Office of First-Year Programs

The Office of First-Year Programs designs, implements and supports programs to help first-year students achieve academic excellence in the classroom and develop a deeper understanding of, and commitment to, long-term academic goals. We are dedicated to helping students make a successful transition from the high school classroom to the academic world of higher education.

Programs and services offered through First-Year Programs include:

  • A comprehensive college success course that assists first-year students with development of the skills necessary to meet the demands of our rigorous lower-division curriculum: GEL 101 (The Student, The University, The Community)
  • Summer programs that assist first-year students with achieving the university proficiency requirements in English and Mathematics: Summer Academy, Mathematics Acceleration Program in the Summer (MAPS)
  • Comprehensive learning communities for first-year students
    • San Marcos Experience (SME)
    • First-Year Business Learning Community (FYBLC)
    • Athletics Learning Community
    • Global Learning Community
  • A comprehensive "atlas" of lower-division graduation roadmaps that serve as semester-by-semester plans for selecting courses that facilitates completion of lower-division course work and preparation for a major: Lower-Division Roadmaps (LDRs)
  • Sponsorship of Alpha Delta Lambda to recognize academic excellence on the part of first-year students
  • First-Year Roundtable Lunches to promote networking between faculty and first-year students in an informal setting

Our Program Goals 

We want first-year students to be eligible to continue their studies at Cal State San Marcos beyond the first year, and we want them to choose to do so. In particular, we want all first-year students to:

  • Develop the foundational academic skills necessary to thrive in the Cal State San Marcos lower-division curriculum
  • Understand university graduation requirements, including the All-University Writing Requirement, Computer Competency Requirement, and Language Other Than English Requirement.
  • Satisfy the CSU English Proficiency Requirement, CSU Mathematics Proficiency Requirement, and the Cal State San Marcos Computer Competency Requirement by the end of their first year.
  • Develop and commit to a specific academic plan (Lower-Division Roadmaps - LDRs)
  • Develop greater participation in the campus community and an increased sense of connection to fellow first-year students and facult

Office of First Year Programs
Promoting Academic Success for First-Year Students!

Spring 2015 GEL 101 sections now open!