Osher Adult Re-Entry Center Serves As Bridge for Adult/Transfer Students
The Osher Adult Re-Entry Center (OARC) provides resources for adult re-entry students to help them get the most out of their college experience. In addition, it serves as a bridge for adult/transfer students.
Tamara Holder is the coordinator of the center and has worked at CSUSB for nearly 15 years. She initially came to Cal State San Bernardino in 2001 to attain her degree as an adult re-entry student herself. As a result, she is able to better understand and relate to the hardships students may encounter returning to school.
Tamara began her tenure at CSUSB as a student assistant in the Osher Adult Re-Entry Center before being hired full-time as the coordinator. Prior to that, she worked in the mortgage industry in San Francisco for 25 years before transitioning her career to higher education.
As coordinator, Tamara leads a team of student assistants and guides students to the resources they need to be successful at CSUSB. According to Tamara, there is a misconception that adult re-entry students do not have the same insecurities as other students. However, many do, so Tamara and her team check in with students regularly to ensure they have access to the resources they need.
This year, the center will be focusing on having adult re-entry students participate in advisory boards on campus to ensure adult re-entry students’ voices are heard.
“We need to hear adult re-entry students’ concerns, and adult re-entry students’ needs on our campus, more particularly student parents, so we really want to concentrate on campus involvement,” said Tamara. “There is often the interest in becoming involved on campus as an adult re-entry student, and not knowing which direction to look toward, so we're trying to provide that direction, and I'm really excited about that.
“The percentage of adults returning to college is increasing significantly,” added Tamara. “It is a population whose needs and concerns need to be more in the forefront of planning for how our campuses operate, so we definitely plan to be part of that process and advocate for adult re-entry students.”
Many students unknowingly would be classified as an adult re-entry student.
“It’s really a simple classification,” said Tamara. “Every student that has a gap in their college education, then, technically, they are an adult re-entry.”
She added, “There is a misnomer a lot of times it has to do with age; it does not.”
The center hosts both virtual and in-person events throughout the year. It has had great turnouts at its virtual events. The convenience of the online setting has allowed adult re-entry students to attend more events. The center has taken advantage and used their online events as an opportunity to introduce their student population to resources and services on campus.
Its in-person events provide student parents the opportunity to bring their children to campus. The center hosts and collaborates with campus partners on family-friendly events, such as a Halloween party in the fall and family picnic in the spring. OARC plans to increase the number of opportunities for student parents to bring their children to campus.
The Osher Adult Re-Entry Center is located in the Santos Manuel Student Union North, room 3316. It is open Monday-Thursday from 9 a.m.-7 p.m. and Fridays from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Stay connected and follow the Osher Adult Re-Entry Center on Instagram @SMSU.OARC.