2007-2009 Catalog
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Freshman Programs

Two students looking at a book

Fullerton First Year Community | COMPASS Community
Live 'n' Learn Community | Freshman Future Teachers
Freshman Success
Application Process | FP Student Association
Freshman Program Advisory Board
Department Homepage


Maruth Figueroa

(714) 278-3709



Each of the Freshman Programs communities at Cal State Fullerton is a learning community of first-year students, caring faculty members and student affairs professionals dedicated to academic success, and campus and community involvement. The foundation of every community is enrollment in pre-selected courses; most satisfy general education requirements, and students often have reserved seats in these courses.

Students who apply and are admitted to one of the communities have access to special mentoring programs, new student orientation programs, academic field trips, co-curricular activities and academic advisement. Students also engage in service-learning and enjoy leadership opportunities through campus clubs and organizations, which are facilitated through linkages to Student Affairs, Associated Students, CSUF, Inc., and the Freshman Programs Student Association.

All of these communities are designed to promote college success by easing the transition from high school to college life. Faculty and staff members offer encouragement and motivation to persevere during the first semester and the first year. First-year students who participate in Freshman Programs make friends more easily, become connected to the university and its faculty and staff, and receive special assistance from tutors and teaching assistants who are associated with the program.

Students learn academic study skills and receive assistance in accessing the resources of the university to improve writing and technology skills. In addition, Freshman Programs also offers special resources for family members, including e-mail assistance from faculty or staff members. Students in this program participate in a special summer orientation for family members and entering freshmen. Freshman Programs provides a newsletter twice during the first year with frequently asked questions for parents and extended family members. Freshman Programs staff members also are available to answer questions about the transition to college life and a new Cal State Fullerton identity.

Each of the Freshman Programs includes a community-based service-learning experience in a pre-screened organization to assist students with career exploration, community networking, critical thinking, problem-based learning and communication skills.

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Fullerton First Year Community
The Fullerton First Year community is a two-semester experience. All FFY students take 12-16 units in the fall semester and six units in the spring semester as part of the program. This is the largest of the Freshman Programs, with 300 students admitted each year.

FFY students fulfill requirements for mathematics, English, oral communication, humanities and either social sciences or natural sciences. Course work taken during the spring semester includes a service-learning component. The Freshman Programs office assists with enrollment in special sections or reserves special seats in courses for FFY students. Faculty members and Student Affairs professionals who serve on the FFY instructional teams meet before, during and after each semester to coordinate various aspects of the curriculum.

All students enroll in a three-unit first-year seminar, University 100, in the fall semester, which includes technology and library competence, critical thinking, time management and study skills training, and an introduction to campus resources, among other topics. The course is taught by an instructional team that includes a faculty member, a Student Affairs professional and a peer mentor. Upper-division students are trained in peer mentoring by the Freshman Programs office; most are former FFY students themselves. Peer mentors offer student-to-student support along with the benefit of their personal experience at Cal State Fullerton.

In addition, FFY offers academic field trips in both the fall and spring semesters and a service-learning experience in the spring semester. Students in FFY are encouraged to assume leadership roles in campus clubs and organizations through linkages with the Student Leadership Institute and other Dean of Students programs.

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COMPASS Community
The COMPASS community is a two-semester learning community designed for freshmen who have not yet declared a major, or who are unsure about their choice of major. The COMPASS community offers first-year students a guided process of self-assessment and a systematic examination of the contemporary workplace.

Students enroll in the same sequence of courses as those taken by Fullerton First Year students. There is a service-learning experience embedded in this program during the spring semester to enhance the career exploration process.

Staff members from the Career Center and the Academic Advisement Center collaborate with the Freshman Programs office to offer COMPASS students a structured experience, utilizing electronic self-assessments and some Web-based instruction.

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Live 'n' Learn Community
The Live 'n' Learn community is a two-semester community that is offered for first-year students who live in the on-campus residence halls. The program helps create a sense of community and connection among students who share the same address, and it focuses on interpersonal communication skills as part of the transition to a successful college experience. Participants in this community are enrolled in a sequence of courses similar to those taken by Fullerton First Year and COMPASS students, including a three-unit, first-year seminar that covers time management, technology and writing skills, plus assistance in using library resources and health services. A service-learning experience is also part of the first-year seminar experience during the spring semester.

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Freshman Future Teachers
Freshman Future Teachers is a learning community for freshman students interested in a career teaching elementary, middle or high school or special education. Students who participate in Freshman Future Teachers will:

  • meet and take classes with other students that have similar interests and aspirations.
  • receive regular and pro-active academic advising specific to career goals with special attention to the appropriate general education classes future teachers should choose.
  • have opportunities for exploratory field experience in local classrooms.
  • have seats in selected class sections that are reserved just for students in Freshman Future Teachers.
  • learn about the Streamlined Teacher Preparation Program (STEP), and how to best prepare for it.
  • satisfy the early field experience requirement for Phase I of STEP.

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Freshman Success
Freshman Success is a unique collaboration between Freshman Programs and Educational Outreach Opportunity Program (EOP). Freshman Success is a six-week summer program that supports incoming freshmen not meeting English and/or mathematics entrance requirements by providing an opportunity to take remedial course work prior to the fall semester.

Students in this learning community gain a jump-start on fulfilling critical remedial courses, catch up on classes to help facilitate an on-time graduation, and earn between 3-6 units in six weeks within a supportive and focused learning environment. Students have access to tutoring through one-on-one and group sessions in English and mathematics.

The community emphasizes building important relationships with faculty, staff and other CSUF students, and learning about the campus through hands-on experiences.

Students in this community will take a one-unit University 100 course, remedial math or English depending on test scores, and supplementary courses as offered. The University 100 course is taught by a faculty member, student services professional and a peer mentor.

Contact the Educational Outreach Opportunity Program (EOP) for additional information at (714) 278-2784 or visit them on the Web at http://www.fullerton.edu/academicservices/Summer%20Bridge

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Application Process
To participate in any ONE of the Freshman Programs, 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 (714) 278-2396 for additional information regarding admissions.
  • complete the application on the website or call us for a brochure and application. Preference will be given to students who apply early. Contact the Freshman Programs office at (714) 278-3709 or visit the website at www.fullerton.edu/freshmanprograms for current deadlines. Applications will be accepted until all spaces in the community are filled.
  • register for the Entry Level Mathematics (ELM) examination and the English Placement Test (EPT). A letter of admission will describe your status. Placement test scores or verified exemption are required to register for fall semester classes. Call University Testing Services at (714) 278-3838 for additional information.
  • Live ’n’ Learn Community only: Students must have a paid and signed housing contract to apply for this community.
  • attend the Freshman Programs New Student Orientation on the specified Freshman Programs date. Orientation registration materials will be mailed to admitted students. Family members are welcome to attend. Students will register for learning community classes at the orientation.

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Freshman Programs Student Association
All first-year students who are enrolled in a Freshman Programs community are automatically members of the Freshman Programs Student Association. Officers and governing members represent each of the separate communities. They assist in outreach events, provide input and consultation on curricular and co-curricular events to the Freshman Programs office staff, and organize social activities for students in Freshman Programs.

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Freshman Programs Advisory Board
The director of Freshman Programs reports to the associate vice president of Undergraduate Programs and is advised by a diverse constituency of campus leaders and first-year students. Advisory Board members include assistant deans from each of the eight colleges, along with directors of campus programs that promote college success, institutional effectiveness and the assessment of learning community programs. The board meets three times per year to guide the policy for all CSUF Freshman Programs.

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Cal State Fullerton Administrative Web site of Academic Programs, Cal State Fullerton Editor, catalog@fullerton.edu ©2007 Cal State Fullerton. All rights reserved