Classes at Fresno State will resume on Thursday, Aug. 23, with a projected enrollment of over 25,200 students — an all-time high — for the University’s 108th academic year.

About 78 percent of the students are from Fresno State’s service area; the top four represented counties are Fresno (57 percent), Tulare (12.9 percent) Madera (4.8 percent) and Kings (3.7 percent). About 71 percent are first-generation college students.

Fresno State received more than 29,000 applications for the fall 2018 semester, including 26,000 applications for about 5,400 new undergraduate spots.

Several events will precede the return to classes.

Dorm move-in day: Almost 1,000 student residents will begin moving into nine halls at 9 a.m. on Sunday, Aug. 19. They will be greeted by the University Courtyard staff and assisted with move-in by the University’s Baggage Buddies — members of student clubs who volunteer to provide a warm welcome and help incoming students unload suitcases, bed linens, TVs and other college-living essentials.

Fresno State President Joseph I. Castro and other administrators will greet students and parents during the welcome barbecue from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Sunday. The Bulldog Marching Band will make its 2018 debut at about 5:45 p.m.

Castro will deliver his annual Faculty/Staff Fall Assembly address at 9 a.m. Monday, Aug. 20. He will give an update on new developments and planned initiatives for the 2018-19 year.

The University welcomes 60 new tenure-track faculty who have joined Fresno State, 57 of whom will start this fall.

Later on Monday, Aug. 20, about 1,500 new and transfer students will be welcomed at the New Student Convocation. Doors to the Save Mart Center open at 2:15 p.m., with the convocation starting at 3 p.m. Students enter the arena through an enthusiastic welcome of high-fives and cheers from faculty and staff. Keynote speaker Dr. Matthew Jendian, chair of the Department of Sociology, will discuss “Maximizing your University Education at Fresno State,” and the Bulldog Marching Band and spirit squad will provide entertainment.

The Bulldog Bash after-party follows at 4 p.m. in the Student Recreation Center next to the arena. Castro will be available to the media at 4:30 p.m. in the Save Mart Center Media Room.

Demi Wack, the incoming president of Associated Students, Inc., said improving communications with Fresno State students will be a key focus for the coming year.

“Not only do we want to advertise our services better, but we want to help connect students to the tremendous amount of resources we have on our campus,” said Wack, who is studying psychology and criminology. “We are looking forward to generating new opportunities for student development and civic engagement, along with working to increase campus safety and improve campus climate. I am very eager to kick off the new year and work with other students to create an even better campus.”

Classes resume: Students return to classes on Thursday, Aug. 23. Traffic and parking are often congested the first few days of instruction, so students and employees are reminded to arrive early.

Weeks of Welcome events will continue after the first day of instruction, with several activities planned, including Traditions Day (Aug. 27) and Fresno State Night at Campus Pointe on Aug. 30. For more information about welcome events, contact the Student Involvement Center at 559.278.2741.

Back-to-school news for the 2018-19 academic year includes:

New program for Visalia teacher education
Transportation is one of the largest barriers standing in the way of young adults in the South Valley who might pursue higher education. Now that Fresno State’s Visalia Campus will offer the Integrated Teacher Education Program, students will be able to earn a bachelor’s degree and teaching credential in only four years without having to leave the South Valley. Fresno State is partnering with three community colleges in the South Valley, carefully aligning coursework for a more seamless transfer to Fresno State’s Visalia Campus. The Integrated Teacher Education Program addresses a critical need for well-qualified, highly committed teachers for South Valley schools.

College of Arts and Humanities adds dance, art history majors
Students in the College of Arts and Humanities can pursue two new bachelor’s degrees beginning in fall 2018. The Department of Theatre Arts will offer a bachelor’s in dance. And the Department of Art and Design will offer a bachelor’s in art history. Read more about these two new majors on the Arts and Humanities blog.

Henry Madden Library expansion turns 10
The Henry Madden Library will celebrate the 10th anniversary of its remodel and expansion. Throughout the school year, the campus community will be invited to participate in events and activities to celebrate the success of the library that has become an integral part of campus life. With millions of available titles and electronic resources, along with expert librarians for each college, exhibitions, lectures and activities routinely open to the public, the library offers a place for students and the community at large to learn and grow.

New software will give recreation administration students real-world skills
Fresno State will begin using PerfectMind software for its Department of Recreation Administration curriculum to help students gain an edge when entering the workforce. More than 30 students from the course, “Recreation Administration 60: Technologies in Recreation, Parks and Tourism,” will participate in the new program. The course emphasizes the fundamentals of computer and social media technologies. Students will learn the essentials of entering data and building organized workbooks through Microsoft Excel, budgeting and evaluation of recreation, parks and tourism programs. The PerfectMind platform, which has more than 500,000 users in the U.S. and Canada, connects communities with cities, parks and recreation organizations, as well as academic institutions.