San Diego Mesa College welcomed about 150 new students to the campus during the pilot
Winter and Saturday CRUISE (Creating Rich Unique Intellectual Student Experiences), orientations during the
week of Jan. 10.
Receiving an introduction to the school as a whole during the CRUISE, new students were able to learn about various campus clubs and programs. Each student
who attended CRUISE was paired with a Peer Navigator who will help guide them during
their first year at Mesa.
“(Orienting and pairing up students) is necessary because as students become more
involved with the campus, the likelihood of them staying connected and going on to
the next semester and so on dramatically increases,” said Agustin Rivera, the Student
Support Services Officer for Proyecto Éxito.
The program debuted as Summer CRUISE in the summer of 2015, attended by approximately
150 new students. Increasing to 400 students during the summer of 2016, CRUISE was
broken into morning and evening sessions – the former geared toward students aged
18-24, the latter geared toward older students, veterans and students transitioning
to Mesa from Continuing Education.
Funding for the week-long CRUISE orientation, Peer Navigators and the Peer Navigator-CRUISE Center in I4-203 where the Peer Navigators interact
with their students is provided by the Hispanic Serving Institution Title V Grant.
“The navigators are second or third year students that provide mentorship and support,
not only for CRUISE, but for the entire Academic Year,” Rivera said.
During the Winter CRUISE, 70 to 80 percent of the new students came from international
backgrounds. From countries as far as China, Morocco, Afghanistan and South Africa,
the CRUISE attendees seemed eager to start their educational careers at Mesa College.
Biology major Peixin Ann Wong said she is beginning college for the first time, having
moved to San Diego from China to attend Mesa College. She said she appreciates the
CRUISE program because it has helped her to acclimate to a new learning environment.
“Your CRUISE member (Peer Navigator) is so helpful – I was testing her, and she got
me a lot of answers,” Wong said.
Jacques Rossouw, who moved to San Diego from South Africa to major in exercise science,
said he chose Mesa because it was the best, closest college to his grandfather’s home.
For him and Marjorie Dorlus – who is majoring in medical assisting – the best part
of CRUISE was getting to meet new, friendly people.
Tyson Dyer, a business major from Australia, chose Mesa for the football program.
He appreciates the CRUISE program and said it was a great introduction to campus.
“CRUISE was good and pretty informative – now when I go to class, I’ll know where
to go,” Dyer said.
This spring, 57 international students from 20 different countries will attend Mesa
College, according to Student Services Assistant Abi Rosario from the International
Student Admissions Office.
For more information about the CRUISE program, visit www.sdmesa.edu/cruise or contact Agustin Rivera Jr. via phone at (619) 388-2757 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tags: Peer Navigators, Winter Cruise, Summer Cruise