Oct 17, 2018  
2016-2017 University Catalog 
2016-2017 University Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

First Year Experience

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Interim Director, First Year Experience

Brent Foster

Coordinator, First Year Experience

Christina Acoff

Student Support Coordinator, First Year Experience


First Year Experience Office/Website



Supported jointly by the Divisions of Academic Affairs and Student Affairs, First Year Experience (FYE) promotes college success by providing learning communities designed to ensure first-year students’ successful transition from high school to the University. FYE offers curriculum and services that lead to academic achievement, campus involvement and community engagement.

FYE learning communities seek to:

  1. Enhance learning of the skills and habits of mind necessary for success in higher education;
  2. develop students’ appreciation of the value of a liberal education with a focus on lifelong learning and self-development;
  3. improve the quality of students’ first-year University experience by ensuring that they receive academic advising and other support appropriate to their individual needs;
  4. improve the persistence and graduation rates of students through effective advisement, career counseling and mentoring; and
  5. enhance the alignment and integration of co-curricular and classroom learning.

During the spring and summer prior to starting at Cal State Fullerton, incoming freshman may apply to participate in one of five different learning communities offered by the office of FYE. 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.

FYE students enroll in UNIV 100, a small first-year success seminar. The course, Foundations for College Success, Lifelong Learning and Self-Development, 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 lifelong learning, self-development, time management, library competence, introduction to campus resources, and other topics necessary for academic success.

Students living on-campus can extend their First Year Experience into 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.

FYE students benefit from pre-reserved seats in English, human communications, mathematics and other general education courses. FYE also offers general advising, study space and computers with free printing in our Lava Lounge, academic field trips, early probation alert intervention, academic coaching, community-based learning, and membership and leadership opportunities in the Freshman Student Association and Peer Ambassador Committee.

Freshman Student Association

All FYE participants receive membership in the Freshman Student Association (FSA), 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, FSA provides opportunities for students to get connected and get involved outside the classroom.

Peer Ambassador Committee

Current and former FYE students and peer mentors can volunteer to serve on the Peer Ambassador Committee (PAC). PAC members serve at FYE events both on campus and in the community. Supported by FYE 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.

First Year Experience Advisory Board

The Director of First Year Experience 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.

First Year Experience Learning Communities

Comm Quest Provides students with a look at the many programs in the field of Communications.  For Comm majors, minors or those that see communication as one of their best assets.

Compass Crossing 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.

Health and Human Development Voyage 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.

Mihaylo Discovery 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 can 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.

Teachers’Trek 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 and receive regular advising for their major and the recommended courses to become a credentialed teacher.  Additionally, students will have opportunities for field experience in local classrooms. 

Application Process

To participate in any ONE of the FYE learning communities, students must:

  1. 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;
  2. complete the application on the FYE website. Preference will be given to students who apply early. Contact the FYE office at 657-278-3709 or visit the website at www.fullerton.edu/fye for current deadlines. Applications will be accepted until all spaces in the community are filled; and attend New Student Orientation on a specified FYE date. Orientation registration materials will be mailed to admitted students. Family members are encouraged to attend.


    First Year Experience Courses

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