Prospective Students

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Pathways to Excellence

Pathways to Excellence (formerly Early Start) begins the summer before your first fall semester and continues to support you throughout your first year of college. It will give you the opportunity to get to know faculty, staff and students as you learn your way around and discover valuable campus resources that will help you to feel confident and empowered as you begin your first semester.

You’ll make new friends through team-building activities and develop a support system as you network with faculty and staff, and connect with a peer mentor. You’ll also have access to the Student Recreation Center, Oasis Wellness Center, Klotz Student Health Center and other campus resources available to students.

Pathways to Excellence is an opportunity for you, as a first-time freshman, to build skills in college-level course work the summer before starting your fall semester at CSUN.

Here’s what students are saying about their Pathways to Excellence (formerly Early Start) experience:

Alana Sabido Garcia


"Early Start helped me gain confidence in my math and writing. It was more than just practicing math and writing; there were activities to keep us motivated. Early Start helped me get to know people and the campus and it made a smooth transition from high school to college. I didn’t want to do it at first — spend part of my summer in class — but it was the best thing I did that summer. When the semester started, I wasn’t nervous because Early Start prepared me for success, and I knew who to rely on for any problems I might encounter in the future." — Alana Sabido Garcia, Criminology and Justice Studies
"Early Start helped me become a hard-working, competitive student. I not only improved my math skills, but developed critical thinking, effective communication and collaboration skills. I enjoyed meeting new people and gaining a better understanding of how college classes would be. It helped me become well-connected on campus, and I don’t feel alone. I recommend Early Start for the opportunity to meet great people, learn about resources and, most importantly, for the in-person transition into your college-learning environment." — Jordan Nasir Young, Communication Studies

Please check your CSUN email for an invitation and instructions to attend Pathways to Excellence. If unsure of your eligibility, contact us at