to gain the specific skills and knowledge they need to enhance their career readiness and personal growth. Students can also use these same skills and experiences to create a more engaging and impactful in-class experience, such as improved navigation of group dynamics, providing leadership in group projects, and more.

Finally, through student feedback and participation in guided paths offered through Cal Poly Now, Student Affairs can utilize new data to further refine experiences and create even more impactful and intentional programming in the future.

Looking Ahead

Planning is currently underway to launch this first phase of the Promise Project in the summer of 2023.

In phase two, the Promise Project will develop a strategic care network to connect students to services that support every aspect of their Cal Poly journey, from health and wellbeing, to academic counseling, basic needs support and more. Phase three, meanwhile, will focus on developing data intelligence tools that allow Student Affairs staff to further refine engagements and other experiences. 

Graphic of Promise Project Timeline


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