History of Program

Frosh 101 Fall Training Group Photo


In 2016, Senior Vice Provost Harry Elam formed a committee of faculty, administrators, and students to develop a new first-year student experience to help students transition to Stanford’s complex and diverse environment. This committee was co-chaired by Cheryl Brown  and Greg Walton '00.  The committee designed a curriculum to help first-year students build skills and a community that can help them flourish at Stanford. In the summer of 2017, Cheryl was hired as the founding director of Frosh 101 to oversee the pilot and training of student leaders who would teach the curriculum. In Autumn of 2017, ten sections of Frosh 101 were offered in five residential communities serving 100 frosh. Sydney Osifeso '17 was hired as the first program coordinator.  Sydney co-led a section and worked closely with Cheryl to make sure the curriculum was relevant for students. The pilot received overwhelmingly positive feedback and 1/3 of Frosh 101 alums enrolled in a new spring training course designed to prepare sophomores to lead the second pilot year. In the fall of 2018, forty sections of Frosh 101 were offered in 10 residential communities serving 300 frosh. Joy Robinson '18, joined the team as the second program coordinator to help support the growth of the program.  Joy was a Frosh 101 co-leader during the first pilot year and brought valuable insight to the team to help prepare students to lead their sections. The second pilot was well received by frosh.  

In Autumn of 2019, Frosh 101 expanded to all residential communities where frosh live.  Over 40% of frosh from the class of 2023 enrolled in 83 sections.  In addition, a pilot of Transfer 101 was launched to help build community among transfer students. Over 50% of first-year transfer students enrolled and the pilot is proving to be very successful. A successful expansion of Frosh 101 has been possible due to the continued support of recent alums serving as program coordinators, with Steven Doan '19 joining the team.   In addition, a new program manager, Courtney Peña, is helping to train the growing number of student leaders.  Courtney recently finished her Ph.D. in Stanford's Graduate School of Education.  Courtney and Steven have brought a wealth of knowledge to the team, building on a strong foundation built by the first program coordinators, student leaders, and undergraduate teaching assistants.  The success of Frosh 101 is due to the investment of alums and student leaders.  Together Stanford students are working to co-create healthy, inclusive communities of belonging for our first year students.