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 California State University, Fullerton



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Frequently Asked Questions

What does Freshman Programs offer for first-year students at Cal State Fullerton?

Freshman Programs provides learning communities that include curriculum and services designed to support students’ transition from high school studies to college life.  We offer a first-year student success course—UNIV 100 Foundations for College Success and Lifelong Learning--and pre-reserved seats in English, Human Communication, Mathematics and other required general education courses.  In addition Freshman Programs offers student participants academic coaching, study space and computers in our Lava Lounge, academic field trips, early probation alert intervention, graduation roadmap planning, community-based learning, and membership and leadership opportunities in the Freshman Programs Student Association (FPSA) and the Peer Ambassador Committee (PAC).  Freshman Programs promotes college success through academic achievement, campus involvement and community engagement.

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What are the requirements for joining Freshman Programs?

Any admitted first-year student at Cal State Fullerton may apply to join Freshman Programs. There is no GPA or other requirement.  Students are accepted to our learning communities on a first come-first served basis, so be sure to apply early to make sure you get a spot!

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How do I join Freshman Programs?

Review the learning communities on our website, chose the one that is right for you, and submit an online application. Our online application will open in March, and applications received by May 1 will receive first consideration.

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What learning communities can I choose from:

  • Fullerton First Year
  • Compass
  • iSustain
  • Fullerton Future Teachers
  • Compass for Health and Human Development Majors
  • Mihaylo First Year

How do I choose a Freshman Programs Learning Community?

Each learning community has a particular theme.  Some focus on aspects of university experience and others on a major or career path.  Review the learning community descriptions and choose the focus that is the best match for you. Note that  you must be pre-business to join Mihaylo First Year and you must have a major in HHD or be undeclared to join Compass for Health and Human Development Majors. 

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Does it cost anything to join Freshman Programs?

No.  All the benefits are free to you.

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Do I receive academic credit toward graduation?

Yes!   UNIV 100 and our linked courses satisfy general education or elective requirements.

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What are the benefits of joining Freshman Programs?

Students who participate in a learning community are more likely to succeed and graduate!  As a participant you will…

  • Meet other first-year students who share your academic, personal, and social goals at Cal State Fullerton
  • Meet dedicated faculty and staff members who work as a team to offer a network of support during your first year
  • Receive reserved seats in courses linked to the learning community of your choice while helping you meet graduation requirements
  • Receive advisement in deciding courses for your first two semesters
  • Enhance your learning by participating in educational trips
  • Gain hands-on learning experiences by applying your classroom knowledge in a community- based setting

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What is University Studies 100?

UNIV 100 is a small freshman success class for first-time freshman students to support their transition from high school to university experience.  The class is facilitated collaboratively by a team composed of a faculty member, a student affairs professional and a peer mentor.  First-year students make new friends, develop close relationships with professors and professional staff, and learn from the example of a successful 3rd or 4th year undergraduate. UNIV 100 coursework includes critical thinking, time management, library competence, introduction to campus resources, and other topics necessary for academic success.   Depending on the particular learning community, UNIV 100 is offered for 1, 2 or 3 units in the fall and/or spring semester.

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 Is University Studies 100 Required?

Yes.  UNIV 100 Foundations for College Success and Lifelong Learning is the basis of our learning community program.  In this small freshman success course, students learn together how to navigate the university and succeed in college.  College classes require students to think critically and to learn on their own.  In UNIV 100 you will learn how to form study groups, how to study efficiently and effectively, how to utilize the university's resources, and much more. 

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Who teaches University 100?

UNIV 100 is taught by a university faculty member with support from a student services professional and a peer mentor.  UNIV 100 is unique from other college courses because it offers first-year students the instructor, who cares and is committed to their success, and also an entire teaching team featuring both Student Affairs Professionals and peer mentors.

Can I drop one of my Freshman Programs learning community courses?

When you join Freshman Programs, you agree to enroll in courses linked to the learning community in exchange for the extra opportunities and benefits that come with the learning community experience.   The courses you choose will depend on the learning community as well as your required GE and major courses.  Freshman Programs works with the Academic Advising Center and your major advisor to be sure you are taking the best courses for you.

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Does Freshman Programs offer any opportunities for students living on-campus?

Yes!  We offer Freshman Programs participants a living-learning experience in the First Year Connection.  Students live together in Pine Hall, and have access to a classroom and resource center in the residence.   When you apply for housing, be sure to indicate your interest in First Year Connection.


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What should I do if I have more questions about Freshman Programs?

Contact the Freshman Programs office at 657-278-3709 or email .

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