Director, Freshman Programs
Irena Praitis (Interim Director)
Coordinator, Freshman Programs
Student Support Coordinator, Freshman Programs
Laney Renee Kurator
Freshman Programs Office/Website
Supported jointly by the Divisions of Academic Affairs and Student Affairs, Freshman Programs promotes college success by providing learning communities designed to ensure first-year students’ successful transition from high school to the University. Freshman Programs offers curriculum and services that lead to academic achievement, campus involvement and community engagement.
Freshman Programs first-year learning communities seek to:
- enhance learning of the skills and habits of mind necessary for success in higher education;
- develop students’ appreciation of the value of a liberal education with broad areas of knowledge and skills and lifelong learning;
- improve the quality of students’ first-year University experience by ensuring that they receive academic advising and other support appropriate to their individual needs;
- improve the persistence and graduation rates of students through effective advisement, career counseling and mentoring; and
- enhance the alignment and integration of co-curricular and classroom learning.
During the spring prior to starting at Cal State Fullerton, incoming freshman students may apply to participate in one of six different learning communities offered by Freshman Programs. While each learning community has a distinct theme, they all share the same goal: to help first-year students make the most of the first year in college, both academically and socially.
Freshman Programs students enroll in UNIV 100, a small first-year success seminar. The course, Foundations for College Success and Lifelong Learning, is taught by a faculty member and supported by a student affairs professional and a peer mentor. Students make new friends, develop close relationships with professors and professional staff, and learn from the example of successful third- or fourth-year undergraduates. UNIV 100 coursework includes critical thinking, time management, library competence, introduction to campus resources, and other topics necessary for academic success.
Students living on-campus can extend their Freshman Programs learning community experience to the residence halls by choosing the First-Year Connection. Located in Pine Hall, the First-Year Connection offers on-site sections of UNIV 100 in a state-of-the-art classroom and a resource center with advising, tutoring, study groups, community building events and other activities.
Freshman Programs students benefit from pre-reserved seats in English, human communications, mathematics and other general education courses. Freshman Programs also offers student participants eligibility for placement in the First-Year Connection residence Pine Hall, as well as general advising, study space and computers in our Lava Lounge, academic field trips, early probation alert intervention, academic coaching, community-based learning, and membership and leadership opportunities in the Freshman Programs Student Association (FPSA).
Freshman Programs Student Association
All Freshman Programs participants receive membership in the Freshman Programs Student Association (FPSA), an officially recognized student organization. First-year students can serve in one of ten Executive Board positions where they gain leadership and teamwork experience. Through fundraising, social and community service events, FPSA provides opportunities for students to get connected and get involved outside the classroom.
Freshman Programs Peer Ambassador Committee
Current and former Freshman Programs students and peer mentors can volunteer to serve on the Peer Ambassador Committee (PAC). PAC members serve at Freshman Programs events both on campus and in the community. Supported by Freshman Programs staff, PAC members gain leadership training, develop public speaking and interpersonal skills, experience working within a diverse team, and learn about the various CSUF programs and services.
Freshman Programs Advisory Board
The director of Freshman Programs reports to the associate vice president of Academic Programs and is advised by a diverse constituency of campus leaders and first-year students. The board meets two times per year.
Freshman Programs Learning Communities
Fullerton First Year focuses on developing personal leadership skills, as well as campus and community engagement. Students in this community learn about University resources and opportunities while they develop the skills necessary for college success. Three units in fall semester.
Compass is designed for students looking for a major or those seeking a better understanding of the careers available to them in a chosen major. Students in this learning community explore their academic strengths and personal goals, and learn about the major and career opportunities available to them while they develop the skills necessary for college success. Three units in fall semester.
Compass for Health and Human Development Majors introduces students to the range of opportunities in the health care and human service industries, and provides academic counseling on the requirements for majors and professional schools. Students learn about programs, advising and resources in the College of Health and Human Development. Designed for undeclared, undeclared pre-nursing, kinesiology, human services and health science majors, as well as students considering careers related to health, development and well-being.
iSustain helps students learn about the inter-connectedness of everything on the planet, while developing the intellectual and practical skills of successful college students. Sustainability is explored from community, environmental, economic, and social perspectives. Designed for any student interested in sustainability as a personal interest, as a civic issue, or as a career opportunity.
Fullerton Future Teachers is a learning community for students interested in a career teaching elementary, middle or high school, or special education. Students meet and take classes with others who have similar interests, receive regular advising for both a major and the subject matter courses recommended to become a credentialed teacher, and have opportunities for field experience in a local classroom. One unit in fall semester/two units in spring semester.
Mihaylo First Year introduces students to the range of opportunities in Mihaylo College of Business and Economics, and provides academic counseling on the requirements for different concentrations and emphases. Students have the opportunity to make connections with faculty members, meet professional staff, make new friends, and further develop skills necessary for college and career success. Designed for students interested in fields within the departments of Accounting, Economics, Finance, Information Systems and Decision Sciences, Management, and Marketing.
To participate in any ONE of the Freshman Programs learning communities, students must:
- be admitted to CSUF as a freshman (college transfer students are not eligible). Contact the Evaluations Unit of the Office of Admission and Records at 657-278-2396 for additional information regarding admissions;
- complete the application on the Freshman Programs website. Preference will be given to students who apply early. Contact the Freshman Programs office at 657-278-3709 or visit the website at fullerton.edu/freshmanprograms for current deadlines. Applications will be accepted until all spaces in the community are filled; and
- attend New Student Orientation on a specified Freshman Programs date. Orientation registration materials will be mailed to admitted students. Family members are encouraged to attend.
CoursesFreshman Programs Courses