About First Year Experience

What is the First Year Experience Program?

What is FYE? The mission of First Year Experience (FYE) at Sacramento State is to improve the retention and graduation rates of native students, a goal that is directly aligned with the CSU system wide Graduation Initiative. FYE was developed using the baccalaureate goals from the Association of American Colleges & Universities.


FYE consists of:

  1. the First Year Seminar course and University Learning Community course "clusters"
  2. co-curricular activities embedded in the courses, that are designed to increase student engagement with the campus, community, faculty, and peers
  3. Peer Mentors who attend courses with first year students, and provide personal, academic, and advising support
  4. The FYE Space - #LIB3520 provides a space for first year college students to study, work in groups, meet their peer mentor, and find support

The First Year Experience Program (FYE) consists of the University Learning Community Program (LCOM) and First Year Seminar Courses (FYS).  Enrollment in LCOMs and/or FYS occurs during New Student Orientation and during spring registration

What is a First Year Seminar?

Open to all first-time freshmen, the First Year Seminar is a 3 unit academic course. 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 rold of culture and diversity in academic study. Class size is limited to 25 students.

The following are examples of First Year Seminar courses offered in participating departments: ASL 21, ANTH 21, EDUC 21, COMS 21, CRJ 21, CSC 21, DNC 21, ENGL 21, ENVS 21, ETHN 21, WLL 21, GERO 21, GNST 21, HIST 21, HONR 1, ID 21, KINS 21, MGMT 21, MUSC 21, NSM 21, NRS 21, PHIL 21, RPTA 21, SPHP 21, and THEA 21.

The First Year Seminar course fulfills 3 units of Area E in the General Education program.

General Education Program Requirements 

The First Year Seminar course meets 3 units of the 48-units Sacramento State students must complete in the General Education (GE) program. At least 9 units must be in upper division GE courses (100-199) taken after you complete 60 units of coursework. For more details about course requirements in the GE program go to General Education in the Univeristy Catalog.  

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 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 Smart Planner, Faculty Advisor, or Orientation Leader can help you choose the best option. 


Why should I enroll in a First Year Seminar?

First Year Seminar is a smaller cohort of only 25 first time college students. This allows students to connect with their professors and other students. Each First Year Seminar has a peer mentor to provide academic advising and assist with college transition. Students who participate in these programs feel more connected with their courses and faculty. Also, friendships and a network of resources develop which last longer than the course. Research shows that Sacramento State students who participate in either a First Year Seminar 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. Also, check your Sacramento State email for information on pre-enrolling in these sections. 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 https://www.csus.edu/acad/orientation. 

For more information about all First Year Experience Programs at Sacramento State go to the Student Registration Advising Guide.