CSU Channel Islands -- August 22, 2003

First Year Experience Program at Cal State Channel Islands Gives Freshmen a Head Start

The first freshman class at Cal State University Channel Islands will arrive on Monday, August 25, the first day of the fall semester. They total approximately 250 students and will join the upper-division students who will be returning to the campus or transferring to CSUCI from other institutions.

Research shows that retention rates are greatly strengthened when students feel connected to the campus community. As part of the University's "First Year Experience" program, a number of innovative initiatives have been developed to help these new students adjust to campus life and find the resources they need to be successful. These include:

  • Various workshops and programs will be offered by the Advising Center; the University Library; the Career, Health, Accommodation, and Personal Counseling program (C.H.A.P.s); Student Development; and Financial Aid throughout the academic year. These workshops will cover everything from the improvement of academic and computer skills to learning more about careers, health, wellness, and service opportunities.
  • Two-day orientations ensure a smooth transition into college life as well as introduce freshmen to the campus, faculty, staff, and their fellow students.
  • A Welcome Barbecue and "Bienvenidos" Presentation on Sunday, August 24 will give new and returning students the opportunity to meet the campus community.
  • Students who participate in the First Year Experience Mentor Program will attend activities throughout the semester with a group of fellow students and have access to their own faculty, staff, and student mentors.
  • Directed self placement for first-year composition courses allows students to choose a course sequence that best fits their needs.
  • Some first-year composition courses are linked to general education courses to highlight the connections between disciplines and form learning communities of students.
  • A critical thinking course (University 101) will feature professors from each academic discipline who will provide exposure to methods and ways of knowing across the curriculum.
  • The University Library will offer "A Book, A Pizza, and A Movie" for two nights during the fall semester to introduce a work of literature, and its cinematic adaptation, to students.
  • The Gymnasium Grand Opening, on Wednesday, August 27, will give students access to a wide array of equipment and activities.
  • "Pizza With the President" on Thursday, August 28, in the new student lounge, will give students the opportunity to personally get to know the head of the University.

The Associate Director of Operations and Special Projects at Cal State University Channel Islands, Nancy Covarrubias Gill, comments on these activities: "We want to make sure that our new students start off on the right foot. The First Year Experience program is an excellent way for students to become aware of the many resources and activities available to them on campus."

For information on these and other First Year Experience activities contact Nancy Gill at (805) 437-8456.

About California State University Channel Islands

California State University Channel Islands is Ventura County's first four-year, public university and the newest of the CSU campuses. The University - located on a 670-acre campus of preserved natural coastal landscape - emphasizes learning within and across disciplines through integrated approaches and experiential and service learning. For more information, visit www.csuci.edu

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