Academic Student Success Programs

Academic Student Success Programs (ASSP) primarily focus on campus-wide initiatives to support Commuter Student Success. ASSP works in collaboration with the office of Commuter Life in Student Life and Leadership (Student Affairs) to support the commuter student success goals outlined in the university’s strategic plan, Building on Excellence. A variety of commuter student success pathways have been developed jointly between Academic Affairs and Student Affairs since 2013. ASSP currently serves approximately 1300 FTF commuter students participating in these commuter success pathway types:

  • FRESHMAN INTEREST GROUP (1 unit) A Freshman Interest Group, also called a FIG, is a university seminar course (GENS 100) taken by small cohort of incoming first-time freshmen. In many cases, the seminar is focused on a specific topic or theme like Leadership, Women’s & Gender Equity, LGBTQ+ Pride or Community Service. FIGs may be paired with mentoring, where students in the cohort are paired with an upper class student, usually in the same or a related major, who provides academic and social support.
  • SCHOLAR SEMINAR (4-5 units) A Scholar Seminar includes a General Education (GE) course that usually relates to the student’s major. A discussion/analysis 1-unit course is connected to that GE course. The discussion course is led by a Graduate Teaching Associate (GTA) who specializes in the subject matter, or an undergraduate Instructional Student Assistant (ISA) who has successfully completed the course. Students in this pathway take both courses. For example: Sociology 101 (3 units) + Sociology 296 Discussion/Analysis (1 unit) or Math 141 (3 units) + Sciences 296 Discussion/Analysis (1 unit).
  • LEARNING COMMUNITIES (4-6 units) A Learning Community is a group of students who attend a set of courses and/or experiences together. Some communities include mentoring. For example: GE Course (3-4 units) + GENS 100B (1 unit).
  • INTEGRATED CURRICULUM (6 Units) An Integrated Curriculum pathway involves a small cohort of students who enroll in two required General Education (GE) courses together as a linked community. The instructors for the two courses work together to integrate the content between the two distinct courses. This means that the texts/concepts from course A are also included in course B, and often, vice versa. For example: Rhetoric & Writing Studies 100 (3 units) + Political Science 101 (3 units).
  • ACADEMIC PEER MENTORING (0 units) Students are paired with upperclassmen trained as peer mentors. Mentors meet weekly for 1:1 meeting with their mentees by appointment to go over a series of academically-focused topics and address any mentee concerns or questions.

A full-time academic advisor dedicated to supporting commuter students is also housed in DAESA and is an integral member of the ASSP team. In addition to providing direct advising services to students, the advisor also hosts a series of academically-focused workshops, intrusive interventions and disseminates important academically-related information to commuter students.

Recent Highlights:

  • In fall 2017, 90% of FTF commuter students participated in at least one student success pathway.
  • Over 1,000 students and parents attend Commuter Student Success receptions in the spring to learn about the different pathways and for students to select their preferences.