Parents & Family eNews: Fall 2011

Dear Fellow SF State Parents & Family Members,

On behalf of the Parents Council, I am pleased to be able to present you with the Fall 2011 edition of the SF State Parents & Family Program eNews. It is our hope that this newsletter helps fulfill a key goal of the Parents Council, which is to provide parents and families with important information. As a parent of a freshman, and the founding president of the SF State’s Parents Council, I encourage you to become involved in your child’s educational experience. Now, there's an SF State Parents Council Facebook page to facilitate your participation.

This edition of eNews includes important information about the following topics:

  • Update on State of California Budget and Possible Impact on CSU Tuition
  • Volunteers Needed for Southern California Pre-Admission Receptions and Sneak Preview Day
  • Scholarship and Aid Options Through Student Exchange Programs
  • A Follow-up to Orientations from Joseph Benjamin, Academic Counselor, Undergraduate Advising Center
  • Expanding Opportunities to Experience International Perspectives & Gain Competencies
  • Holiday Season at the SFSU Bookstore
  • Recap of the 12th Annual International Education Week 2011 Celebrations

Another goal of the Parents Council is to in-list parents to advocate for SF State. We have included several articles for you to read more on outstanding achievements and recognition received by SF State faculty, students, and alumni at SF State in the News, including the following articles:

  • 43 Gators earned All-Academic honors from the California Collegiate Athletic Association [read more]
  • Students become experts in energy efficiency [read more]
  • Alumna Julie Pangelinan ‘87 is the New Chief Financial Officer of Interstate Hotels and Resorts [read more]
  • Biology professor named Outstanding Undergraduate Science Teacher [read more]

For Fall Recess and other holiday schedules, take a look at our University Calendar. A recent parent update from University Housing includes other important dates for students living on-campus.

I am sure many of you are excited to reconnect with your student over the upcoming holidays. No doubt we will all marvel at the outstanding progress they have made on their on-going quest to become responsible adults. For local families, I would like to remind you that the dorms remain open over the Thanksgiving holiday break and many students remain on campus. I have asked my son to invite friends who are unable to join their families to our home for Thanksgiving dinner. I encourage those who can to share their Thanksgiving celebration to reach out to fellow students in need of a family and a good home cooked meal.

I wish you all a wonderful holiday season. I look forward to connecting with all of you via our new Facebook page!

Janice Herwegh Gumas
SF State Parents Council

Update on State of California Budget and Possible Impact on CSU Tuition

The California State University Board of Trustees unanimously approved its 2012-2013 budget, which requests that the governor and legislature provide an additional $333 million in state funding for the upcoming fiscal year. In two of the last four fiscal years, state funding to the CSU has been dramatically reduced, forcing the board to approve sizable tuition fee increases.[read more]

Please take a moment tosend a message to the Governorandtell him that we must preserve accessibility and affordability in public education, including at SF State and all of our public universities in California.

Volunteers Needed for Southern California Pre-Admission Receptions and Sneak Preview Day

There are a number of ways to actively engage with SF State. For next year, our Southern California Pre-Admission Receptions are scheduled late February and early March, and Sneak Preview Day is in April. Volunteers are given an oppportunity to speak and share their SF State perspective with incoming students and their family members. For more information, please contact us at

Scholarship and Aid Options Through Student Exchange Programs

SF State is committed to high quality overseas programs at low cost. In fact, CSU system-wide study abroad programs are even subsidized by the State of California to keep costs down for the individual student. Also, strong support is provided to students in identifying (and receiving) scholarships, and other types of funding, to make these programs even more affordable.

Max Moro, a junior in BECA studies, can testify that, even with limited financial resources, study in Paris is possible through SF State for less than $1,000 per month. This includes all expenses: tuition, travel, housing, food, incidentals, books, and entertainment. Keep in mind that Paris is one of the most expensive cities in the world, and that the average cost for an academic year in a CSU institution is more than $2,600 per month. Going to Paris saves Max more than $1,600 per month! How does he do it? Most students who qualify for Paris are given the opportunity to apply for a special French government Ministry of Education Teaching Assistantship. These positions require serving as an English teacher's assistant in a French high school or junior high for only about 12 hours per week. Besides the benefit of helping to integrate our SF student into the French society, these teaching assistantships pay $1,000 - $1,200 (depending on the exchange rate). Until now, any student who applied for one of these assistant positions was assured of receiving one. Max says that his teaching assistant position has been one of the best parts of his Paris experience. Add to this that Max has also received a Gilman scholarship (special U.S. scholarships for study abroad) of $5,000, and Paris becomes highly affordable.

A Follow-up to Orientations from Joseph Benjamin, Academic Counselor, Undergraduate Advising Center

Remember Orientation? I know it has been quite a while since your student's orientation program and all of the craziness of all the preparations for the beginning of their first semester in college. Also, I want to remind you that during my session at orientation, I gave parents specific "homework" assignments to help your students maintain their success and ease their transition during their first year of college.

Did you remember the "e-mail your student at their SF State account" assignment? This is important because, as I mentioned at orientation, SF State will only communicate with your student via e-mail - more specifically, their "" account. So, you simply need to find out their SF State e-mail address, e-mail your student, ask for a response, and then wait to see how long it takes to get a response.

I bring this up now, because I know that SF State has sent out notices regarding an initiative that I mentioned at orientation - the Freshman Mandatory Advising initiative. With 3,600 freshmen starting this Fall 2011, it would have been impossible for us to meet one-on-one with each student. Therefore, we created a short, online tutorial/workshop to reintroduce the graduation requirements we outlined at orientation. I know that most of that information probably has strayed from their minds by now, so it's time for this refresher. Once they complete this tutorial, they take a short, 10 question quiz, and the registration hold for spring semester is lifted. This tutorial can be found at the following web address:

In addition, if students want to attend something that is more face-to-face, the Undergraduate Advising Center will conduct many small-group workshops, which can be found here:

I ask you to make sure that your student is receiving all university communications and is following through with their advising for this semester. Remember what I asked you at orientation? How many years do you want your student to graduate in? Your response: "FOUR YEARS!" So, please help us to keep them on track.

Expanding Opportunities to Experience International Perspectives & Gain Competencies

On Monday, November 14, the Institute of International Education (IIE) released the latest edition of Open Doors, the annual census of international student and study abroad flows. The report provides information on international student enrollments and study abroad for the past academic year, based on a survey of nearly 3,000 U.S. colleges and universities.

Open Doors data shows that San Francisco State University continues to be ranked among the top 100 U.S. institutions enrolling international students, based on Fall 2010 enrollment figures. SF State ranks 65 (out of nearly 1,300 schools reporting). SF State has held our position in the nation as #2 for master's degrees institutions in the category "Leading Institutions by Long Term Duration of Study Abroad," which is an indicator of the number of students participating in the high quality, long term academic year study abroad experience, as compared to the majority of U.S. students who participate in the short term (8 weeks or less) study abroad programs. In California, SF State ranks 11th.

For SF State's international student enrollment statistics, visit:

Holiday Season at the SFSU Bookstore

The holidays are right around the corner and there's no better place to start shopping early than at your SFSU Bookstore. You'll save with free ground shipping on orders of $50 or more on SF State Family Gifts and Clothing. Gator Rewards Club members earn rewards when they shop at your SFSU Bookstore.

Can't decide? SFSU Bookstore gift cards make the perfect gift every time. Remember, 100% of your SFSU Bookstore's surpluses are reinvested in the campus community: "What's spent on campus, stays on campus."

Recap of the 12th Annual International Education Week 2011 Celebrations

For the past 11 years, San Francisco State University has celebrated International Education Week (IEW), an international event that emphasizes the importance of increasing knowledge and awareness of world’s cultures, peoples and languages. Coordinated by the SF State Division of International Education and the Office of International Programs, this year’s annual celebration took place from Monday, November 14 thru Friday, November 18, 2011.

International Education Week is a joint initiative of the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. State Department. IEW was inaugurated by President Bill Clinton in 2000, and today, it is celebrated in more than 100 countries around the world. The main purpose of IEW is to celebrate the importance and benefits of international education in the United States and around the world. This annual event also aims to promote international understanding and build support for international educational exchange by encouraging the development of programs that prepare Americans to live and work in a global environment and attract future leaders from abroad to study in the United States.