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University Learning Communities and First Year Seminars

What is the First Year Experience Program?

The First Year Experience Program (FYE) consists of the University Learning Community Program (LCOM) and First Year Seminar Courses.

What is a First Year Seminar?

Open to all freshmen, the First Year Seminar is a 3 unit academic course that fulfills the Area E requirement for General Education. The course addresses the practical, theoretical, and self-reflective requirements and outcomes of becoming an educated person. Topics include teaching and learning at the University, career exploration, information technology, and the role of culture and diversity in academic study. Class size is limited to 25 students. A complete syllabus can be found at

What is the University Learning Community Program?

The University Learning Community Program consists of themed clusters of courses designed to satisfy General Education or Academic Major Requirements. A learning community consists of a group of 25 students that are concurrently enrolled in 2 or 3 courses together. Some but not all learning communities contain First Year Seminars. Faculty teaching in a learning community work together to connect course topics and assignments.

Who can enroll in First Year Seminars and Learning Communities?

All freshmen students are eligible! Your ELM and EPT scores will allow you to select the courses that best match your college preparation.

Why should I enroll in a First Year Seminar or a Learning Community?

The First Year Seminar and all of the learning community courses are freshman friendly courses selected to satisfy General Education or academic major requirements. Each seminar and learning community has a peer mentor who will provide one on one academic advising and organize co-curricular events. Students who participate in these programs report feeling more comfortable with their courses and professors and continue to value the friendships and network of resources acquired long after the semester is completed. Research shows that students who participate in either a First Year Seminar or a learning community are more likely to stay in college, earn better grades, and graduate!

How do I enroll in a First Year Seminar or Learning Community?

You may enroll in a First Year Seminar and/or a learning community during summer orientation. Both First Year Seminars and learning communities have limited availability so sign up early to get the best selection! Summer orientation sessions can be found at

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Who do I contact for more information?

Students and Parents contact:
Coordinator of First Year Programs
Student Affairs, Academic Advising and Career Center
Sacramento State
6000 J Street – Lassen Hall 1013
Sacramento, CA 95819-6046

Faculty and Administrators contact:
Lynn M. Tashiro
Director of First Year Programs
Academic Affairs
Sacramento State
6000 J Street – AIRC 4002B
Sacramento, CA 95819-6135

Who are the First Year Seminar Teachers?

The First Year Seminar is taught by faculty in 25 departments across campus. The professors teaching these courses are committed to helping first year students succeed!

How many First Year Seminar courses are there? Are they all the same?

Sixty sections of First Year Seminar are offered each fall. First Year Seminars can have different department codes but they always have the course number “21”. For example, ENGL 21 and CRJ 21 are both First Year Seminars, the first is taught by an English professor and a Criminal Justice professor teaches the second. All sections of First Year Seminar contain the same basic topics and use the same primary textbook. A complete listing of First Year Seminar Courses is shown below:

ALS 21
CRJ 21
CSC 21
EDS 21

HRS 21

NSM 21


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What is the Educational Opportunity Program (EOP)?

EOP, enacted by law in 1969, is a state mandated program that provides access to a college education for first generation college students. Students who are from low income and educationally disadvantaged communities are targeted for the program. EOP provides special admission consideration, academic advising, financial assistance, and retention services to eligible undergraduate students who are California residents. In addition, EOP provides instructional support to students through the EOP Learning Communities Program.

What is an EOP Learning Community?

A learning community is comprised of a set of core courses that groups of freshmen students are required to enroll in together. Because both students and faculty all work and learn together in a community atmosphere, a supportive environment is created for students. This helps to foster the academic growth and college success of students in the program.

How are students placed in an EOP Learning Community?

Students must first complete their EOP admission file, as well as take the English Placement Test (EPT) and the Entry Level Mathematics Exam (ELM), preferably by the March test deadline. The student must complete an EOP Online Workshop and agree to the terms of the EOP Student Agreement Form, which outlines the requirements of the program. Upon receipt of the student’s test scores, the student is assisted to add classes to their Fall schedule. A letter is mailed informing the student of their course placement in a learning community prior to University Orientation.

What types of courses are available to students in the program?

Students enrolled in an EOP learning community are typically registered for a set of 4-5 courses in the EOP Learning Community Program configuration. (See the course listings below for details).

EOP Learning Communities
English (e.g., ENGL 15, 86, 87, ENGL 1, 1X, 1A, 2)
**Math (e.g., LS 7A, 7B, 10A)
EOP First Year Seminar (e.g., ETHN 21) or GE course
Another General Education Course or Major-Based Class
LS 39B Tutorial Course

**Students scoring 50 or above on the ELM are instructed to register for a General Education math course on their own to complete their learning community course schedules.

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What are the benefits of being enrolled in an EOP Learning Community?

There are many benefits to being an EOP learning community student. The program provides students with a smooth transition to college. Students receive academic advising and peer counseling that is critical to their success at the University. Tutorial assistance in English and math and various other subjects helps to supplement the learning experiences of students. Students in learning communities also have a chance to build positive working relationships with Sacramento State faculty. Peer support and program events also help to ensure the success of first-time freshmen EOP students in the University.

How is an EOP Learning Community different from a University Learning Community?

Unlike the University Learning Communities program, students in an EOP learning community are required to participate in the program and are advised to enroll in a learning community on the basis of their EPT and ELM test scores and EOP admission status. This helps to ensure that students receive the necessary skills and support services that are critical to their completion of preparatory English and math courses.

How can I obtain more information about the program?

For additional information, please contact the Educational Opportunity Program at (916) 278-6183.


The General Education Honors Program at California State University, Sacramento offers qualified and highly motivated students an opportunity to pursue a challenging and stimulating learning experience encompassing an interdisciplinary academic orientation that promotes integrative learning and the application of insights acquired in one discipline to others.

The Honors Program academic experience is composed of 45 units of Honors courses (36 lower division and 9 upper division). In their freshman and sophomore years, Honors students take three Honors courses per semester, filling their schedules with other General Education courses or courses required in their pre-major. Three upper division courses taken during the junior and senior year will conclude the Honors experience. Honors students take at least 12 units overall per semester.

The core curriculum is a three-semester Honors seminar in which students read some of the great books of world civilizations, analyze the writings of world thinkers and writers, and improve their skills in critical thinking and writing. All Honors courses fulfill all Sacramento State General Education requirements for graduation.

Honors students at Sacramento State experience individualized attention from dedicated professors, special seminars in their academic programs, extracurricular activities in the form of cultural events, various Honors Colloquia and interaction with faculty members and their fellow Honors students in and out of class. Scholarship support is available on a competitive basis.

For additional information, please visit the Honors Web site at, or contact the Honors Office at (916) 278-2804 or at

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