First-Year Experience

The First-Year Experience program is designed to support new students as they become fully connected and active members of the Anderson University community. We believe providing new students with an experience that focuses on connections with other students, a faculty mentor, and many institutional resources throughout the first year allows the success rate of students continuing to their sophomore year to greatly improve.

The FYE program includes orientation, academic courses, and a mentoring program. Each mentor group consists of 16-18 first-year students and is led by a faculty mentor and student peer mentor. Mentors work with students during the first semester to walk with students and help provide opportunities for them to succeed.


  1. First-year students will understand the mission, ethos, and core values of Anderson University.
  2. First-year students will identify resources, skills and expectations necessary for a successful holistic transition to life at Anderson University.
  3. First-year students will build meaningful connections with faculty, staff, and students to foster a supportive, inclusive community marked by Christian hospitality.

Mentoring Program

Peer mentors are an integral part of assisting students as they transition to the rigors of college. Starting with orientation, peer mentors will support new students all throughout their first year as they make their home here at AU. They are here to answer any questions you may have and offer advice on what’s what on campus. Along with assisting in teaching the First-Year Seminar class with the faculty mentors, peer mentors are here to help make the transition into college smooth and stress-free.

Faculty and peer mentors lead a group of 18-20 new students (mentor group) for the academic year, with the purpose of facilitating a positive college experience.

First-Year Seminar

The First-Year Seminar is an extended orientation to our campus community that prepares Ravens for AU’s mission of living a life of faith and service. The seminar introduces students to Anderson University’s community at large, and it provides them with a smaller learning community in their individual cohort, which is led by a faculty mentor and peer mentor.

In class, students work both independently and together to reflect, connect, and grow intellectually, socially, emotionally, and spiritually. The FYE Seminar allows students to begin exploring how they want to grow as whole people through self-reflection activities and by giving them the necessary knowledge to meet their college goals.

Alongside this pursuit, students learn about the unique community that is their home for the next four years by studying AU’s five core values: integrity, excellence, servant leadership, responsibility, and generosity. This focus allows students to understand more profoundly the character of AU’s community, which is something we Ravens are proud to call our own.

First Year Experience FAQ

What is a Mentor Group?
A mentor group is comprised of your Peer Mentor, Faculty Mentor, and a group of 18-20 new students. This is the group with which you will have the First-Year Seminar and your Liberal Arts Seminar. This group is intentionally designed to help you as you transition to college by providing a community of friends, introducing you to resources around the university, and creating a space to share what you’re learning in your First-Year Seminar. You’ll go through Orientation together, meet weekly through the fall semester, and do some exciting activities together throughout the year. 

Your mentor group is designed to be a support network for your first year on campus. Since this is the group of people that you will be for the entire first year, we recommend spending all scheduled activities of orientation with them to build a foundation of friendship and trust. You will also have plenty of opportunities to build friendships with your floor mates and other friends you have made during your time here at AU.

What if I am an athlete? What do I do during Orientation?
Fall athletes (football, volleyball, soccer, and cross country) will already be on campus when the rest of the new students move in. Athletes will still be assigned a mentor group and are encouraged to attend group activities when possible. During Orientation, the President’s Convocation, first mentor group meeting, and the mentor home visit are all required events for you to attend. We understand that there will be practices and meetings that will pull you away from the group. This is why athletics has their own orientation they attend to get important information and get involved with the ethos of AU.

What all will I do with my Mentor group?
Peer Mentors are here for you! Your mentor will be available to answer any questions that you may have regarding academics, spiritual life, or social life here at AU. Mentor Groups will be together throughout the entire Orientation process. They will participate in the Service Project together, sit through sessions together, share many meals together, visit Faculty Mentor homes, and much more. Peer Mentors are in charge of planning events and dinners for their group not only during orientation but throughout the whole year. Events may include game nights, going to AU CAB events together, movie marathons, trips to Indianapolis, or Deluxe Donuts runs.

Do I have to take the First-Year Seminar my first semester?
Yes. This class is required of all new students. When you register for classes, you will automatically be enrolled in the First-Year Seminar. You will be in this class with the students from your Orientation mentor group.

OUR Team

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Nii Kpakpo Abrahams
Nii Kpakpo Abrahams
Nii Kpakpo Abrahams

Nii has a special passion for helping college students and young adults discover and fulfill their God-given potential. While growing up in church, it wasn’t until he became a member of a dynamic college ministry at Missouri State  University that his faith began to soar. He played an instrumental role in watching the ministry grow from 30 to over 200 people in a couple short years. Before coming to AU in May 2019, Nii worked in a variety of settings, including communication and content strategy, digital marketing, and as an instructor at Ivy Tech. At AU, he spent his first two years in Admissions.

In addition to leading AU's first-year experience, Nii is on the pastoral team of a young church plant in the Indianapolis metro area. In his downtime, you can find Nii spending time with close friends, going to Goodwill with his wife, and searching for the best donut shops in Indianapolis.

Fun Fact: Nii is a first-generation Ghanaian-American. Both his parents were born, raised, and married in Ghana, and most of his extended family still lives there.

Hometown: Joplin, Mo.

Education: BS in Communication with an emphasis in Ethical Leadership, 2014 | MA in Communication, 2016. Both from Missouri State University 

Stacey Carpenter
Stacey Carpenter
Stacey Carpenter

Hello, I am Stacey Carpenter. I am the housing coordinator along with administrative assistant to Maggie Platt, Assistant Dean of Students and Andrew Lehr, Director of Student Success. The best part of being at AU, is getting to know the wonderful people God has place around me. I have enjoyed the times I have spent in Chapel, singing and hearing the speakers as well.

My previous experience has been working in customer service for over 20 years at Comcast and Prairie Farms. I love working with people and trying my best to make them happy.

I have been married for 22 year to the best husband, Greg, and we have one daughter, Meghan. Along with keeping up with my family, we have Robyn our lab and my grand pup Cora. My hobbies include making cookies and decorating cakes. Also, I enjoy crafting during the Christmas season. I can't wait to see what new experiences AU brings to me in the years to come.