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FYE faq

What is FYE at Southern?

FYE is your home base for programs, resources, and services geared to getting you started at Southern. A key part of FYE is learning communities, groups of 20 first-year students who take two or three particular classes together during first semester. But FYE is much more -- it's also about events, workshops, and resources that enrich and support your Southern experience.

Do I have to participate in FYE?

Some parts of FYE are required -- all first-year students participate in learning communities, academic advisement, and New Student Orientation.  Other parts of FYE are available based on your own needs, goals, and schedule -- like study skills workshops, academic support sessions, and community service opportunities. And then there are parts of FYE that are just plain fun -- like the socials, events, and programs held throughout the year.  

I keep hearing about learning communities. What are they?

Learning communities are groups of 20 students who take 2-3 courses together during their first semester, providing a great opportunity for first-year students to make friends, form study groups, and take on academic challenges together. Students who have been accepted into the Honors College participate in the Honors College learning community.  All other first-year students participate in the INQUIRY Learning Community.

How do I know what learning community is right for me?

An academic adviser will review the information you will be asked to provide prior to New Student Orientation in order to determine the best learning community for you.  They'll take the time during orientation to discuss your learning community assignment and answer your questions.

Is New Student Orientation part of FYE?

Yes, New Student Orientation is an important part of FYE. It's your first taste of campus life and a chance to meet one-on-one with your adviser to plan your first year's courses and discuss your learning community.

What about parents -- is there an orientation session for them?

Yes! Parents have their own one-day session, scheduled at the same time as Day One of New Student Orientation. That way, you can arrive together then go to your separate programs.

Do other colleges have FYE?

Absolutely. FYE is an exciting development at colleges and universities across the country. Programs vary, depending on the goals, student population, and mission of the particular schools, but you may very well hear about first-year programs from friends at other colleges.

Why have colleges developed  FYE  programs?

Because they work!  FYE programs help students make a great transition to college, establish themselves academically, and connect with campus and community.  

Has Southern's FYE program been successful?

Yes. Southern's FYE program has made a measurable difference in retention (the number of students who continue with their studies), grade point average (a measure of academic success), and student engagement.

I see a lot about campus and community involvement. How is that connected to FYE?

At Southern, we believe strongly in service to the community as a powerful  component of personal growth and responsibility for our students -- emerging global citizens and ethical leaders. Campus and community leadership opportunities can deepen understanding of your own studies, career path, and life goals -- while connecting you with people and organizations you might never have encountered. FYE can help you find the leadership and service opportunities that are right for you through our network of contacts and resources.


Is there someone on campus I can talk with about FYE?

Yes! Please feel free to call the FYE Office at (203) 392-6671, or stop by -- we're in Engleman Hall D222.