First Year Experience

First Year Experience Program

First-Year Experience Program (FYE)

This upcoming year, first-year students stay with the groups formed at Orientation and participate as a group in the First Year Experience (FYE) program, which commences in the fall. The FYE program provides a foundational understanding of the Fairfield experience and will empower students to take advantage of all Fairfield has to offer. The program consists of a non-credited weekly seminar, mentorship, and attendance at signature campus and FYE events throughout the academic year. FYE explores academic planning, hookup culture, time-management, roommate conflict, homesickness, financial literacy, and more.

FYE Themed Sections
These sections have a common theme and are not tied to a student's living environment (i.e., residence hall)

  • Civic Engagement: This section is designed for those students interested in exploring and engaging in dialogue around sensitive topics and issues of a political, economic, and social nature. This group aims to foster an open, multi-partisan environment where students can engage in idea-sharing, critical analysis, and civil debate.
  • Commuters: The members of this group develop a community in which they can share their passions, accomplishments and struggles, and how they may be unique for commuter students.
  • Creative: This group is a place for students with a passion for creative expression and the avenues it provides for reflection, expression and problem solving. Together these students will find creative ways to take full advantage of your first year at Fairfield. All students need is a passion for the arts!
  • Global Citizenship: We are all citizens of the world. This group brings domestic and international students together to explore their backgrounds in an effort to build bridges across cultures. These students will engage in Fairfield University’s value of People for Others by exploring each other’s backgrounds and perspectives.
  • Ignatian Spirituality: All students need is a passion for exploring the “big” questions of life. All students, regardless of religious affiliation, are welcome to participate in this group and explore spirituality and the ways they can integrate it into their college experience.
  • Leadership Exploration: As a community of students dedicated to enhancing their leadership skills, this group is formed under the idea that anyone can be a leader. Students in this group will support each other on a path to self-awareness, through examination of leadership styles.
  • Magis Scholars: If you are a Magis scholar, please choose this as your first choice. Magis Scholars will be in one of our Magis groups and together they will explore what it means to strive for this Jesuit ideal, seeking “the more universal good” as they transition to the Fairfield Magis community.
  • Men for Others: Men in the group will develop a community in which they can openly discuss the experiences of first-year transition through the lens of their gender identity. Some men find that this common experience strengthens their first-year experience.
  • Nursing: This section is taught by a Nursing student and a Nursing faculty. Together, the group will develop a community in which they can share their passions, accomplishments and struggles, and the transition into the Marion Peckham Egan School of Nursing and Health Studies.
  • Exploration: These groups bring first-year students with a variety of experiences and interests together in order to discuss topics of first-year transitions. The goal is for these students to develop a community in which they can share their passions, accomplishments and struggles. The open theme allows for conversation to go in many directions.
  • Service Learning: Students in this section will engage in the local community and connect their service experience with their college transition. This is a great entry into the many opportunities Fairfield has for service.
  • Service Learning- Humanitarian Action: Students in this section will engage in the local community, with a focus in the The Jesuit Universities Humanitarian Action Network (JUHAN), and connect their service experience with their college transition. This is a great entry into the many opportunities Fairfield has for service.
  • Social Justice: Through the lens of identity development, these students will look at social justice issues both on campus and in the world. These students work together to understand the mutual impact between them and the world.
  • Social Justice: Through the lens of identity development, these students will look at social justice issues both on campus and in the world. These students work together to understand the mutual impact between them and the world.
  • Storytelling: Whether you like to read people's narratives, watch movies about them or write and create them yourself, stories matter. This group will explore their own, experience others' stories, and explore how they can inform our life at Fairfield and beyond.
  • Wellness: Based in the Jesuit value of Cura Personalis, members of this group will talk about physical, spiritual, and emotional outlets for a balanced life. These students support each other in their efforts to maintain a healthy quality of life, allowing them to positively transition to college. 
  • Women for Others: Women in the group will develop a community in which they can openly discuss the experiences of first-year transition through the lens of their gender identity. Some women find that this common experience strengthens their first-year experience.
  • Women in Business: This group brings together women in the Dolan School of Business to develop a community in which they can share their passions, accomplishments and struggles, and the transition into the business world.

FYE Events

Events for the First Year Experience (FYE) are added throughout the academic year. First-year students will be asked to check OrgSync

FYE Events

How to track your FYE Events

How to find FYE Events

To submit a proposal for an FYE event please click here

 Any questions/comments/suggestions can be directed to FYE@fairfield.edu.

First Year Experience Essentials

What will I need to complete to successfully fulfill the FYE Program?

FYE Objectives

The First Year experience program strives to provide students with:

  • An understanding of the rich history and tradition of the Society of Jesus and Ignatian spirituality
  • The impetus to fully engage in their college community by exploring all the opportunities for learning
  • An exposure to the resources available to them to fully engage in curricular and co-curricular experiences
  • An exploration of practical skills necessary for their successful transition to college
  • A strong foundation upon which to build their academic record and launch their vocational exploration
  • Access to the many events, programs, and services available at Fairfield
  • The skills to serve others in this community and our global world, specifically increasing their civic engagement

 

FYE Program Requirements

Students are expected to:

  • Attend and participate in all FYE seminars in the fall semester
  • Complete all readings and seminar assignments
  • Attend First-Year Academic Gathering on unless there is an academic conflict
  • Complete the "CIRP Freshmen" Survey
  • Complete the AlcoholEdu & Haven Courses - Part 1 and Part 2
  • Complete two (2) reflective assignments
    • Mid-Semester Online Reflection - Due week 6
    • End of Semester Online Reflection - Due week 12
  • Complete the Plagiarism Tutorial
  • Attend a minimum of seven (7) FYE campus events throughout the fall semester
    • 2 Connect
    • 2 Inspire
    • 3 Thrive

Evaluation

  • Attendance is CRITICAL in this experience. It is understood that emergencies, illness, etc., will occur. With that said, more than one absence will typically mean an unsatisfactory grade (i.e., fail the seminar). 
  • FYE is a university requirement that is pass/fail and appears on a student's transcript, so poor class attendance, missing assignments, and/or inadequate FYE event attendance will result in an unsatisfactory grade.
  • The unexpected can occur. Facilitators may assign make-up work to students at their discretion if necessary. If a student does not complete the make-up work, or does not complete it to the facilitator's satisfaction, then the facilitator may fail the student.
  • Students who fail FYE in the first semester may appeal their grade to FYE@fairfield.edu. In order to make up the work, they will be assigned a paper and/or a series of spring FYE events to attend. Failure to complete the make-up work will result in a registration hold, until the work is completed.

 

FYE Events Expectations

  • FYE Events - Students are expected to attend a minimum of seven (7) FYE campus events throughout the fall semester
    • 2 Connect Event
      • Events where students engage with each other at an informal/casual social activity
      • Examples: Athletic events; Residence Hall events not connected to Cornerstone, etc.
    • 2 Inspire Events
      • Events where students are engaged in higher learning and pushing themselves towards the greater good
      • Cornerstone Course enhancement activities
      • One Inspire Event must have a designated service component
    • 3 Thrive Events
      • These are events offered throughout the semester that touch on major themes of the FYE Program
      • Any Thrive Event attended, after the 3 required events, can count towards Inspire Event credit

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.

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