Save The Date! Join us for the Fall 2013 First Year Experience Program Convocation on Thursday, August 29, 2013 from 10am to 2:00pm in University Union! *All attendees will begin at the President's Welcome in the Ballroom and immediately afterwards will meet in the Redwood Room to begin the FYE Convocation. If you are interested in attending please send your inquiries to the FYE office at 916-278-2804.
The mission of the First Year Experience Program (FYE) at Sacramento State is to improve the retention and graduation rates of native students, a goal that is directly aligned with the CSU systemwide Graduation Initiative. FYE consists of:
1) the First Year Seminar course, University Learning Community course "clusters", and Academic Learning Collaboratives: interdisciplinary team-taught block scheduled GE course clusters,
2) co-curricular activities embedded in the courses are designed to increase student engagement with the campus, community, faculty, and peers, and
3) Peer Mentors who attend courses with first year students, and provide personal, academic, and advising support.
The First Year Seminar is a 3 unit General Education (GE) Area E course where students explore the requirements and responsibilities of becoming a university educated person.
Each First Year Seminar course shares the following characteristics:
- Small class sizes (capped at 25; lower cap for certain sections) to meet the needs of incoming first year students
- Common course reader compiled specifically for the Sac State course, common class activities, assignments, and assessments, aligned with Baccalaureate Learning Goals and GE Area E requirements
- Support for faculty to implement effective curricular activities (assignment descriptions, guest speaker lists, assessments, rubrics, all available online on SacCT/Blackboard)
- Opportunities for faculty professional development around teaching, learning and FYE programmatic research through an annual Convocation, annual curriculum workshop, and periodic faculty interest groups
- Support for embedding co-curricular activities (funding, coordination)
- Taught by both faculty and student affairs professionals, indicating the collaborative cross-divisional nature of the program
- Students learn how to access academic & personal support resources
The University Learning Community (LCOM) Program consists of theme based clusters of two or three courses in which a cohort of 25 freshmen concurrently enroll during their first semester at Sacramento State. Some communities have a GE focus while others focus on course clusters targeted toward specific majors such as Nursing, Business, or the sciences.
Each Learning Community faculty receives the same support as the First Year Seminar faculty to implement co-curricular activities and participate in professional development; each Learning Community also has a Peer Mentor assigned to provide support for students.
The Academic Learning Collaboratives (ALCs) are a suite of two or three approved GE courses that are capped at 120-150. ALC proposals must satisfy the following criteria:
- Address a collaborative theme (see below) or provide a rationale for another theme
- Include a suite of 3 Certified GE Lower Division Courses taught by 3 Faculty
- Include a statement of agreement describing how the 3 faculty will work collaboratively to design, implement, and evaluate the ALC
- Incorporate one or more of the Interdisciplinary Core Experiences (Leadership; Service in and Engagement with Community; Information Literacy, including Research with Faculty)
- Map opportunities for students to develop the Baccalaureate Learning Goals
- Include an assessment plan and methodology
One way the FYE program supports students during the vulnerable adjustment period of freshman year is by engaging them through co-curricular activities that facilitate intellectual engagement within and beyond the classroom. Course faculty and Peer Mentors work collaboratively to choose from a menu of co-curricular opportunities that are supported by the program, either through funding (a small internal RFP allows faculty to request up to $300 per course section) or through organizational support. The co-curricular menu includes the following items:
- Campuswide One Book program, Common Intellectual Experience
- Writing Partners@Sac State, Service Learning project
- Peak Adventures Challenge Center Team Building/Experiential learning workshop
- Leadership Initiative, Student Organizations and Leadership
- Attendance at campus and community cultural/artistic events and performances that link to the curriculum
University and community One Book programs have been established nationwide to promote literacy and to engage all members of a given community in a lively, intellectual conversation based on their shared reading experience. In this way, students, staff, faculty and alumni will share a common University experience: the One Book.
In January 2008, Wells Fargo generously donated funds to establish a One Book Program at Sacramento State. The One Book Program is a campus-wide initiative encompassing all disciplines, all class levels, and all members of the campus community. Bridging literacy and community service, participants read preselected books, engage in discussions with the authors, and take part in service projects that address contemporary social issues raised by the books. Sacramento State is entering its sixth year of the One Book Program.
The Writing Partners@Sac State Service Learning program pairs one university FYE or Learning Community course section with a corresponding public school elementary or middle school class for letter writing over the course of a semester. The project culminates in a visit to campus by the school children to meet their university writing partners, learn about what it takes to prepare for college and complete an activity during the visit while paired with their partner.
The Sacramento State ASI Peak Adventures Challenge Center program gives you the opportunity to test your communication, integrity, trust, and leadership. In our custom designed programs we use icebreakers, energizers, team challenges, and climbing elements to build team cohesion and achieve greater results in your team, organization, workplace and community. You come here to examine and share common reactions, insights and emotions. You leave here with a sense of accomplishment, self-worth, courage to make choices, and realization that seemingly impossible challenges can be overcome by working together.
The Sacramento State Leadership Initiative is a certificate program designed to engage students in on-campus opportunities and provide an intentional path to enhance leadership skills. The foundation of the LI is based on the Social Change Model of Leadership Development, which encompasses three sets of values individuals build upon to become change agents in society - individual values, group values, and societal/community values. In conjunction with this model, there are four possible certificates to complete in sequential order: Green, Gold, Hornet Pride, and Leadership Initiative. The program objectives for the Leadership Initiative are to develop students' leadership and professional skills, to serve as a foundation for involvement in campus life, and to promote retention, academic success, and graduation.
Sacramento State's Student Affairs Division launched the Peer Mentor Program during 2002-2003 as a collaborative effort with Academic Affairs' FYE program to help first-time students make the challenging transition to college life.
Students who enroll in a University First Year Seminar and/or Learning Community, have an assigned peer mentor. Peer mentors (sophomores, juniors, seniors, or graduate students who have often have experienced FYE themselves) assist first year students by serving as an academic peer advisor, a resource to the campus and community, and a mentor to assist with the transition to Sacramento State.
Peer Mentors collaborate with FYE faculty to enhance the classroom experience for students; they also attend at least one class session each week. These relationships help to establish positive first year experiences, improve morale, expand the quality of service, and foster a stronger connection to and engagement with the campus community, ultimately working synergistically with other components of FYE to increase the retention and graduation rate of FYE participants.