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December 2018 Newsletter

News from the Office of Undergraduate Studies

December 2018

From the Dean's Desk

Thank you for all you have done to ensure an engaging, supportive semester for our students!  As we come to the close of the fall 2018 semester, I write to share a few notes that may help you support students through their final exams and as they prepare for the spring.   

The Centers for Learning and Academic Success (CLASS), namely the Academic Success Center, Language Learning Center, Math Lab, STEM Student Success Center, and Writing Center are open during final exam week to support students. See the special hours on the panel to the right. If students are inquiring about the changes to the Language Other Than English (LOTER) requirement, see Dean Eisenbach’s message. If you advise first-year students, know that GEL 101 sections are available this spring. Even more, informed by data from last year that indicated approximately 20% of first-year students were placed on probation after the fall 2017 semester, a cross-divisional group is working to respond. As part of what we hope will become comprehensive support, this spring, First-Year Programs will pilot a 1-unit course designed specifically for FY students on probation after the first-semester 

Finally, I close with thanks to the many faculty, staff, and students who provided rich feedback over the past eighteen months as we developed CLASS’ vision and the corresponding strategic plans for each of five centers. The plans are now posted on our website. 


Best wishes as you complete your semester, 


Dawn M. Formo, Ph.D. 
Dean, Undergraduate Studies 
Division of Academic Affairs  



From the Dean of Academic Programs 

As everyone knows by now, the Chancellor’s Office issued two Executive Orders last year, EO 1100 (General Education) and 1110 (Student Placement and Early Start), that have required much work on all our parts to bring our campus into compliance. In addition, the Chancellor’s Office required us to remove LOTER as a graduation requirement due to the fact that, for many students, language turned out to be a three course sequence, with only one of those courses counted in the 120 units required for graduation. 

What do each of these mean for us? The best place to look for that information, and to refer students to, is the Registrar’s FAQ websiteThere are numerous groups working on implementation details; here are some highlights: 

  • LOTER – Faculty in CHABSS are working to incorporate a language requirement into their majors that accounts for all units in a course sequence needed for a student to demonstrate intermediate proficiency. More information on this will come before the end of the Academic year. 
  • EO 1100 – GE changes are in effect for Fall 2018 students. The Registrar’s Office, advising, OUGS, and Academic Programs have been working on messaging to students.  
  • EO 1110 – A group of faculty, staff, and administrators are meeting to develop measures to assess how new placement measures are working. Another group is working on Early Start.  

In short, given students’ catalog rights, all of these changes mean a few years of difficult transition as we work to support students’ pathways to graduationI am confident that we will pull together to work through these issues. In the end, our ultimate goal has not – and won’t – change. That is to provide the best quality education to our students! 


Regina Eisenbach, Ph.D. 
Dean, Academic Programs
Division of Academic Affairs 



First-Year Programs Updates 

First-Year Students on Academic Notice 

OUGS is excited to announce a pilot course in Spring 2019, UNIV 302-2: Growth Mindset, Resiliency & Student Success. This 1-unit course is designed for first-year students who fall into Academic Notice after their Fall 2018 semester. The course will highlight holistic student success by focusing on the foundations of personal narrative and community history, personal responsibility, coping skills, learning strategies, and intensive academic planning and support. Four sections of this course are planned to run next semester. If you have questions about the course, contact Ashley Gragido  

GEL 101:The Student, The University, The Community 

 Spring 2019 recruitment for GEL 101 is in full swing. Nearly 90% of first-year students enroll in this course. Our campus research continues to suggest that this course plays a significant role in closing achievement gaps thereby helping to ensure that a high percentage of all first-year students return for their second year at CSUSM. We encourage you to recommend GEL 101 as a course option for first-year students looking to fulfill their GE Area E! If you have questions about GEL 101, feel free to reach out to Dr. Joanne Pedersen at .

CLASS Finals Week Hours

Academic Success Center

OPEN 12/10-12/14

24/5 space


Academic Success Center

OPEN 12/10-12/13

Spanish Tutoring

12/10 & 12/11 9AM-5PM


Math Lab

OPEN 12/10 - 12/13

M-W: 8AM - 7PM

Th: 8AM- 5PM



OPEN 12/10-12/13

M-W: 9AM- 2PM

Th: 9AM- NOON 


Writing Center

OPEN 12/10-12/12

M-W: 10AM - 2PM

Hosted by the LLC





CLASS strategic plans are now live on our website!