First-Year Experience

Description, Mission & Goals

Program Description

FYE connects first-year (including transfer) students to a community of first-year friendly courses and faculty who partner in helping FYE students build their academic foundation and make a successful transition to Chico State.


The mission of the First-Year Experience is to ensure the successful transition and retention of all first-year (including transfer) students at CSU, Chico. FYE supports the design of research-based curricular experiences that emphasize social connection, identity exploration, academic and civic efficacy.


  • Specifically designed classes, called U-Courses, that are designed with students’ transitioning processes in mind
    • U-Course offerings change every semester and are always 100-level and meet General Education requirements
  • Public sphere events where students meet members of the community, and their course work is central to discussions at the event
    • Sense of Place is connected to the course work in nearly all of FYE’s U-Courses
    • Town Hall Meeting is connected to the course work in many “POLS 155: American Government: National, State, and Local” courses 
  • Outreach events that help students find community and connect to resources
    • Major Quest supports undeclared students in finding a major 
    • Transfer Support provides students who are new to Chico State’s campus, but not new to college with insider knowledge and resources 
  • A mentoring program that connects first-year students with more-experienced students
    • Peer Academic Leader program supports students enrolled in U-Courses in the classroom

Student Learning Outcomes

  1. Equitably increase first-year student retention from Fall to Spring semester and first- to second-year.
  2. Increase sense of belonging and mattering in first-year students.
  3. Provide opportunities for first-year students to develop an academic identity.
  4. Improve academic efficacy in first-year students.
  5. Improve civic efficacy in first-year students.