Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Encouraging Freshman Success

A young person's most difficult adjustment might be the move out of mom's house to their first dorm setting. Compound that life change with the stress to achieve academically without mom watching over their shoulders and it's easy to see why so many college students fail in their first year. At Fort Valley State University, there is a system in place to help freshmen with the tranistion to independent living and independent academic success.

The First Year Experience Center is a collaborative endeavor between the division of Academic Affairs and Student Affairs. Its primary objective is the retention of first-time students at the institution.

Wildcat Welcome Week is the name for the first week of at school for first year students. This week is filled with innovative programs to help new students adjust to their new environment. Spearheaded by a committee consisting of several different departments, this is truly a collaborative experience.

Another focal point of the first-year experience is the post-welcome week extracurricular education of new students. Throughout the academic year FYE strives to provide educational opportunities in non-academic settings. This is achieved by providing guest speakers and lecturers during the course of each semester. As a part of orientation there are also assembly programs that provide enrichment sessions that reinforce orientation information.

Academic assistance and support is a vital component of retaining any student in college. In an effort to emphasize this philosophy, the Academic Success Center is involved in every facet of the first-year experience. Beginning with early orientation, continuing through enrollment, and ending with graduation, the ASC works to ensure students are provided with the proper academic advisement and the academic resources such as free tutorial services that are needed for a smooth matriculation here at Fort Valley State University.

Finally, FYE seeks to provide new students at the institution with positive peer mentoring. Through the combination of several existing student groups including student government, presidential scholars, and student ambassadors; new students are surrounded by positive upperclassmen role models. This experience is also designed to give new students a greater sense of connectedness to the institution.

--Information provided by the Academic Success Center

No comments: