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First Year Experience Program (FYE)
FYE is an integral part of every new Stag’s transition to Fairfield. Each student will be assigned a New Student Leader (NSL) and a Community Associate (CA), who serve as mentors and support new students through their transition into the Fairfield community. All new-to-Fairfield students are assigned a FYE seminar, facilitated by their NSL and CA, which meets weekly throughout their first semester. In addition to exploring common transitional topics such as academic planning, time management, homesickness, developing resiliency, and getting involved, students have numerous opportunities to attend virtual and on-campus engagement events to help them be further acclimated to campus.
The goal of the First Year Experience program is to CONNECT students with each other, faculty, staff, and the University; to INSPIRE excellence; and for students to THRIVE holistically. FYE empowers students to take advantage of all Fairfield has to offer.
FYE Themed Sections
Students will have the unique opportunity to indicate their interests in a variety of themed seminars. These sections allow students to hone in on a specific passion or immerse themselves in a new topic, as well as to meet other new students who share similar interests. Themed sections include Civic Engagement, Global Citizenship, Health and Wellness, Leadership Exploration, Ignatian Spirituality, Community Engaged Learning, and more. A complete list of and descriptions for the themes being offered this year can be found on your Orientation Registration Form on the First-Year Student Checklist.
Events for the First Year Experience (FYE) are added throughout the academic year. First-year students will be asked to check Life@Fairfield for a complete event listing
The FYE Team
New Student Leaders
New Student Leaders mentor new students throughout their first semester. They help develop community, facilitate the First Year Experience program, and serve as peer mentors.
Along with leading Orientation and Fall Welcome, NSLs plan and co-facilitate the FYE seminar once a week, have one-on-one meetings with their students to talk about challenges that arise, answer any questions, and share their personal experiences, tips and advice on how to get involved in the Fairfield community.
Community Associates (CAs) are a faculty/staff member who co-facilitates the First Year Experience seminar. They bring professional experience, wisdom, and guidance to the group.
Working closely with the NSLs as leadership mentors and guides, the CAs engage and assist the first-year students. Throughout the first year, CAs also meet with students one-on-one inside and outside of the classroom.
Class of '24
"Throughout all of the ups and downs with school and classes at Fairfield, taking part in my weekly FYE meeting allowed me to realize I was not alone in struggling with my transition into my first semester. This course has opened my eyes to see that I am not alone in feeling this way, almost every freshman has their own issues that they are dealing with, even if they are putting out that they are having this perfectly magical first year experience. This course has given me hope into staying at Fairfield and making it a place where I can picture myself for the next four years."
— Joseph Costello '24
Class of '24
"My FYE class has really made my semester less stressful. Being able to go to them and ask any/all questions no matter what they are really makes me appreciative to have them as my instructors. They take the time out of their day to reach out to us in order to make sure we’re doing okay, they’re very supportive, and always here to help."
— Monte’eria Dukes '24
Class of '24
"The one thing that FYE does really well is the hard but important conversations that are had. These conversations help to learn about yourself, others, and to speak your mind and engage in the class. FYE has made it easy to talk without being nervous or feeling like you will be judged by anyone."
— Isabella Grey '24
Class of '24
"The FYE program has taught me a lot: specific strategies to stay on track and succeed in college and more. With the strategies taught I feel as if I have grown a lot as a student, slowly getting better every day. I also feel that the FYE events offered have brought me closer to the Fairfield community. Learning something new each time I participate."
— Luiza Sperling '24
First-Year Academic Gathering
The First-Year Academic Gathering traditionally marks the start of the academic year commemorated by a coming together of the Fairfield University community. In addition to welcoming new students, it is a time set aside for the community as a whole to reflect on not only academic pursuits but also the larger mission and values of the institution. Finally, the incoming class will receive their class gift.