Print this page


First-Year Experience

Overview of FYE 101.

The First-Year Experience offers an extended orientation to the Central Michigan University environment. FYE 101 is a one-credit-hour course forming the academic portion of that experience. Students learn the value of a liberal arts education and are introduced to the academic expectations of the university. The primary goals of FYE 101 are to 1) Increase understanding of higher education processes and principles that guide student development, 2) Empower students to promote their own academic and personal growth, and 3) Engage students in the diverse intellectual and civic endeavors within the university and larger community. It is our intent that your participation in a First-Year Experience will lead to a more positive college experience ultimately leading to timely graduation. Students who participate in a First-Year Experience are more likely to feel confident, have clear educational goals, know campus resources, feel more comfortable with diversity, and have the skills to solve class or academic problems than other students.

Structure of FYE 101

Students enrolled in FYE 101 meet weekly with a faculty member, peer mentor, and other first-year students in a small group. Students engage in discussions, inquiries, and explorations related to higher education and student growth. They develop strategies for both a successful and meaningful college experience. Concepts are introduced through active and experiential learning leading to an exploration of services, programs, ideas and resources available at Central Michigan University. Most FYE 101 sections meet for the full sixteen-week semester, but a few special sections meet for only eight weeks.

Instructors Who Teach FYE 101

Highly qualified and experienced CMU instructors teach each student enrolling in FYE 101. FYE 101 faculty are specifically recruited from various university programs based on their commitment to helping students. These faculty members are experienced educators with successful records of quality teaching and a genuine commitment to each student’s success. Each section of FYE 101 connects students with a peer mentor who assists with academic and experiential learning exercises in and outside of class. Previous FYE students indicated that student mentors were key factors in creating successful transition to Central Michigan University.

Enrollment in FYE 101

Central Michigan University is currently exploring the most effective format and content for the FYE 101 course. Therefore, for the 2013-2014 academic year, only a few special sections of the course are being offered. These sections are listed in the Course Search with an indication of the prerequisites for enrollment, which may include status as a student athlete, housing in a residential community, first-generation college students, and those pursuing specific majors such as business or education. Since FYE 101 courses are open only to students enrolling for the first time at CMU, all students will have an opportunity during Orientation to discuss whether enrollment in a special section of FYE 101 is the best direction.

FYE 301 Mentor to the First-Year Experience

The Mentor to the First-Year Experience course offers students in their sophomore, junior and senior years the opportunity to explore theoretical components of student development. The course is appropriate for students who have practical experience with the university environment, understand the value of a liberal arts education, are familiar with career guidance resources and have a demonstrated pattern of academic success. Until we determine the best configuration for the FYE 101 course, we will not be training new mentors. Students interested in becoming a mentor to the First-Year-Experience should contact to learn when FYE 301 will be offered next.

Student mentors are expected to attend both the FYE 301 class and their assigned FYE 101 class. Additionally, students are expected to make themselves available to meet with their FYE 101 instructor and students outside of class.

Student mentors receive extensive training and by the completion of this course, they are able to 1) Develop and lead activities that contribute to a positive classroom community in FYE 101; 2) Articulate a theory of college student development and apply it to first-year students; 3) Implement appropriate responses to first-year students who engage in problem behaviors that interfere with a successful transition to college (e.g. alcohol, drug use, depression, eating disorders, loneliness, etc.); 4) Introduce and model positive decision-making strategies to first-year students; 5) Demonstrate effective mentoring techniques such as active listening, coaching, advising, and providing feedback to first-year students; 6) Identify their own mentors and the role they played in the student’s personal, academic and professional development; 7) Collaborate with a university faculty member; 8) Define personal learning goals for their experience as FYE mentors and develop an action plan for achieving these goals; and 9) Demonstrate how the experience as FYE mentors supported their own personal development.