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First-Year Experience

This is your path towards belonging.

The First-Year Experience program is more than a class. It’s more than a singular event or moment. The FYE program at AU is an invitation to belonging and discover what it means to be a Raven. We fight against the assumption that just because you’re physically on campus means you’re fully invested and connected. Our vision is to empower, resource, and champion all first-year students through transition to become co-creators of Anderson’s campus culture. Simply put, we’re inviting you to make this place your home!

How? By joining us on the “Raven Road.” 

Raven road

The Raven Road is our FYE roadmap that is your on-ramp towards full connection on campus–from the time you step foot on campus, until you “graduate” freshman year. The best part is, you’re not going on this road trip alone! The focal point of our First Year Experience are Connect Groups. Connect Groups are a group of 15-18 students who will go on the first-year journey with you. These Connect Groups are led by some pretty awesome people.

Peer Mentors

Sophomore-Senior student leaders whose main mission is to be your biggest fan as you transition to college life. Whether it’s learning how to register for classes, navigating roommate/relationship conflicts, or even learning how to do laundry, your Peer Mentors are there for you! They plan Connect Group hangouts, set up individualized check-ins throughout the semester, and make it their mission to truly know you.

Along the Raven Road, you’ll get to experience some great things with your Connect Group: 
Welcome Weekend

The BEST weekend, full of activities, to jumpstart your first year on campus.  

First-Year Seminar Course

An extended orientation (taught and facilitated by your Connect Group Leader) to our campus community that’ll put you in front of all the great resources on campus, while also giving you space to explore how you want to grow as whole person through self-reflection activities, learning about your strengths, and more. Honors students will take a separate Literature and History course with many of the LART 1050 curriculum baked throughout.

Connect Group Hangouts

Your Peer Mentors and Connect Group Leaders will plan and coordinate various hangouts and meals together. We believe that some of the best community happens around a table. 

Campus-Wide Events

Throughout the Raven Road, we’ll highlight and encourage you to participate in the incredible events that are happening around campus through the Student Engagement Office, Campus Ministries, and athletic and academic departments. 

FYE Events

These are events and opportunities, specifically sponsored by FYE, are made for first-year students in mind. There will be volunteer opportunities, social gatherings, speakers, etc.! 

Freshman Graduation

If seniors get to graduate, why can’t you?! This end-of-the-year celebration is our chance to celebrate you making it through your first year on campus. But don’t worry, it’ll be much more fun than your high school commencement!

Connect Group Leaders

CGLs are faculty and staff who have a deep desire for you to succeed. They provide the “adult in the room” wisdom and advice for your Connect Group. They too will meet with you one-on-one and plan meals together with your Connect Group. CGLs will teach your first year seminar course and are also are your default academic advisor until you officially declare your major on campus.

OUR Team

Let’s connect during your campus visit.