First-Year Experience Program

The CSU, Chico Town Hall Meeting

Town Hall meetings main room before the participants take part in the meeting

Save the Date!

Town Hall will be held on 11/03/2022 from 6:00pm-9:00pm beginning at the BMU Auditorium.

What is the Town Hall Meeting?

Embedded in the first-year Political Science course on American Government, the bi-annual CSU, Chico Town Hall Meeting provides students with a public arena for discussing current policy issues with other students, faculty, administrators, and community members.

After the opening remarks and welcome take place in the Bell Memorial Union Auditorium, participants move to various locations on campus for "breakout sessions". During these sessions moderators encourage students to share their research with other students and interested participants.

Students conclude the evening in an Action Symposium with members of the campus and community serving as consultants to assist with next steps in research and the development of a plan for civic action.


Assessments of student learning and attitudes in classes that embed the Town Hall indicate that students become more engaged scholars and gain confidence about their capacity to do meaningful work at the university when they have this opportunity to share their research in public dialogues with interested others.

In addition, Town Hall participants have a significantly higher first-year retention rate than non-Town Hall students.

  • For every year since the inception of the program, there is a 5-7% increase in retention among those who experience the Town Hall Meeting. This reaches a 91% retention rate in 2010-11..
  • Among students of color, retention is 6-9% higher among students in the Town Hall, culminating in a 93% retention rate in 2010-11.

What Students Had to Say About The Town Hall Meeting

"The Town Hall really inspired me to get more involved in my community and stay educated on current politics. I was a little intimidated in the beginning of the discussion, but once I started speaking up I felt empowered."

"The actual Town Hall Meeting thrilled me. I was so excited that I actually got to hold and listen to an intelligent conversation with some controversy in it."

"This experience made me want to go out and start making a difference...I think it was a great way to light a spark and get people interested in taking action."

We wish to acknowledge that the CSU, Chico Town Hall was funded in part through a generous grant from the Association of American Colleges and Universities and the Charles Engelhard Foundation's “Bringing Theory to Practice(opens in new window)” project from Fall 2007 to Spring 2009 and Fall 2010 to Spring 2012.