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Collegiate Success Institute


  • Fall and spring semester courses last approximately 15 weeks; courses in the CSI program cover the same amount of material in only 6 weeks. The coursework during CSI is designed to be challenging and fast-paced. However, the faculty and staff that teach these courses are very aware that the CSI students may be experiencing their first college-level course and are willing to work with all students to keep them up to speed.
  • All courses offered as part of the CSI program will fulfill a UMBC requirement and carry at least 3 credits.
  • All students participating in CSI must take MATH106Y - Algebra and Elementary Functions OR ENGL100Y - Composition. Placement testing will be used to determine which course is an appropriate fit for each student.
  • Students who place out of or do not need to take MATH106Y or ENGL100Y can still participate in CSI and take optional courses including: FYS102A – Images of Madness (Portrayal of Mental Illness in the Media) or AFST100 – Intro to the Black Experience (Historical and Sociocultural Survey of African Diaspora).
  • Every student participating in the CSI program will participate in an Introduction to an Honors University (IHU) course to learn about the resources and requirements of attending an Honors University. This course will be attached to MATH, ENGL, AFST, or FYS depending on the student’s schedule and will add one additional credit, making one of these courses worth 4 credits.
  • All courses offered during CSI are limited to 25 students, ensuring that each student will have a friendly, supporting environment where they feel comfortable asking questions, exploring ideas, and challenging perceptions of college life and coursework. Best of all – each student will receive on-on-one time with the professors who are carefully chosen because of their abilities to work with new students.


Course List and Information

AFST100 – Introduction to the Black Experience

This course is an introduction to understanding the black experience in the African diaspora. Students will analyze a survey of historical and sociocultural ties that link people of African descent worldwide. African roots in world civilizations will be discussed.

MATH106Y – Algebra and Elementary Functions

This course is an introduction to the basic techniques and functions of mathematics. This course is especially recommended for those students who need to brush up due to a shaky high school preparation or for those who have not had a mathematics course in several years. Topics include linear equations; quadratic equations; polynomials; and rational functions and their inverses, including exponential and the logarithmic functions.

ENGL100Y – Composition

This course will consist of a workshop in writing. Students will learn about the writing process, how to write clear and effective essays, and how to think critically and support ideas. The  course will consist of writing essays, analyzing novels, conducting research using both print and electronic sources and providing review to peers. Ultimately students should walk away from this course being able to write in a clear and effective manner.

FYS102A – Images of Madness

This course reviews Academy Award-winning films depicting mental illness to consider the influence of motion pictures on the public perception of social issues, policies, and services. We will analyze films using a historical framework and with assigned readings that address cultural stereotypes, societal attitudes, and the public's response toward people with mental illness.


For More Information, Please Contact:

Laila Shishineh

Assistant Director of FYE | (410) 455-3737