First-Year Student Experience

Welcome to FYE at San Francisco State University

Welcome to FYE at San Francisco State University

From the heart of a diverse community, San Francisco State University honors its legacy by promoting social justice and equity, and inspiring the courage to lead and collaborate. In the first-year, students forge and further develop personal, academic and community identities and literacies in dialogue with San Francisco State University’s history of social justice, equity and inclusion.

Successful first-year students enter their second year by

  • Having a foundation of social justice, equity and community inclusion
  • Belonging to our campus community
  • Connecting with our faculty and staff members
  • Developing rich connections and friendships with students
  • Engaging with a critical consciousness of themselves and their relations to others.
  • Understanding their roles, responsibilities and opportunities as an engaged student
  • Building a commitment to community, social and political action

At the core of their first year experience at San Francisco State University, students will be inspired to take an active role in their education because experience teaches. 

FYE Peer Mentors are integral members of the FYE program and the campus community. Peer Mentors enter first-year classes and collaborate with faculty to make SFSU a welcoming and supportive campus for all first-year students. FYE Peer Mentors hold multiple roles as a friend, advisor, mentor, and coach to support the academic and social well-being of each first-year student. Learn more about each peer mentors on the "Peer Mentor Profiles" page. Follow us on instagram @sfsu_firstyear to stay up to date about the FYE Peer Mentor Program. 

Peer Mentors also provide the following campus-wide resources open to all first-year students. Click on each item to learn more: 

Spring 2024 Fiscal Year End PMP Team Photo

First-Year Faculty Director



Susanna Jones PhD, MSW (She/Her/Hers)

First Year Experience Faculty Director

First-Year Experience at San Francisco State

During 2016-2017, San Francisco State University conducted the Foundations of Excellence (FoE) first-year self-study. Faculty and staff from  Academic Affairs and Student Affairs & Enrollment Management  provided input throughout the duration of the academic year to determine the barriers to success for our first-year students.  

Read the Foundations of Excellence Report 

Their key recommendations fell into various categories: Academic and Social Engagement, Advising and Mentoring, Sense of Belonging, Organizational Structures and Bureaucracy, Communications, and Professional Development for Faculty and Staff.  Among the high priority recommendations, the FOE steering committee recommended the institutionalizing of the first year experience collaboratively between Academic Affairs and SAEM.  In addition, this institutionalization of the  first year experience is also part of efforts in terms of the  campus  Student Success and Graduation Initiative 2025. 

FYE Philosophy

Philosophy for the First Year of College at SFSU

In their transition to university life, first year students bring with them a foundation of rich personal identities and lived experiences. San Francisco State University partners with students to build on these assets, creating an excellent foundation for future learning. Students will:

  • develop their own individualized intellectual identity through access to the rich array of curricular opportunities offered at SF State;
  • shape an academic identity of their own by building relationships with students, faculty and staff in multiple communities of learning;
  • construct a community identity through engagement with campus and community life;
  • navigate institutional structures and processes to develop self advocacy skills;
  • identify with the university’s mission and values while finding inspiration in SF State’s rich history and;
  • learn to appreciate diverse ways of being, belonging, learning and living, that may be different from their own experiences and identities.

At the core of their first year experience at San Francisco State University, students will be inspired to take an active role in their education because experience teaches. 

Contact the First-Year Experience Directors 

Susanna Jones, PhD, MSW  |

Professor & First-Year Faculty Director

Division of Undergraduate Education & Academic Planning


Evan Jaynes, MA  |

First-Year Experience Manager

Division of Student Affairs


Connect with us on instagram: @sfsu_firstyear