California State University offers extra course opportunity

BY: NICOLAS TALAMANTE

The California State University (CSU) reintroduced its CSU Fully Online program during the summer, giving students the opportunity to take one online course for free during the 2020 – 2021 semester.
CSU Fully Online is a cross enrollment program that allows eligible CSU students to concurrently take an online class, once per semester, at another CSU campus in addition to the units they are taking at their home campus.

For example, if a student attending Cal Poly Pomona wishes to take an online course hosted by Cal State Fullerton, then through the online program, that student would be able to do so and receive credits toward their CPP degree at no additional tuition costs.

“It is not in response to COVID, but it’s a good strategy to overcome some of the challenges that COVID has made,” said Cecilia Santiago-González, assistant vice president of strategic initiatives for student success. “I think that this is a good way to share resources across the CSU, really providing opportunity to students to make progress. If a course is full here, they can take a GE at another CSU; so, I think it’s not in response, but it definitely highlights the benefits of the program and more students should take advantage of that.”

The program became available for the fall 2020 term on June 1 and closed for CPP students on August 27. The program will become available again for the spring 2021 semester.

“During these hard times, I think it is amazing that the CSU is offering this to their students to help them with the stress of finding a way to pay for school while dealing with financial issues,” said Leslie Villarreal, a second-year sociology student.

To be eligible for the program, students must first be enrolled in a CSU campus, have completed one term and earned at least 12 units. Beginning this term, transfer students do not need to fulfill the 12-unit requirement so long as all other criteria is met.

Students must also maintain at least a 2.0 GPA and have paid all their tuition as a full-time student.

“It looks like they are trying to give students a chance to get into classes that will help them get further along,” said Daniel Christian Saavedra, a fourth-year construction engineering and technology student. “The requirements don’t seem completely out of reach, like a 2.0 GPA, and the fact it reaches out to any CSU student gives many the same opportunity to get this benefit.”

Students’ course enrollment is approved only for the specified term and dependent on the space availability and registration priority policies set by the host campus.

“We always recommend this program for students who are eligible for it,” “Some courses are not offered every term at CPP or may fill up quickly, so if there’s a course their department deems as being equivalent to what they need, students should consider this program.”

While some have praised the CSU’s effort to provide this program, especially considering its decision to switch primarily to online learning for the fall, others voiced possible concerns with the program.

Nicolas Ortiz, a third-year political science student, said, “I was surprised that the program existed, and it sounds good on paper, but I’m skeptical of it, if it’s going to come back to bite us. Transferring credits difficult in the past between colleges and fees have been accumulating especially since we left in the spring.”

So long as full-time tuition is already paid, the additional units for the CSU Fully Online course are included in that paid tuition, at no additional cost.

However, international and nonresidential students are still expected to pay the additional nonresident per-unit fees for Fully Online courses.

“I think it’s a great opportunity to take advantage of for students right now, but also in any term,” said Erin DeRosa, interim director of university advising. “We’ve often had students take a look at it if they’re looking for that online experience; they are either at home or a little further away or they have work that makes it a little more challenging to take an in-person class so that online option has been a really great additional opportunity for students.”

Students can enroll in the program through the “Enroll in CSU Fully Online” link located under their student center page on BroncoDirect. For any additional information and details regarding the CSU Fully Online program, students can visit https://www.csufullyonline.com/.

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