Despite the sometimes scary transition to post-secondary education, members of the freshman class started fall quarter enthusiastic about -- and better prepared for -- the college journey.
Director of General Education Sally Murphy said this year’s freshman class entered college with a higher level of competence than last year’s class.
“Faculty and staff from the General Education department have all reported to me that this year’s students are a lot more focused and prepared to be college students,” said Murphy.
As they adjusted over fall quarter to college level courses, individual responsibility and the ins and outs of time management, several freshmen agreed that they were ready for their college studies.
“I fully (expected) college to be a lot more difficult than high school,” said freshman Cynthia Neira. “However, I feel completely prepared to take on the challenge.”
Experts said the transition to post-secondary education can be difficult and often detrimental to a student’s college career.
Despite the $650 million budget reduction to the California State University system, CSUEB maintained freshman enrollment levels. For fall quarter, the university enrolled a total of 1,231 freshmen, a slight increase over the fall 2010 class of 1,211 students.
The university witnessed an overall enrollment increase of two and a half percent from last year’s enrollment totals.
Students feel more inclined to attend college because of the poor job market and the declining value of a high school diploma, said Murphy.
“I think there is a generic draw (to college) and that is the recognition by lots of students, because it’s hard to find good paying jobs without a college degree,” said Murphy.
Although the California State Universities experienced a 22 percent systemwide tuition increase since last fall, students said college is well worth the price.
Freshman Michaela Silber said though college comes with more responsibilities, the benefits of graduating make the effort worthwhile.
“Four years is just a small portion of my life,” said Silber. “College will allow me to accomplish the things I want for my future.”
Reflecting Cal State East Bay's overall diverse makeup, the new freshmen span various racial backgrounds.
The 2011 incoming freshman class is 18 percent Asian, 16 percent African American, an equal 22 percent Hispanic and Caucasian and 21 percent was unknown.
The freshman class became acquainted with the CSUEB campuses over the summer at five separate orientations that familiarized the incoming class with academic programs and organizations that the university offers.