First Year Experience

Athens to New York, College of New Jersey


IDSC 151: “Athens to New York” is an interdisciplinary core requirement at The College of New Jersey that is taught by full-time faculty in residence-hall classrooms. The course addresses four basic questions: what it means to be human; what it means to be a member of a community; what it means to be moral, ethical, or just; and how individuals and communities respond to differences. Students put theory to practice by completing a minimum of ten hours of community.


Balance, East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania


BALANCE: Being an Active Learner Among New College Experiences, is a series of workshops offered to students each fall and spring semester to enhance their ability to succeed in the university experience. BALANCE is designed primarily for first-year students. However, all students are welcome to participate. Collaboration between academic and student affairs faculty and staff has produced a program that integrates learning in the affective, cognitive and behavioral realms.



Character Camp, College of the Ozarks


Character Camp is a two-week orientation is designed for new students to begin the process of acquiring the values of maturity and responsibility through service to others. Character Camps requires new students to work in groups on service projects both on and off campus. Students participating in Character Camp use case studies to learn about character and ethics; complete an outdoor challenge course that emphasizes trust and responsibility; attend an Etiquette Banquet that teaches the importance of high personal and social standards; and sign an Honor Code card.


Co-curricular Advising and Portfolio Program, Greensboro College


Most colleges provide academic advisors to assist students to create an academic plan. The Greensboro College program goes a step further — through the co-curricular advising and co-curricular portfolio programs, it assists new students in developing a plan for involvement outside the classroom, creating a plan for personal success and civic involvement through community service and other campus activities. In addition to the co-curricular programs, new students participate in an outdoor challenge experience held prior to the beginning of the Fall semester and First-Year Seminars throughout the semester.


First Year Leadership Program, Southeast Missouri State University


FyLP (pronounced flip) is a series of workshops offered in the fall semester open to all first-year students. Participants will explore their personal leadership style and learn to capitalize on their innate leadership strengths. Participants complete a leadership assessment, attend six two-hour leadership sessions and experience the on-campus low ropes course. Emphasis will be placed on community building.




Personal Development Portfolio, Bridgewater College


Students taking PDP 150, the first-year program at Bridgewater, are required to compile a “Personal Development Portfolio”, which requires students to set personal goals in each of eight personal dimensions: academics, citizenship, cultural awareness, aesthetics, ethical development, leadership, social relationships, and wellness. Students are required to participate in community service projects and participate in activities and programs to fulfill the requirements of each of the eight dimensions.


University 101, South Carolina


The University of South Carolina’s hallmark course, University 101, is widely acclaimed for its emphasis on student success and well being.





Wilderness Orientation, Prescott College

WIlderness-Orientaiton-300x225.jpg All new students at Prescott College participate in the Wilderness Orientation program along with upper-level students, faculty, staff, and alumni who help to plan this three-week long Arizona backcountry expedition. The daily challenges of group expeditionary travel help students develop qualities such as compassion, patience, generosity, and acceptance. Students completing this program, which helps to illustrate the Prescott motto of “The Southwest is Our Classroom”, not only have a greater sense of responsibility for the earth, but a better understanding of themselves and how to be productive and positive members of a group.