Fall Program for Freshmen to launch in San Francisco in fall 2016

Nicole White/Staff

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The campus Fall Program for Freshmen will extend its program for the coming fall semester to the UC Berkeley Extension Center in San Francisco.

Established in 1983, FPF is an academic program offered to campus spring admission students in collaboration with UC Berkeley Extension. The program will now be open to all incoming campus freshmen admitted to the campus College of Letters & Science, rather than just spring admission students, FPF program director Allison Hall Ramos said in an email.

Ramos added that the campus vice chancellor of undergraduate education approached UC Berkeley Extension last fall to start another FPF program in San Francisco, due to the past success of the campus FPF.

Campus sophomore Samantha Yen, an FPF ambassador, reiterated these sentiments, adding that she enjoyed the small classes, which allowed for closer relationships with instructors and classmates.

Admission for FPF will remain a first come, first served process and be designed for students who seek to gain exposure to the San Francisco area. Students who have participated in FPF said the San Francisco option could be a positive opportunity for new students.

“I think it’s a pretty promising idea,” said campus freshman David Grinsfelder, who participated in FPF last semester. “The chance of being in San Francisco for one semester … I would have jumped at the chance.”

The courses offered will be taught by some of the staff from the campus FPF. Ramos said, however, that instructors are encouraged to take advantage of the program’s location by coordinating field trips and outings.

Located at 160 Spear St. in the heart of downtown San Francisco, the new FPF campus will be easily accessible by public transportation. Ramos added that students are eligible for discounted BART tickets and a Class Pass, which includes free transbay AC Transit and Bear Transit services.

Adam Ratliff, campus communications manager for student affairs, said students will have access to campus facilities and receive priority for housing as long as they apply by the program deadline. In addition, students may choose to live in San Francisco or commute from home, though the campus will not provide housing in San Francisco.

The UC Berkeley Extension San Francisco center — which will house the new program of approximately 300 students — is composed of three stories of classrooms, art studios and meeting spaces, aimed to be a “hub for relaxing and networking,” Ramos said in an email.

“Part of our strategy is to look for opportunities for students to learn within a small cohort,” Ratliff said.

Namrata Challa, campus sophomore and FPF ambassador, believes the expansion of FPF to San Francisco will strengthen the FPF community, and she said she hopes more students will now be able to take advantage of the FPF program.

“I just wish there were more people who (knew) what FPF was,” Challa said. “There’s nothing that I really wanted to change.

Contact Hannah Lewis and Roann Pao at [email protected].