Public Affairs, The California State University

Dorms Pave Way for Student Success

By Stephanie Thara

Residence Halls Acclimating Students to Campus

For most CSU campuses, fall 2013 is underway and excitement for the new academic year has the universities buzzing. With numerous campuses welcoming their largest and most diverse classes in university history, many have enhanced their university housing services and developed new residential living activities to help undergraduates meet fellow scholars and transition into college life.

The CSU is striving to help students become acclimated faster by instituting programs such as the following:

CSU Channel Islands’ Freshman Year Involvement Retreat shares with freshmen the secrets to becoming a successful student, which includes everything from academic planning advice to the best ways to get involved on campus.

The Faculty Mentor Program at Chico State, where faculty “adopt” a university housing floor/complex and interact with residents on a regular basis, is designated to increase dialogue between faculty and students and helps scholars better understand the academic process.

During Free Fest at CSU East Bay, students departing the dorms can donate their unwanted clothing or apartment furnishings for needy and interested new residents when they move in for the new quarter.

Cal State Fullerton offers themed communities, which provide an extra level of interaction with academic departments and university officials. Each hall has themed floors that support college disciplines such as arts or communications, and themed floors that promote sustainability, leadership and first-year connections.

The Residential Academic Mentoring Program at Humboldt State pairs incoming freshmen with an upper-class student mentor who provides study skills and directs students to appropriate campus resources and services.

Students living on campus at Cal State L.A. attend a “town hall meeting” with their resident advisor to  learn about campus safety, alcohol education, support services in Student Affairs and tools for academic success.

Project Higher Ground at CSU Monterey Bay, a residential community in Avocet Hall, enhances student learning and professional development by linking academic coursework to co-curricular activities.

San Francisco State Residential Life’s “Let’s Talk” brings mental health services directly to students by providing all residents with access to free confidential counseling in the comfort of their own dorm.

CSU San Marcos’ Residential Learning Communities (RLC) program offers first-year students a comprehensive living/learning experience. Students live and take courses with fellow students in RLC and participate in specialized co-curricular programs planned specifically for RLC students.