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Special Programs

Center for Innovative and Engaged Learning Opportunities (CIELO)

  • Coordinator: Cheryl Spector 
  • Sierra Hall (SH) 422, 433-443 
  • (818) 677-6535 
  • www.csun.edu/cielo 

The mission of the Center for Innovative and Engaged Learning Opportunities (CIELO) is to enhance teaching in support of meaningful, deep and sustained learning experiences while supporting the scholarship of teaching, learning and engagement. CIELO brings together four CSUN Programs: Faculty Development, New Faculty, Community Engagement and Academic First-Year Experiences, described individually below. Founded on the belief that enhanced and improved teaching has a direct and positive impact on student learning and satisfaction, CIELO helps create learning environments that take full advantage of the University’s distinguished faculty, the scholarship of teaching and learning and the surrounding community.

Academic First Year Experiences

  • Director: Cheryl Spector
  • Sierra Hall (SH) 437 
  • (818) 677-6535 
  • www.csun.edu/afye 

The Academic First-Year Experiences Program includes University 100 (The Freshman Seminar); the cohorted classes in the Freshman Connection; the First-Year Experience Living Learning Community; the Freshman Common Reading Program; the Freshman Faculty Series; and additional academic Programs serving significant numbers of first-year students and the faculty and staff who work with them.

Mission: The mission of the Office of Academic First-Year Experiences is to develop, support, assess and improve both teaching and learning in freshman courses and in academic Programs serving first-year students across the University.

Activities: We sponsor workshops, presentations and other programs for CSUN faculty and other campus community members interested in the activities and ideas of the First-Year Experience, including student engagement, linked and cohorted courses, interdisciplinary collaboration and learning-centered pedagogy. We encourage campus-wide dialogue and collaboration among faculty, staff and administrators who work intensively with first-year students.

Advisory Committees: The Freshman Seminar Steering Committee includes faculty members, administrators and Advising and Student Affairs representatives. The Steering Committee of the First-Year Experience Living Learning Community includes Residence Life staff, RAs, faculty, representatives from the Career Center and Student Affairs, and (from time to time) first-year residents of the FYE LLC. The Freshman Common Reading Program Selection Committee includes the First-Year Experience librarian, the director of Academic First-Year Experiences and a group of dedicated volunteer faculty, staff, administrators and students.

Community Engagement

  • Director: Joyce Burstein 
  • Managing Director: Merri Whitelock 
  • Sierra Hall (SH) 443 
  • (818) 677-7395 
  • www.csun.edu/community engagement 

Community Engagement offers course-based, credit-bearing educational experiences that allow students to participate in a faculty-organized community-learning opportunity that:

  • Addresses community needs identified by a not-for-profit community.
  • Fulfills identified and course-specific learning objectives.
  • Engages students throughout the semester.
  • Incorporates shared and learning, structured reflection and problem-solving as to gain further understanding of course content.
  • Encourages students to become participants in their community.

Faculty Development

  • Director: Daisy Lemus 
  • Associate Director: Janet Oh 
  • Director of New Faculty Orientation: Whitney Scott 
  • Sierra Hall (SH) 437 
  • (818) 677-6536 
  • www.csun.edu/facdev 

Faculty Development is dedicated to supporting faculty in their multiple roles as teachers, scholars, artists and members of the University’s academic community. Its goals are to promote effective teaching and learning practices, foster professional growth, strengthen collegial ties and support the scholarship of teaching and learning.

The office is responsible for coordinating new faculty orientation programs; designing workshops, seminars, discussions and learning communities for CSUN faculty to meet Faculty Development’s goals; coordinating the selection of recipients of funding for Judge Julian Beck Learning-Centered Instructional Projects (Beck Grants) and Probationary Faculty Grants; and providing resources on best practices in teaching and learning.

China Institute

  • Sequoia Hall (SH) 293 
  • (818) 677-3939 or 2138 
  • www.csun.edu/china_institute 
  • E-mail: zsu@csun.edu 

The China Institute facilitates and coordinates CSUN activities related to Chinese institutions. Ongoing activities include exchange of professors, students, scholars, performing artists, books, films and facilities; conducting study and culture tours; coordinating conferences, seminars, lecture series, symposia and internship/trainee programs; and facilitating cooperative research projects and technology transfers. Undergraduate and graduate students interested in pursuing research or study in China on an individual basis may contact the Institute. Faculty grants also are available for those interested in conducting comparative studies in China.

General Education Honors Program

  • (818) 677-2969 
  • Fax: (818) 677-3977 
  • www.csun.edu/gehonors 

The General Education Honors Program offers high-achieving CSUN students a diverse, enriched academic experience in General Education that promotes the fullest development of students’ academic potential. General Education Honors students enroll in special sections of GE courses taught by outstanding CSUN faculty. GE Honors courses satisfy required areas of the University’s General Education Program.

Each GE Honors course receives a special designation on the academic transcript. In addition, students who meet the following requirements will receive an Honors Certificate at the time of graduation:

  1. 1. Complete 15 units of GE Honors courses;
  2. 2. Receive a grade of “B” or better (3.0 GPA) in GE Honors courses; and
  3. 3. Maintain an overall GPA of 3.3 in all work completed at the University.

GE Honors Students have opportunities to participate in the annual CSU Honors Conference, the GE Honors Faculty Lecture Series, special workshops on graduate school and career planning, and more. The GE Honors Program also organizes community service and cultural events both on and off campus. GE Honors Students also may join the Honors Living Learning Community, a special floor in the dorms for GE Honors students.

Admission to the General Education Honors Program: 

Continuing students at CSUN are invited to participate on the basis of an overall GPA of 3.5 or higher in work completed at the University. Northridge Presidential Scholars are eligible and are encouraged to join the GE Honors Program.

Students transferring from other colleges or universities are invited to participate on the basis of an overall GPA of 3.5 or higher in college work. Students who have transferred with course credits in Honors from community colleges or other four-year institutions should consult with the Director concerning the application of those credits toward satisfying the requirements for the GE Honors Certificate. In such cases, normally at least 9 units of GE Honors credit earned at CSUN will be required.

The California State University International Programs

Developing intercultural communication skills and international understanding among its students is a vital mission of The California State University (CSU) system. Since its inception in 1963, the CSU International Programs has contributed to this effort by providing qualified students an affordable opportunity to continue studies abroad for a full academic year. More than 20,000 CSU students have taken advantage of this unique study option.

International Programs participants earn resident academic credit at their CSU campuses while they pursue full-time study at a host university or special study center abroad. International Programs serves the needs of students in more than 100 designated academic majors. Affiliated with more than 50 recognized universities and institutions of higher education in 18 countries, International Programs also offers a wide selection of study locales and learning environments.

Griffith University, Macquarie University, Queensland University of Technology, University of Queensland, University of Western Sydney, Victoria University
Concordia University (Montréal)
Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile (Santiago)
Peking University (Beijing), Shanghai Jiao Tong University (Shanghai)
Danish Institute for Study Abroad (international education affiliate of the University of Copenhagen)
Institut Catholique de Paris, Université de Provence (Aix-en- Provence), Universités de Paris I, III, IV, VI, VII, VIII, X, XI, XII, XIII, Université Paris-Est Marne-la-Vallée, Université d’Evry Val d’Essonne and Université de Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines
University of Tübingen, and a number of institutions of higher education in the state of Baden-Württemberg
University of Ghana (Legon)
Tel Aviv University, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, University of Haifa
CSU Study Center (Florence), Universitá degli Studi di Firenze, Accademia di Belle Arti Firenze
Waseda University (Tokyo), University of Tsukuba
Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey, Campus Querétaro
South Africa 
Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (Port Elizabeth)
South Korea 
Yonsei University (Seoul)
Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Universidad de Granada
Uppsala University
National Taiwan University (Taipei), National Tsing Hua University (Hsinchu)
United Kingdom 
Bradford University, Bristol University, Hull University, Kingston University, Swansea University

International Programs pays all tuition and administrative costs for participating California resident students to a similar extent that such funds would be expended to support similar costs in California. Participants are responsible for all tuition and program fees and personal costs, such as transportation, room and board, and living expenses. Financial aid, with the exception of Federal Work-Study, is available to qualified students.

To qualify for admission to the International Programs, in most Programs students must have Upper Division or graduate standing at a CSU campus by the time of departure. Students at the sophomore-level may, however, participate in the intensive language acquisition programs in Canada, China, France, Germany, Mexico, South Korea, Sweden and Taiwan. California community college transfer students are eligible to apply directly from their community colleges. Students also must possess a current cumulative GPA of 2.75 or 3.0, depending on the Program for which they apply. Some Programs also have language study and/or other course work prerequisites.

Additional information and application materials may be obtained on campus or by writing to The California State University International Programs, 401 Golden Shore, 6th Floor, Long Beach, CA, 90802- 4210. For more information, visit www.calstate.edu/ip.

International and Exchange Student Center (IESC)

  • Administrator in charge: Dr. Marta Lopez 
  • University Student Union, Building C 
  • (818) 677-3053 
  • www.csun.edu/international 

The International and Exchange Student Center (IESC) provides services to all international students after they have been formally admitted to the University. The Office will assist international students in: 1) Referring them to the appropriate Departments for academic advising in General Education and their major field of study; 2) Complying with the laws and regulations of the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service; and 3) Assisting with students’ academic or personal concerns. An international orientation program for all new freshman and transfer students also is offered each semester.

The Office also coordinates cultural and social events so that international students can share their national heritages with the campus educational community. The International Mentor Program, Student Programs for International Curriciular Education (SPICE), a weekly coffee hour on Fridays at noon, tutoring in English and Math and the Phi Beta Delta Honor Society are some of the highlights of the IESC.

Opportunities to both study abroad or to take a semester to attend another U.S. campus for a semester or a year on exchange also are available through this officel. To qualify for admission to the International Study Abroad Programs, students must have Upper Division or graduate standing at a CSU campus by the time of departure. Students at the sophomore-level may, however, participate in the language acquisition programs in France, Germany and Mexico.

California community college transfer students are eligible to apply directly from their community colleges after they have applied to CSUN and have been or are in the process of being admitted to the University. Students also must possess a current cumulative GPA of 2.75 or 3.0, depending on the Program for which they apply. Some Programs also have language study and/or other course work prerequisites.

To qualify for admission to the National Student Exchange Program, students must have a cumulative GPA of 2.5 or higher. Through National Student Exchange, CSUN student have access to more than 190 campuses nationwide. Students can participate in this Program for 1 semester or a maximum of 1 academic year.

Additional information and application materials for Study Abroad and Exchange Programs may be obtained at SDIP.

Learning Resource Center 

  • Director: Rashawn Green
  • (818) 677-2033 
  • Fax: (818) 677-3632 
  • www.csun.edu/lrc 

The Learning Resource Center (LRC) serves students needing assistance in courses or desiring to improve such skills as reading, writing, note taking, test taking and study strategies—skills necessary for effective university-level learning. The LRC also provides services that support, supplement and enrich the University’s regular academic curriculum.

Writing Center: Writing Center consultants help students with academic, professional and personal writing, such as essays, reports, research papers, business letters, resumes and more. They also work with students to develop effective strategies for time management, critical reading, note taking and test taking. Additionally, consultants assist students preparing to take the Upper Division Writing Proficiency Examination. An appointment is necessary: Walk-ins are accepted only when appointments are not booked.

Writing Lab: Peer tutors work with students enrolled in Stretch Composition (AAS, CAS, CHS, ENGL, PAS and QS 113, 114 or 115), as well as students enrolled in University 100—The Freshman Seminar. In addition to assisting students with their writing process, tutors can help students develop effective study strategies. Some computers are available for student use. The Writing Lab operates on an appointment and walk-in basis.

Supplemental Instruction for Approaches to University Writing 113: UNIV 061/062 is a mandatory corequisite course for students enrolled in AAS, CAS, CHS, ENGL, PAS or QS 113A/B. Students receive a maximum of 1 additional unit of non-Baccalaureate credit per semester. UNIV061/062 SI sessions are led by experienced peers who have been successful in writing courses. SI sessions support students in their critical reading, expository writing and research skills.

Supplemental Instruction: Supplemental Instruction (University 060) is an academic-assistance program designed to help students master difficult course material in historically challenging classes. Students participate in a series of weekly peer-facilitated small-group study sessions that focus on learning strategies and problem-solving skills specific to the corresponding lecture course. Students enroll in University 060 for 1-unit, non-Baccalaureate credit.

Subject Area Tutoring Lab: The SAT Lab offers individual and small-group tutoring for such subjects as Biology, Chemistry, Economics and Physics, as well as numerous Math courses, including algebra, calculus and statistics. The SAT Lab operates Monday-Friday. No appointment is necessary.

Program for Adult College Education (PACE): Business PACE

The Program for Adult College Education (PACE) at CSUN is an Upper Division accelerated course of study geared to meet the needs of the motivated and fully employed student who wants to graduate within 2 years with a Baccalaureate Degree. PACE is available to Business students majoring in Finance or Marketing. Students in this cohorted Program complete their Business requirements through 4 classes each semester, taking 2 at a time during 8-week periods. Classes meet for 2 hours each on one evening per week and for 4 hours each on 4 Saturdays during the 8-week period. Each class includes distance learning to replace seat hours. Applicants to the Program must have been accepted at CSUN, completed Lower Division Business Core and GE certification, and have a cumulative GPA of at least 2.7. Contact the Business PACE Office for more information or go online to www. csun.edu/~buspace. PACE for Business majors: Call (818) 677-2467 or send email to bus.pace@csun.edu

Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) Program at CSUN, UCLA Army

  • Director: First Lt. Sidney Mendoza 
  • (818) 677-7855 
  • Fax: (818) 677-0119 
  • http://csunrotc.org 
  • Email: sidmendoza@milsci.ucla.edu 

Students attending CSUN or surrounding community colleges can participate in the UCLA Army ROTC Program at CSUN. For more information, call, email or visit us at the ROTC Office on campus, located in Building AD 710B near the northwest corner of the University Hall parking lot.

Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) Program, Air Force

  • Director: Lt. Col. William D. Heuck, USAF Commander 
  • (310) 825-1742 
  • www.afrotc.ucla.edu 

Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps (AFROTC) consists of a 1-credit academic course for first and second year students and a 3-credit course for third and fourth year students. All students also participate in a weekly 2-hour leadership laboratory. Undergraduate students attending CSUN can participate in AFROTC at UCLA. For more information, contact the AFROTC Det 055 (UCLA) Recruiting Flight Commander at (310) 825-1742.

Southern California Marine Institute (SCMI)

  • Director: Dr. Larry G. Allen 
  • (310) 519-3172 
  • CSUN Science and Mathematics College Dean: Jerry Stinner 
  • (818) 677-2005 
  • www.scmi.us 

CSUN is a member of the Ocean Studies Institute (OSI) which is composed of the 8 CSU’s in southern California. OSI is a major partner in the Southern California Marine Institute (SCMI), a consortium combining the marine resources of OSI and several other universities in southern California. SCMI operates a small marine laboratory in Los Angeles Harbor and 1 coastal research vessel, the R/V Yellowfin. SCMI also has a substantial amount of gear, equipment and a fleet of smaller boats to support teaching and research. OSI offers a Marine Biology Semester for CSU students every Fall semester at the Wrigley Marine Science Center on Santa Catalina Island. OSI also runs an AAUS Scientific Research Diving Program for CSU faculty, staff and students. OSI/SCMI coordinates various educational and research activities for marine scientists and engineers. Science programs utilize these facilities and individual students gain access to the Institute operations through courses and independent study.

Special Major

The Special Major is designed to meet the academic needs of students whose educational goals require study in at least 3 academic disciplines and cannot be achieved within the framework of existing majors and minors and within 120 units. The Special Major consists of a minimum of 44 units and a maximum of 66 semester units, 24 of which must be at the Upper Division-level. Courses used to satisfy General Education requirements may not apply toward the Special Major. Applicants must have a 2.5 cumulative GPA and apply for the Special Major before they have earned 80 units. For details on