At Student Orientation, Advising, and Registration (SOAR), incoming freshmen begin their integration into the CSULB campus. This day features campus tours, meeting potential classmates, exploring different clubs and organizations, and getting a better understanding of what is expected from you as a student. That fact that you are reading this page shows that you have already shown interest in ACM while at SOAR.

That is one of the first steps one can take on the road to a successful academic career. Involvement in a major focused club helps you, as a student, to apply what you’ve learned in class and learn about your future as an Engineer.

What to take from SOAR

Students should should take from SOAR an excitement for learning and a drive to apply what they are going to learn. Students should also begin to notice the type of friends they will be making and begin interacting with their classmates.

Preparation for the school year shouldn’t have to stop at SOAR, though. Be proactive in learning skills for Computer Engineering/Computer Science (CECS) while you have the free time to do it!

What you actually should have done at SOAR

Well, if you’re worried you missed something, this is the place to check! Here is a simple list of what you should have accomplished

  • Signed up for classes (the right ones!)
  • Networking, as in, made new friends who will be in your classes. Make them your friends fast!
  • Planned out your career as a student. What plan are you taking? 6-year? 4-year?
  • Took care of any holds on your account
  • Signed up and/or took any placement exams you have yet to
  • Gotten a feel for the campus
  • Had fun!

Beginning of the Year, surviving

Surviving the first few weeks can be challenging. College is much different than high school. First, it is up to the student to manage their time. It’s a lot more work than one may expect. To survive as a Computer Engineer(CE) or Computer Science(CS) major, or CECS for short, one must learn a few good habits as a student and as a programmer.

  • Enjoying what you do, this is really important.
  • Have a good handle on math and logic.
  • Be experienced with computers
  • Drive, one must have a drive to learn and to DO
  • Practice habits! To become an expert one needs 10,000 hours of use experience. To do that, one must practice often.

That’s it! With practice, drive and enjoyment anyone can become an excellent programmer. But what really helps one to survive is the habits, if one has good habits, one can pass any and all classes.

CECS 100

The real introduction to CECS majors is the CECS 100 class. This class has its students begin learning Java and introduce them to programming itself. To easily pass this class one simply needs to practice and have the drive to learn.

For students new to programming, CECS 100 is a good class to introduce them to the wonderful world of programming. For students with prior experience, CECS 100 is a good class to brush up on skills and fundamentals while giving them some time to start and work on personal project.

Personal project

Although you're new, it is good to start on a portfolio early. In the first two semesters students should be thinking about projects and ideas to work on. It’s a great way to get better. Working on personal projects helps one to solidify what you've learned. The best way to remember information is through application. That is practicing coding and working on personal projects.