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First Year Experience

First Year Experience

The First Year Experience at Florida Gulf Coast University

Welcome to the First Year Experience (FYE) at Florida Gulf Coast University. Because we recognize and honor the importance of transitions, we have created a unique experience to support high school seniors and others as they join the university community. We have learned that when we assist students in becoming part of university programs and activities, they have a much stronger chance for success.

We have developed several unique programs in the FYE to assist students in this transition.

Advising: Our first year advising system connects individual students with experienced advisors. We will not only work with you to build your class schedule, but also to discover your academic interests.

Annual Majors Fair: The Annual Majors Fair offers an opportunity for students to meet faculty from majors that they have declared or might be considering. College advisors are also present to develop rapport with students and to assist in clarifying any questions students may have. Attendance of this event is an investment of insight into academic planning and often further develops the student career development process.

Center for Academic Achievement: The mission of the Center for Academic Achievement (CAA) is to promote student academic success and retention by providing programs and services that facilitate the development of skills necessary for FGCU students to achieve their academic goals and develop into successful, independent, life-long learners.

Composition I and II: Students at the University take the Composition I and Composition II sequence in their first year as part of the General Education requirement. In these courses, students practice critical reading as well as writing in a variety of styles. The work students do in Composition prepares them to continue reading and writing in their major areas of study.

Eagle View Orientation: All incoming first year students are required to attend orientation during the summer. The two day orientation provides students with a foundation for their transition to the university.

Emerging Eagles: The Emerging Eagles Program is a leadership development program designed for first year students and others seeking to develop their leadership skills. The program focuses on experiential activities, small group discussions and personal development in order to prepare student leaders for more advanced leadership roles in the university community. It's a chance to meet new people, explore new ideas, and become more involved in university-wide leadership opportunities, including student government and student organization officer positions, orientation leaders, residence hall leaders, and student mentors.

General Education: The General Education Program supports the university mission and guiding principles by promoting academic excellence, preparing students for their majors, and cultivating habits of lifelong learning. General education coursework encompasses the subject areas of communication, mathematics, humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences. Students develop a wide range of content knowledge and disciplinary perspectives, along with important academic competencies.

Honors: FGCU Honors is a dynamic and transformative program. By providing students with an array of unique opportunities, it helps students to maximize the university experience, beginning in their first year. Our Honors Program believes in developing the whole person. We value academic achievement, community service, thoughtful leadership, global citizenship, and personal excellence. In short, for us "Honors" is a lifestyle.

Involvement Fair: The Involvement Fair is an event for Registered Student Organizations as well as Campus Departments to promote their organizations and services. Students will have the opportunity to engage with leaders from various student organizations and departments in order to get involved on campus.

"Leadership through Service" Living-Learning Community: Leadership through Service is an initiative between the Office of Housing & Residence Life and the Office of Undergraduate Studies. The Leadership through Service community is recommended for first-year students who are interested in developing their leadership skills and giving back to the community. This program provides opportunities for personal growth and peer-to-peer connections.

Reading Project: All incoming First Year students read the same book and write two essays for their fall classes. This project assists students in understanding and adapting to college-level expectations. In the past, students have had the opportunity to meet with the author which builds further engagement with the reading project.

Residential Experience (FYRE): There is overwhelming evidence that suggests student success is largely determined by student experiences during the first year. In fact, research shows that first year students who are supported academically, who experience a seamless transition from home to college, and who are involved outside of the classroom, typically have higher grades and a greater likelihood of graduation.

Service Learning: Through mission and function, Florida Gulf Coast University takes pride in partnerships forged with the communities it serves. Students are central to these partnerships and are provided opportunities for community involvement through service-learning. Service-learning experiences support the FGCU undergraduate learning goals and outcomes, foster civic responsibility, and develop informed citizens who participate in their communities after graduation in personally and professionally relevant ways. Service-learning facilitates an appreciation for the interconnectedness of individuals, the communities in which they live, and the resources required to sustain both.

Skunk Ape: The Search for the Skunk Ape, created through Library Services working with Composition faculty, is an information literacy tutorial. The modules in the program allow students to gain valuable information about the research process and demonstrates through interactive games, videos, and illustrations how to go about research assignments efficiently and successfully.

Step Ahead: Florida Gulf Coast University's Step Ahead Program, designed for incoming first-time-in-college (FTIC) students who do not meet the state's remediation requirements for mathematics, is a summer program designed to better prepare students for a successful academic life. Students will be considered conditionally admitted and allowed to complete coursework during the Summer Session B term, which will prepare them for college level work. Students who successfully complete the program will be eligible for full admission to Florida Gulf Coast University in the fall semester.

Week of Welcome: Florida Gulf Coast University's Week of Welcome (W.O.W.) is a prelude to the start of the fall semester. Week of Welcome events are designed to assist students in their transition to FGCU by offering programs that acquaint students with campus resources, other students, and the involvement opportunities on campus. Whether you are a new or returning student, there is something for everyone during this special week each year.

Writing Center: The FGCU Writing Center assists student writers through free, accessible, learning-based writing consultations. Our primary goals are to help students improve their abilities to think independently, to write critically, and to learn and implement strategies that will assist them in producing effective writing assignments.