CSUN Professor Honored For Her Work on Behalf of First-Year College Students

Cheryl Spector

Cheryl Spector

California State University, Northridge English professor Cheryl Spector has received national recognition for her work on behalf of the university’s first-year college students.

Spector, director of CSUN’s Academic First Year Experiences, was given the Outstanding First-Year Student Advocate Award last month by the National Resource Center for the First-Year Experience and Students in Transition at the University of South Carolina.

The award, now in its 24th year, honors college faculty, administrators, staff and students for outstanding work on behalf of first-year students and for the impact their efforts have on the students and culture of their institutions.

“When you consider that CSUN welcomes about 5,000 new freshmen every fall, you know that this award actually recognizes our campus for partnership and collaboration in support of student success,” said Spector. “It’s great to see all these efforts recognized formally at the national level.”

Spector was one of 10 educators from around the country recognized for their work on behalf of first-year college students.

CSUN’s Academic First Year Experiences provides an opportunity for faculty, staff and first-year students, including freshmen and new transfer students, to link curricular learning with co-curricular learning in ways that help new students make a successful transition to the university.

Among its programs are the Freshman Common Reading Program, in which new students are invited to read a common book and discuss it as part of a campus-wide community of readers; the Freshman Connection, learning communities for first-semester freshmen; University 100, a three-unit, letter-graded general education class for freshmen designed to help them develop their own plans for personal, academic and career success; and the Freshman Celebration, an annual fall exhibit of academic projects completed by students enrolled in University 100 and other Freshman Connection classes, as well as a year-round series of workshops offering professional development to faculty and staff who work extensively with CSUN freshmen.