First-Year Experience Program

The University First-Year Experience Program includes a course, offered for a minimum of one credit, for all first-year students in the College of Arts and Sciences, the School of Business Administration, the School of Education and Health Sciences, and the School of Engineering. This course is combined with selected programs and services offered by Student Development, Campus Ministry and academic support programs. First-year students entering in January and transfer students will be offered an alternative program to meet their needs.

The First-Year Experience Program:

  • Introduces the distinctive nature of the Catholic/Marianist educational experience as a foundation for learning and life.
  • Provides an academic foundation that helps students develop as connected learners, acquire general competencies necessary for their success, understand the nature and requirements of chosen and/or potential programs of study and be aware of a range of opportunities for enriching their academic experience on campus, across the nation and around the world.
  • Prepares students in critical reflection on the moral and ethical dimensions of their lives, challenges students to treat each individual with equality and respect, fosters the recognition of individual rights and responsibilities of each member of the community, and establishes integrity as central to professional and career decisions.
  • Promotes the development of self-understanding and skills that enable students to take responsibility for their academic success and lifelong learning.
  • Promotes and supports, both in and out of the classroom, the physical, emotional, spiritual and psychological health of all students.
  • Nurtures students' creativity and varied talents, and leads to enriched lives of learning, leisure, solitude, leadership and service.

First-Year Experience Course

Every first-year student entering in the fall term must complete the First-Year Experience course offered by his or her academic division. This course will be offered for a minimum of one credit. The First-Year Experience course will not count against the eighteen credits per term limit covered by full-time tuition.

For first-year students entering the University in the spring term and for transfer students, each division will develop a plan to meet the goals of the First-Year Experience while serving the specific needs of these students.

The First-Year Experience courses offered by each division and units within divisions must include common elements as approved by the University. Beyond these common elements the divisions and academic units offering the course will have a great deal of flexibility in how the course is offered and what will be included in the syllabus.