First Year Experience

The First Year Experience (FYE) strives to build a community of engaged student learners who value academic excellence, intellectual, personal and spiritual development, inclusion, ethical conduct and compassionate service. It integrates two core components: the Scholastic Assistant Program and the Residential Life Living Learning Communities.

The first year of college at the University of San Diego begins at the point of an undergraduate student's admission and concludes at the beginning of the following academic year.

We assign a high priority to a student's first year of college because the first year establishes an essential foundation for a successful educational and developmental experience. During the first year, students learn about the university's mission, core values and expectations. As a result, students begin to practice the habits and skills of higher learning, thus helping shape the academic and social climate on campus.

The objectives of the First Year Experience are to:

  1. Introduce students to the core curriculum as the foundation of USD's liberal arts undergraduate education.
  2. Assist student's transition to college life by learning about multiple resources available to them.
  3. Introduce students to the mission and core values that form the identity of USD as a Catholic university.
  4. Encourage students to think about, and begin to develop, values for living with diversity and adopting a healthy lifestyle.

What Students Can Expect:

OLÉ! Weekend (Orientation)

The days before classes begin are designed to introduce students to USD and fellow students. Activities and experiences are facilitated by student leaders and faculty that will help new students become more comfortable in their new living environment, better understand the demands and expectations of college life, and begin to connect with fellow students, faculty and staff.

Fall LLC Course

This program is a core component of FYE. The program involves faculty advisors for incoming first-year students in a small class called the "Fall LLC Course." The content of the Fall LLC Course depends on the course title and description. Fall LLC courses fulfill a core curriculum requirement and will be part of your first year integration component requirement.

Scholastic Assistant

As part of each Fall LLC Course, there will be a "Scholastic Assistant" or "SA." The SA is a successful continuing student who services as a liaison between the students and the professor, mentor to new students, and a general resource. SAs also plan and implement activities outside of class to assist students with the transition to college.

You Succeed @ USD Video Series

The You Succeed @ USD video series is designed specifically to help students reach their academic potential. Each brief video consists of tips and recommendations from highly successful USD students who have excelled in and outside the classroom. Video topics cover important issues that new students are likely to encounter including time management, study strategies, test preparation and overcoming setbacks.