First Year Experience

First Year Experience

Nominate a book for the Common Reading Program

Eureka College believes that the first year in college is critical to developing dispositions of academic and social engagement that will promote student success through to college graduation and beyond.

In an effort to facilitate a successful transition to college, Eureka College is committed to a comprehensive First-Year Experience Program consisting of both curricular and co-curricular elements designed to integrate first-year students into the college community as engaged learners and participants in campus life.

FYE at Eureka College helps students:

  • Connect to their peers, EC staff & faculty
  • Enhance their sense of belonging at Eureka College
  • Become engaged with Eureka College and the larger community
  • Understand the nature of a liberal arts education and develop intellectual curiosity
  • Identify and pursue passions
  • Enhance skills needed for academic success
  • Develop a sense of accountability for their own learning
  • Connect to a network of resources designed to nurture health, wellness, and a sense of spirituality

First-Year Seminar

First-Year Seminar is a core component of the First Year Experience (FYE) that focuses on introducing new students to college-level academic work and the liberal arts.  All sections of FYS share a common meeting time, MWF from 12:00-12:50 p.m., allowing opportunities to draw all first-year students together for special educational presentations.

FYS Service-Learning Project

Service-learning is an interactive educational strategy that links service and academic curriculum to promote learning. Service-learning promotes students’ personal, social, and intellectual growth while providing them with a sense of civic engagement and responsibility.  All first-year students are engaged in a service-learning project in partial fulfillment of First-Year Seminar requirements.

Summer Common Reading Program

Every new first-year student will be reading the same book:  The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, by Rebecca Skloot (selection for summer 2013).  The summer common reading gives the new students a set of ideas and issues that they can begin discussing with each other when they arrive on campus.  Each faculty and staff member will also receive a copy of the book, so students will be able to have conversations about the ideas in the book with anyone in the Eureka College community.  The Common Reading Program provides a common intellectual experience for the entire campus community.

First-Generation Program

Eureka College places a special focus on enriching students who represent the first generation of their families to complete a four-year College degree. The First-Generation “Early College” program in the Humanities and Arts is the first event in a year-long series that help first-generation college students explore all aspects of the college and gives them the support they need to succeed at Eureka College. The program focuses on exploring the humanities and arts. First-generation students often arrive at Eureka College intending to pursue “practical” majors such as education or business and many of these students will major in these or other pre-professional majors.  However, Eureka College believes that have a responsibility to show our students how a liberal arts education prepares them for their careers and the inevitable changes they will experience during the course of their careers. In workshops, small group discussions, and over meals, the students interact with faculty members in the humanities and the arts and discuss questions about the human condition, spirituality, and creative and expressive responses to the world. Through these interactions, students begin to explore the humanities and arts disciplines that are often very different from how they perceived them in high school. Read more about the First Generation program.

Orientation and Transitions Program

The Orientation and Transition Program begins with a two-day JUMP START which is designed for first-time, first-year students.  Jump Start provides students the opportunity to interact with their peers and connect with current students, faculty, and staff to begin building relationships as they make the transition to life at Eureka College.  The Jump Start staff, along with the entire campus community, is committed to making each student’s transition to college life as successful as possible.  The second part of the Eureka College Orientation Program is WELCOME WEEK, an annual program designed to foster Eureka Spirit for both new and returning students. Welcome Week provides new and returning students with various programs and information to assist them in making the transitions to Eureka College. Students should have the opportunity through Welcome Week to get to know each other, the campus, and become comfortable with the routine of campus life. Typical events include: Lunch with President Arnold and Dean Cavalier, Residence Life Introduction, Individual Floor Meetings, Game Night, Eureka College Community Worship Service, Freshman Seminar Meeting- How to work with your advisors, Featured Speaker, Pool Party, Student Service Project, Loan Entrance Counseling Session, Opening Convocation, Student Activities Fair, Academic Advising and First-Year Forums.

Comprehensive Advising Program

The student/advisor relationship is a cornerstone of a Eureka education. This FYE advising model addresses students’ needs from the first point of contact through graduation or transfer. It includes general education core advising, referral to support services, and pre-major and major advising. Every First-Year student is assigned two academic, faculty advisors; their FYS faculty instructor and a faculty advisor in the student’s declared major. In addition to the faculty advisors, students have a professional staff residential-life floor mentor (or professional staff commuter mentor), and an at least two IDS101 Peer Instructors. First-Generation students also develop relationships with First-Year Experience Leaders.

First-Year Experience Leader

During Jump Start, the First Year Experience Leaders convey information to new students and their families about programs and services.  The First Year Experience Leaders assist with all orientation events and play a vital role in facilitating the adjustment of new students to the campus and community. Responsibilities include:

  • assisting with orientation events by leading discussion groups with incoming students and family members;
  • assisting in the preparation of orientation activities and materials; explaining academic opportunities and procedures;
  • acquainting new students with campus services and building locations;
  • and discussing sensitive issues.

First-Year Forum and Cultural Engagement Program

The FCEP is a year-long series of events and programs intended to create structured conversations about important topics, ranging from career exploration and successful study habits to leadership, faith, and cultural values.  Through FYS, first-year students are required to explore the many cultural opportunities that the College offers.

FYE Residential Life Program

In addition to a Residence Advisor (RAs), each residence hall floor housing first-year students are assigned a staff mentor.   The staff mentor helps students on his/her floor to learn about the campus community, the resources available to them, and the culture of the College.