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First Year Experiences courses make an impact across campus

More than 3,000 Virginia Tech students will take a Pathways to Success course, funded by the Office of First Year Experiences in the 2013-14 academic year. The courses are offered in all seven of the undergraduate colleges, including 36 academic departments, two schools, one advising unit for students not yet in a major, and two living-learning communities.

While each course has a different focus to meet the needs of its unique students, all center around the same three key learning objectives: problem solving, inquiry, and integration of learning. Get the full overview or read below about how First Year Experiences is incorporated across the university.

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

    Kalynn Harlow

This First Year Experiences program is a collaborative project across multiple units in the college, including Human Nutrition, Foods, and Exercise; Agricultural and Extension Education; Animal and Poultry Sciences; Crop and Environmental Science; and Food Science and Technology. The diversity gives students the opportunity to look at their discipline with a broader lens.  Read more.

College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences

    Poster presentation

Students in this First Year Experiences program are exposed to undergraduate research with students from varying disciplines in the college. Many students finish the course and get involved in research projects, gaining valuable experience and sometimes the opportunity to present their work at conferences. Read more.

College of Natural Resources and Environment

    Donald Orth standing behind five students who are seated at a table.

This college's program is aimed at helping students adopt sustainable learning strategies. Peer mentors are utilized to help incoming freshman and transfer students transition to college. Students are encouraged to pursue undergraduate research, cooperative education, internships, summer jobs, service learning, and education abroad. Read more.

DaVinci and Curie Living-Learning Communities

    inVenTs Residential Community's design lab

A unique perspective for this First Year Experience course is integration of a residential component. "They eat together, play together, and solve problems together," said Jill Sible, assistant provost for undergraduate education. One focus of the course will be to get students to think beyond their discipline to the bigger global picture. Read more.

 Pamplin College of Business

    Austin Sears, of Manassas, Va., works on a leadership attributes exercise during a Pamplin program on campus this summer.

This First Year Experiences course makes first-year students aware of business concepts, practices, and applications so students see the relevance of what they are studying and determine if a business major is right for them. Read more.

 College of Architecture and Urban Studies

    Students in safety helmets and vests working with a tarp.

This college offers a couple First Year Experiences courses for its students. One option is specific to building construction majors. The course helps them get acclimated to the university, while also gaining exposure to the professional environment through high impact and practice-based learning opportunities. Read more.

 College of Science

    John Simonetti

This college offers multiple First Year Experiences courses. One specific to physics majors encourages students to think creatively and outside the box when solving problems - the bread and butter of this discipline - while also exposing students to research opportunities. Read more.

 University Studies

    Students get information about academic disciplines at the 2012 Majors Fair

This First Year Experiences courses is designed for students who are undecided about their major(s), are exploring more than one major, or are preparing to apply to a competitive program. It focuses on career exploration and preparation and techniques to achieve their short-term and long-term goals. Read more.