San Francisco State University, Established 1899, 1600 Holloway Ave. SF, CA 94132

SFSU Public Affairs Press Release

Published by the Public Affairs Office at San Francisco State University, Diag Center.


Contact: Matt Itelson
phone: (415) 338-1665

Back to class: SFSU welcomes 26,200 students beginning Aug. 29

Increased class availability, strong orientation programs lead the way to academic success; students begin moving into residence halls Aug. 24

 SAN FRANCISCO, August 16, 2001 -- San Francisco State University has increased the availability of classes to better meet student demand, as an estimated 26,200 students will begin the school year Wednesday, Aug. 29.

For years, SFSU has been challenged to offer enough sections of required courses to meet student demand. Recent University efforts have greatly improved availability of high-demand courses. Students should now be able to enroll in high-demand general education courses within two semesters, said Jerry Combs, dean of undergraduate studies pro tem. In the past, it would often take students up to two years.

Remaining demand -- defined as the number of student requests for closed course sections during touch-tone class preregistration -- has fallen 32 percent University-wide since spring 2000.

"San Francisco State is committed to offering more sections of the classes students need to graduate," Combs said. "By adding extra seats in high-demand courses, students are able to satisfy their general education and major requirements in a reasonable amount of time, therefore enabling them to graduate sooner."

SFSU added 56 sections of high-demand general education classes last year, creating 1,500 additional seats in lower-division math, English, history, political science, speech and critical thinking courses. Many high-demand courses were also offered this summer in the University’s well-attended, expanded Summer Semester. In addition, SFSU has increased sections of high-demand courses required in popular majors such as business, nursing, psychology, and many of the creative arts.

Resources for the added courses are derived by canceling courses with enrollments that fall below CSU minimum standards.

SFSU orients students to University life, academics
University officials believe that the high amount of personal attention given to students during orientation and throughout their first year at SFSU leads students to successful academic careers and increases student retention rates for the University.

SFSU provides a comprehensive orientation program for all 2,000-plus freshmen and most of its nearly 3,000 new transfer students before they register for classes. Each student is given personalized guidance and advising on general education and other academic requirements, planning class schedules, touch-tone registration, and introductions to SFSU student services and programs. An enthusiastic 20-student team of "GatorAiders" (named after SFSU’s mascot) serves as student peer advisers and gives campus tours.

Throughout the semester, Karen Kingsbury, orientation and retention director, and Advising Center staff keep in contact with new students -- particularly freshmen -- who are struggling academically. The center can provide them with tutoring and additional guidance.

First Year Experience: providing the course to academic success
Freshmen are also encouraged to enroll in a one- or three-unit First Year Experience (FYE) class, which primes them on "the basics of college success" -- everything from study skills and resources offered by campus support services to tips on choosing a major and advising. Most class sections are limited to 25 students, creating an intimate learning environment.
Freshmen who have chosen a major may take an additional one- or two-unit FYE course more specific to their field of study. In those courses, students learn about the "life" of their major by visiting upper-division courses, interviewing faculty members, and visiting upperclassmen who are working in an internship.

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SFSU, 1600 Holloway Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94132
Last modified April 24, 2007 by Office of Public Affairs