The Freshman Year Experience
Your freshman year experience at Valdosta State University is critical in laying the groundwork for a successful academic and professional career. Employers view a well-rounded successful academic career as evidence that students can be equally successful and productive in their chosen fields. Success for the first-year student begins by mastering three principal tasks of the first year student:
- Developing Academic Skills
- Adjusting to College Life
- Developing Academic & Career Goals
VSU’s Freshman Year Experience (FYE) is an outstanding, two-semester long, student development program that assists first-year students in accomplishing these tasks. The program is designed primarily for students who have not yet decided on an academic major.
The Center for Advising and First Year Programs (OASIS), located in the University Center, coordinates the Freshman Year Experience Program. The Freshman Year Experience is a year-long set of courses and projects that focus on helping students achieve excellence in their academics. The major program components of FYE are the VSU 1101 course, a Perspectives course, learning communities, academic advising, tutoring, peer mentors and service-learning.
VSU 1101 - The Freshman Seminar is a two-hour credit course that students take with an assigned faculty member fall semester. This course was developed by a specially selected committee of faculty, staff, and administrators to help ease the transition from high school to college and give freshmen a boost on their way to graduation. The course includes topics such as time management, study skills, learning styles, critical thinking skills, academic planning, and test taking strategies. VSU 1101 will help students improve study habits, become more effective and efficient learners, make decisions about a major, increase awareness and use of university facilities and support services, learn to seek and accept personal responsibility and grow personally, socially and intellectually.
Perspectives Course – Spring semester the FYE students take a Perspectives course, their second English course and another social science course. The Perspectives course is a two-hour credit course that counts as an Area B – Institutional Options core class. There are seven areas of the Perspectives courses and every student is required to take two Perspectives classes, each from a different area of the Perspectives. For more information on Perspectives courses please visit http://www.valdosta.edu/pers
Learning Communities - Students who participate in FYE are members of a learning community. Each learning community has approximately 25 students. These 25 students are enrolled in a VSU 1101, an English course and a social science course. The major advantage of learning communities is that they contribute to a higher level of student participation in learning. Students in learning communities report greater personal involvement in academic and social activities. They also tend to see faculty and student peers as more welcoming and supportive. FYE students report they are more excited about learning and pursuing an academic career at VSU.
Academic Advising - Every student who participates in the Freshman Year Experience is assigned a faculty advisor who is also their VSU 1101 professor. This arrangement allows the student the opportunity to form a close relationship with a VSU faculty member who they see a minimum of twice a week. The FYE advisor provides additional support and assistance while teaching students correct advising processes and procedures. They also provide accurate information on core curriculum requirements and scheduling. This advising format enables students to take an active role in their own advisement. The FYE advisors also explore academic majors and career opportunities with their advisees.
Peer Mentors- The FYE program is proud to offer Peer Mentoring for our students. Each section of the FYE VSU 1101 course is assigned a peer mentor. A peer mentor is generally an upper class student who participated in the FYE program at VSU. Peer mentors attend every session of their assigned VSU 1101course. Peer Mentors are experienced, energetic college students who have exhibited success in navigating the academic rigors and co-curricular life of the University and serve as positive role models for incoming freshmen. They are all open, friendly, and supportive people who are genuinely interested in helping students become active, involved, and academically successful individuals at VSU. They function as coaches, friends, and all around positive agents of support to help our FYE freshmen integrate into the academic and social culture of VSU.
Tutoring- Our FYE faculty work closely with the Student Success Center to provide free tutoring for our students for many of the core curriculum courses including math, writing, foreign languages, biology, chemistry, computer science, physics, and social sciences. For more information about the Student Success Center please visit http://www.valdosta.edu/ssc/
Service-Learning – FYE students participate in