Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is the purpose of CSM BOND?

A: The CSM BOND program began as a grant funded program under the name of the CSM First Year Experience program (FYE) in 2015. It targets incoming freshman with majors in the College of Science and Math. It is a cohort style program with two main components, the Summer Experience, and  CSM 10 course and CSM 15 courses. Students in the program will also be cohorted in math and chemistry courses depending on the ELM score placement.

  • Summer Experience: The Summer experience takes place the week before classes begin for the Fall semester. During the Summer Experience students are led by Peer Leaders in various activities, experiments, introducing them to the campus, faculty and their peers.

  • CSM 10: The Scientific Method in fall (GE Area A3) and CSM 15: Evidence Based Decision Making in the spring (GE Area E). Both of these courses are DiscoverE courses and are geared towards preparing them with a foundation to succeed in their rigorous coursework as CSM majors.

The overall goal of the program is to increase students sense of self efficacy, sense of belonging as well as their critical thinking and quantitative learning in hope to increase student retention rates, graduation rate, and minimize the achievement gap, of CSM students.

Q: Who takes BOND?

A: First Time Freshmen in the College of Science & Math who are not psychology majors. We love psychology- but their courses requirements are very different than the other majors in the college which makes cohort scheduling difficult, but our team is working on ways to incorporate the psychology major into the program.

Q: How can the CSM BOND program help me in my academic career?

A: Enrollment in the correct courses for your first year. Connect you to campus resources. A community of peers, faculty, staff and peer mentors.

Q: What are the eligibility requirements for the CSM BOND program?

A: First time freshman at Fresno State. Major in one of the following majors: biology, biochemistry, chemistry, computer science, earth and environmental sciences, geology, mathematics, natural sciences, physics.

Q: How much does the program cost?

A: The program university believes your first year is important and priceless, so it won't cost you a dime.

Q: Can I join this program if I am not a CSM major or if I am a psychology major?

A: Unfortunately, no. Our program is designed to specifically support non-psychology CSM majors and to be a part of our program when you are not of the correct major could actually be detrimental.

Q: How do I join the CSM BOND program?

A: Students must first accept their admission into Fresno State and ensure their ELM/EPT scores are available for review by June 1st as well as complete the CSM BOND application by June 2nd. Students must then register for Dog Days, prepare for the Calculus Readiness Test (CRT) if applicable and pay close attention to their Fresno State emails for any updates.

Q: Do I have to attend the Summer Experience?

A: Yes. The Summer Experience is a required component of the CSM BOND program and failure to attend can forfeit your position in the program. This year the Summer Experience will be from August 14th to 18th, the week before classes start. Additional information about the Summer Experience will be sent out to your Fresno State email as we get closer to the date. If you have concerns about attending the Summer Experience or possible time conflicts, please email our coordinator Nalong Mekdara, nmekdara@csufresno.edu.

Q: What are the required CSM BOND classes?

A:

  • CSM 10: The Scientific Method, 3 unit DiscoverE course, taken during the fall semester. Practice in the application of the scientific method to locally relevant problems and challenges. The evaluation of inductive and deductive arguments couple with the evaluation of experimental data to develop and test scientific hypotheses.
  • CSM 15: Evidence Based Decision Making, 3 unit DiscoverE course, taken during the spring semester. Practice in the evaluation and use of quantitative evidence in reasoned decision making. Topics include uncertainty, significance, trends, experimental design and causality.

Q: What is DiscoverE?

A: DISCOVERe tablet program is at the core of President Joseph I. Castro's bold vision of finding new ways to teach that will engage and challenge students to improve their success in the classroom. It's an aggressive initiative to break down the digital divide and rethink educating tomorrow's leaders.

Both CSM 10 and CSM 15 are DiscoverE courses, but unlike other DiscoverE courses we allow our students to use their own devices, whether they be tablets or laptops- the important thing is that they bring them to each class session..These tablet courses have been redesigned to offer students an enhanced learning experience. The tablet will offer students portability, convenience, and teaching materials anywhere anytime. When registering for classes, these courses will be denoted as "tablet required,” but students in the CSM BOND program can apply for a loaner tablet during their year in the program.

"Tablets are a teaching and learning tool that Fresno State will embrace to meet the needs of today's tech-savvy students-those already enrolled and future students from throughout the Valley and state who already are using tablets in K-12 schools." - Joseph I. Castro, President, California State University, Fresno

Q: I don’t have a laptop or tablet. Can I still be a part of the CSM BOND program?

A: Yes! As long as you complete the CSM BOND application by June 2 our program can work with you to have access to a tablet for loan during your time in the program.

Q: Do I have to take both of the CSM classes?

A: Yes. Being a part of the CSM BOND program is a one year commitment, and in order to get the full impact and benefit from the program you need to stay within the program for your entire first year.

Q: What if I change my major while I am in the program?

A: If you change your major to a non-CSM major during your time in the program we ask that you first meet with Dr. Arvizu in the Advising and Resource Center (ARC). When you change your major some of your course requirements may also change and so, Dr. Arvizu will help you navigate whether the program would still be a good fit for you and your new career path. You can make an appointment with Dr. Jaime Arvizu by calling the ARC at 278.4150.

Q: What is ARC?

A: ARC is the Advising and Resource Center, Located in Sci 1 Room 136. ARC oversees the College of Science and Math students with registration, academic holds, and connecting them with campus resources. If you want to make an appointment with an advisor call 278.4150.

Q: When are the deadlines/important dates for this program?

A: Check out our Next Step Guide for an outline of important dates/deadlines!

Q: What is the ELM and EPT? How do I check my exemption status?

A: The ELM or Entry Level Math exam and the EPT or English Placement Test are mandatory incoming student assessment exams. Depending on how students score on these exams determines their “readiness” for college level math and english courses and whether or not they will need to enroll in Early Start courses held over the summer as well as have a remediation hold on their account during their first year of college. There are many ways students can be exempt from the ELM/EPT (SAT scores, AP socres, completion of a year-long senior English/Math course etc.) and it is important student check their MyFresnoState portal to verify their exemption status. Students can be conditionally exempt from these exams as well, and for students in this classification we caution them on assuming they will remain exempt and consider taking the ELM test in time for our program to receive their scores by June 1st. Students currently with a conditionally exempt status and then have their status changed to that of non-exempt will run the risk of forfeiting their position in the program if we have not received their ELM/EPT scores by June 1st.

Q: When and where do I sign up to take the ELM/EPT?

A: The ELM/EPT exam is offered across the 23 CSU campuses. The CSM BOND program needs to have your ELM/EPT scores by June 1st in order to place you in the appropriate courses during your first year. For a list of registration and testing dates that would allow you to meet this deadline click here. Students can register for the ELM/EPT tests through the CSU EPT/ELM System at the campus and day that is most convenient for them.

Q: I am not exempt from the ELM/ have a math remediation hold, what are my next steps?

A: If you have not already done so, please sign up to take the ELM as the registration deadline for our campus to receive your results is rapidly approaching. For registration deadline and test dates and locations that would allow us to receive your scores in time please click here. If you would like to prepare for your ELM exam here is a link to some resources (some of which are free) to help you prepare for the exam.

The score for which you receive on your ELM will dictate your next course of action. If your ELM score is above 50 you will need to begin preparing to take the CRT. If you score below 50 you will need to sign up for the Early Start Math during the summer. As part of our program we are encouraging our students to enroll in ESM 3 for the Early Start requirement, which is a 3 unit course during the summer. By completing your Early Start Math requirement at Fresno State you will be given the option to take the ELM for a second time at the end of the course, and if you score above a 50 you will not have a remediation hold on your account and will need to begin preparing for the CRT. This is only available if students complete their Early Start requirement at Fresno State. Students in our program will also be provided additional workshops and support following their ESM courses to not only pass the second ELM but also prepare them for the Calculus Readiness Test (CRT) so students can be back on track for a four year graduation.

Q: I am conditionally exempt from the ELM/EPT exams what are my next steps?

A: We recommend for conditionally exempt students to consider taking the ELM test in time for our program to receive their scores by June 1st. Students currently with a conditionally exempt status, and then have their status changed to that of non-exempt will run the risk of forfeiting their position in the program if we have not received their ELM/EPT scores by June 1st.  For registration deadline and test dates and locations that would allow us to receive your scores in time please click here. If you would like to prepare for your ELM exam here is a link to some resources (some of which are free) to help you prepare for the exam.

The score for which you receive on your ELM will dictate your next course of action. If your ELM score is below 50 you will need to sign up for the Early Start Math during the summer. As part of our program we are encouraging our students to enroll in ESM 3 for the Early Start requirement, which is a 3 unit course during the summer. If you do become fully exempt from ELM and/or Early Start Math Programs you will need to prepare to take the Calculus Readiness Test (CRT).

Q: What is Early Start/ESM 3?

A: The Early Start Program is a tool used across the California State University system to prepare incoming freshmen for college-level English and Math courses. The program was approved by the CSU Board of Trustees and launched at all CSU campuses in 2012. First-time freshmen attending in the Fall will be required to participate in the Early Start program if their scores on the Elementary Level Mathematics (ELM) and/or English Placement Test (EPT) do not meet the threshold for Early Start exemption which students can check through their MyFresnoState portal. ESM 3 is the 3 unit Early Start Math course we encourage our CSM BOND students to take here at Fresno State. Students enrolled in the Early Start Math Courses at Fresno State are provided the opportunity to take an ELM equivalent exam at the end of the course providing the opportunity to receive a higher score and prevent them from having a math remediation hold on their account during their first year. This is only available if students complete their Early Start requirement at Fresno State. CSM BOND students enrolled in the ESM 3 course at Fresno State will also additional workshops and support following their ESM courses to not only pass the second ELM but also prepare them for the Calculus Readiness Test (CRT) so students can be back on track for a four year graduation.

Q: I think I am exempt from the ELM/EPT what are my next steps?

A: The next step for you would be to prepare to take the Calculus Readiness Test (CRT) which is required for all students to take before they can be enrolled in Fresno State Calculus courses; which is a requirement for your major. It is in your best interest to take the CRT after your Dog Days orientation so we can place you into the correct math course.

Q: What is the CRT?

A: The CRT or Calculus Readiness Test is a placement test required for all students to take before they can be enrolled in a Fresno State Calculus courses; which is a requirement for all  majors in our program.  It is in your best interest to take the CRT after your Dog Days orientation. You can only take the CRT once each semester and depending on how you score you will be recommended an appropriate Math course. For CRT testing dates, times, and further information click here. We highly recommend you practice before the CRT because you can only take it once per semester.

CRT Practice Links:
http://defunct.mdtp.ucsd.edu/test_new/index.php
http://www.fresnostate.edu/csm/math/documents/trig-practice-questions-nosol.pdf

Q: Who do I contact with questions about CSM BOND?

A: Depends on the question! For questions about the program overall we encourage you to contact our coordinator, Nalong Mekdara by emailing nmekdara@csufresno.edu, while for questions about the CSM 10 and 15 courses we encourage you to contact one of the professors whose contact info is found on the CSM BOND Team Page.

Q: Where can I find more information about the program?

A: Check out our social media!
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