Alternative Learning Opportunities  {SF State Bulletin 2011 - 2012}

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Alternative Learning Opportunities

Community Involvement Center

CIC is a transdisciplinary program in the SF State College of Arts and Humanities, Department of English, which expands the dialogic processes inherent to critical thinking into all the ways of human knowing intrinsic to human experience. CIC provides lower and upper division course work appropriate for undergraduates, graduates, and post graduates which allows the development and maturation of a knowledge and skill set known as Critical Reflection. Through the process and practice of Critical Reflection students achieve the ability to be as effective and accomplished in handling and learning from all life experience outside the classroom as they are in negotiating the specialized requirements of scholarship within the University.


CIC can be as simple as taking a break from the classroom to volunteer in the community for units, as helpful as increasing motivation to stay in college and graduate, as critical as helping students explore and choose a major, as practical as developing skills needed to apply for employment, and as advanced as doing research in the nature and development of human intelligence and learning through experience.


CIC provides 3, 4, 5, and 6 units of academic credit per semester for students utilizing life experience as the source and stimulation for learning. Extensive resources for formal volunteer and paid fieldwork placements in community human service agencies are available for students able to complete internships on- and off-campus. Students who do not have the time for internships can propose existing life experience as the basis for critical reflection skills development. In addition to numerous, standard, service-learning courses (see Department of English listings), CIC offers English 696 which fulfills the forty-five hour early field experience requirement for aspiring credential candidates in the State of California.


At CIC, through a distinctively student-administered, nonhierarchical, systems-oriented organizational design, open and interactive service environments, small seminars, and weekend retreats, students of all cultures, nationalities, economic and social backgrounds, ages, class levels, majors, future careers, and existing abilities learn about themselves and our diverse world through interaction, thereby honing their interpersonal, communications, problem-solving, leadership and professional qualities and skills.


For further information about programs and enrollment, visit the CIC Office in the College of Arts and Humanities, Room 135. The Telephone is (415) 338-1486. The Website is The email address is


Cooperative Education Program

The Cooperative Education Program offers students an opportunity to receive credit for academically relevant field assignments in which theoretical course work can be applied to real world problems. Students may receive either six units for part-time work or twelve units for full-time work. Accumulated units count toward a Certificate in Cooperative Education. Units are not intended to replace general education or major curricular course work. Limited free elective units may be substituted upon approval of advising faculty, or the cooperative education faculty coordinator within the student's major field of study. This program is open to all university majors. For further information, go to TH 215 or call (415) 338-1050.


Credit by Evaluation for Experiential Learning (CEEL)

CEEL is designed to meet the needs of students whose university-level prior learning experiences can be evaluated for credit towards certain general education, major, or elective requirements of the University. Credit is offered only after a comprehensive and searching evaluation by a faculty member in the area for which credit is sought and approved by a team of assigned faculty members. Two types of credit can be earned through CEEL.


Residence Units. Students who work closely with an SF State faculty member and develop an extensive portfolio regarding prior learning can earn a maximum of six residence units under CEEL 300.


Non-Residence Units. Through the portfolio process a student can earn a maximum of 30 units beyond the six CEEL course credits above. These 30 units will be recorded on the SF State transcript as "Advanced Standing" and are considered transfer credits. These units will not meet SF State residence requirements toward the baccalaureate degree.


Enrolled students should contact the CEEL Coordinator in the Advising Center for further information.


Amount of Credit. Credit for prior "Advanced Standing" will not exceed 30 units including any units for experiential learning which may be accepted as a result of California State University policy from other institutions. The faculty in any academic program may set additional limits on the number of experiential learning units accepted, or required, for majors or minors in that program.


Departmental Internship Programs

There are internship programs offered in the academic curricula of San Francisco State University. Internships have become the major factor in gaining employment after graduation. For details, check the departments or contact the Career Center at (415) 338-1761.


Intensive Learning Program

The Intensive Learning Program (ILP) was designed specifically to improve the retention and graduation of those students who, based on ELM and EPT scores, are the most seriously under prepared in the critical skills of written communication and mathematics. The target population are those first-time freshmen who have scored 370 and below on the Entry Level Mathematics test and/or 141 and below on the English Placement Test. A goal of this program is to increase the retention and graduation rates of underrepresented students.


Students are given an orientation in special ILP classes. These classes are smaller in size (approximately eighteen students per class) along with special curriculum designed specifically to prepare students to succeed in first year composition and/or with their quantitative reasoning. The progress of each ILP student is carefully monitored by the ILP staff.


The Washington Center

San Francisco State University has a contractual arrangement with The Washington Center in Washington, D.C., to provide matriculated students with internship experiences in the nation's capital. Internship placements are made in a variety of executive, legislative, and judicial offices of the government. Students are also placed in other sites such as trade and professional associations, lobbying groups, national media corporations, non-profit agencies, educational institutions, environmental offices, and political parties.


Registration for The Washington Center credit involves the same registration procedures and fees as courses taught on campus. Credit (usually 9-12 units) is awarded through regular course offerings. The Washington Center has scholarships available to assist with housing, transportation, and other expenses.


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