Learning Center

Location: LIB C-121 (right off the east walk way)

Hours: Monday – Thursday 8:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. and
Friday 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Telephone: (310) 243-3827
Email: tlc@csudh.edu

Testing Center

Location: LIB North 5705

Hours: Monday – Friday 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Telephone: (310) 243-3909
Email: testing@csudh.edu

Meet Our Team

We are passionate about students achieving their academic goals! The TLTC provides academic support programs and services in an environment for you to succeed.

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Maruth Figueroa

Dr. Maruth Figueroa

Director
mafigueroa@csudh.edu | LIB 5705 | (310) 243-3827

One of my most vivid memories in the first-year of college was my overnight orientation. As the first in my family to attend college, I was unsure if I would fit in, make any friends, or if I would be academically successful. With my roommate for the weekend I attended the pep rally and the next day registered for my fall classes. When my parents picked me up, I was excited to tell them about my weekend. It took me a semester to really find my place on campus, I got connected with an on-campus job and was active in two student organizations where I met some of my dearest friends. Four years later at graduation I still remembered the feeling of that night when my parents dropped me off, it was a scary feeling but I persevered and made it to graduation!

As the Director for the Center, I hope to support students in finding their place on campus. My goal is to create an inclusive and welcoming academic learning space for students. A place where students bring their full ‘self’ and are empowered to become engaged academic citizens.

Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.
Nelson Mandala

Peggy Ozaki

Peggy Ozaki, M.A., ‘00

Senior Coordinator
pozaki@csudh.edu | LIB 5705 | (310) 243-2324

When I started college, I didn’t think much about GE courses. They seemed like courses I had already taken. That quickly changed when I ran into difficulties early in a GE Philosophy/Ethics course. From day one, I struggled with the readings and assignments. Initially, I just kept reading, thinking the answers would magically emerge. I was sadly mistaken.

Through trial, error, and bombing the first assignment, I learned that even though I knew some of the material, I didn’t know it well enough to apply it and create a valid argument. I didn’t know enough because I was only reading to finish the assignment. I was not thinking about how what I was reading could be connected to what I had learned in GE classes or how what I was learning then could help me in future classes. Struggling with this class taught me early that learning is not just taking the classes and passing assignments. Learning is gaining various personal and academic experiences that create opportunities for the learner to do something meaningful with information to shape how he/she deals with future information and learning experiences.

For this reason, at the TLTC, I hope to help students who are having similar difficulties learn how all learning is connected. If they see that all learning is always personally meaningful, they’ll be pleasantly surprised to know that every experience can be an opportunity for change.

Education consists of what we
have unlearned.
Mark Twain
Patrick Naranjo

Patrick Naranjo, ‘05

STEM Student Success Coordinator
pnaranjo@csudh.edu | LIB C-121 | (310) 243-2750

I took my first college course at a community college. It was a World Civilization history course that I enrolled in during my junior year in high school. I remember being in a classroom full of college students taking the course during the summer. I really appreciated the class because I enjoyed the material and the professor was very engaging. After successfully completing the course I realized that I enjoyed taking a college class. This led to continuing my higher education experience at a community college and then transferring to Cal State Dominguez Hills. I want to empower students to become successful learners. It is a crucial ability that will benefit our students throughout their time at the university and after they graduate.

With the new day comes new strength and new thoughts.
Eleanor Roosevelt
Miguel Gutierrez

Miguel Gutierrez, ‘14

Administrative Support Coordinator
migugutierrez@csudh.edu | LIB C-121 | (310) 243-3827

College has never been emphasized in my family as I am a first generation student just like all of my high school classmates during that time; however, my high school, Marco Antonio did emphasize the importance of seeking higher education which help paved my path. My first semester of college I only took the minimum amount of units due to the fear that was etched into me. That fear being failing my family and friends as not only was I the first to person in my immediate family to go to a four-year college, but also the only one out of thirty grandchildren from my mother’s side. The following semester I decided to take the maximum units that a freshman can take which was 18 units, joined a student organization, a fraternal organization, and worked at C.L.A.S.S. which is now known as the Toro Learning & Testing Center. All those years of hard work paid off as I graduated within four years, and I am proud to now be here at the Toro Learning & Testing Center to help fellow Toro’s achieve their goals of graduation. Once a Toro, always a Toro.

Happiness is not something you postpone for the future; it is something you design for the present.
Jim Rohn
Cynthia Napoles

Cynthia Napoles, ‘16

Testing Assistant
cnapoles1@csudh.edu | LIB 5705 | (310) 243-3909

My first-year of college helped shape the way that I view higher education. As the first in my family to attend college, I did not know what to expect but it was expected of me to attend college. My family always said college was important and necessary. As a freshman I remember attending orientation with my mom. At orientation they spoke about campus being our second home, a safe place to learn and grow. On campus I connected with student organizations and began to develop relationships with my professors and peers. Campus became my home, the majority of my time was spent on campus. I enjoyed the tranquility of the library and the classroom discussions that happened daily. I quickly realized why college was so important, it was my place to learn, understand and grow as an intellectual.

As the Testing Assistant for the Center, I provide support for faculty and students. I enjoy the interactions I have with students and remember that I was once that student. My hope is that students are utilizing the resources available to them on campus and making the most of their college experience.

An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest.
Benjamin Franklin​
Stephanie Monge-Persico 

Stephanie Monge-Persico, ‘13

Testing Coordinator
smongesmonge@csudh.edu | LIB 5705 | (310) 243-3635

To say that my first year was a mess would be an understatement. My path to my degree was rocky and littered with pot holes and diversions. My transition from high school to college was a struggle. It was hard to assimilate from an exclusive school environment to a very large public institution. I floundered my first year. I was over zealous with my approach to college and landed flat on my face. Despite all the bumps and bruises, I pushed forward. I eventually found a mentor and my entire experience changed. My mentor opened a door to higher education that I did not know existed. I fell madly in love with higher education and all it had to offer me. My first year experience and the guidance of my mentor has created within me a deep desire to pay forward the same encouragement that was given to me. I would have given up in frustration if I had not had someone to remind me of all my resources. It is my goal to do the same for others.

If you want to get anywhere fast, you have to go slow.
Norma Barretta, Psy D.