First Year Experience
The University of San Diego’s First Year Experience (FYE) strives to build a community of engaged student learners who value academic excellence, intellectual, personal and spiritual development, inclusion, ethical conduct, and compassionate service. It integrates two core components: the preceptorial program and the residential life living and learning environment.
The first year of college at the University of San Diego begins at the point of an undergraduate student’s admission to USD and concludes at the beginning of the following academic year. The university assigns a high priority to a student’s first year of college because the first year establishes an essential foundation for a successful educational and developmental experience. During the first year, students learn about the university’s mission, core values and expectations. As a result, students begin to practice the habits and skills of higher learning, thus helping shape the academic and social climate on campus.
First Year Experience (FYE) Program Goals
The objectives of the First Year Experience (FYE) at USD are:
Introduce students to the core curriculum as the foundation of USD’s liberal arts undergraduate education.
Assist students’ transition to college life by informing them about multiple resources available to them.
Introduce students to the mission and core values that form the identity of USD as a Catholic university.
Encourage students to think about and begin to develop values for living with diversity and adopting a healthy lifestyle.
The objectives will be accomplished by the following activities:
Torero Days Orientation Program
FRESH@USD Program (Fall Semester Workshop Series)
Additional programs exclusively for first-year students: Living-Learning Communities (LLC's), First Connection program, MAP-Works (Making Achievement Possible) program, and Second Year Experience Abroad for Class of 2015.
First Year Experience Program Descriptions
Torero Days Orientation Program
The days before classes begin are designed to introduce students to the university and fellow students. A number of activities and experiences are facilitated by student leaders and faculty that will help new students become more comfortable in their new living environment, better understand the demands and expectations of college life at USD, and begin to connect with fellow students, faculty and staff.
The preceptorial program is one of the two core components of USD’s First Year Experience. The program involves faculty advisors for incoming freshmen in a small class called the preceptorial. The content of the preceptorial course depends on the course title and description. All preceptorial courses fulfill a core curriculum requirement and count toward graduation.
As part of each preceptorial course, there will be a “preceptorial assistant (PA).” The PA is a successful continuing USD student who serves as a liaison to the faculty member, mentor to new students, and general resource for USD. Preceptorial assistants also plan and implement outside of class activities to assist students with the transition to college.
Residential Life is one of the two core components of USD’s First Year Experience. All freshmen are required to live on campus during the first year. First Year Experience Resident Assistants (FYE RA’s) work with residents on their halls to establish a respectful and inclusive community. The residential living and learning experience at USD seeks to establish a strong academic community that supports student learning outside the classroom. All students in first year halls will meet individually with their FYE RA’s, who serve as mentors and resources for university services, activities, and programs.
A series of workshops are offered during the fall semester designed specifically to assist students with the transition to college. New USD freshmen will have the opportunity to attend workshops of their choosing during their first semester in college. Workshop topics cover a broad range of issues that new freshmen are likely to encounter, including faculty expectations, time management, study skills, choosing a major, and health and safety at college.