UVU Offers Incoming Freshmen Unique, Powerful First-Year Experience
August 19, 2014
For Immediate Release
University Marketing & Communications: Melinda Colton | 801-863-6807
Written by: Kellene Ricks Adams | 801-863-8504
Incoming freshmen will begin their Utah Valley University experience Aug. 25 by participating in a unique Freshman Convocation to kick off the year; students will also be introduced to the University’s First Year Experience (FYE).
Freshman Convocation begins at 6 p.m. at the UCCU Center. Following a faculty processional, UVU President Matthew S. Holland and Daniel Fairbanks, associate dean of the College of Science & Health and an accomplished sculptor, will address the theme, based on Martin Luther King, Jr.’s well-known quote. Other presenters include Laurie Harrop-Purser, associate professor in the School of the Arts; Tyler Brklacich, UVUSA president; and Keira Scholz, 2013 UVU alum.
The Green Man Group, UVU Spirit Squad, and Willy the Wolverine will also be participating in the convocation program. The event will conclude with a free BBQ-style dinner for students and their families.
FYE comprises 10 different programs and activities designed to help new students make a smooth, successful transition to college life and support them throughout their entire first year at UVU, as well as provide a foundation for them as they continue pursuing their education. The FYE programs and activities include:
• Jumpstart Orientation — This half-day event offers a quick look at the many UVU programs and services available to students. All new students are required to attend one of the several different orientation sessions scheduled throughout the year.
• Personalized Academic Advisement — Students are required to meet regularly (once before registering and every semester thereafter) with their personal academic advisor.
• Freshman Reading Program — Every year UVU President Matthew S. Holland selects a book, and all freshmen receive a custom copy of the book; this year’s book is Enrique’s Journey by Sonia Nazario. The year begins with a book discussion led by President Holland with several other events held throughout the year, including a book signing by the author. This program provides a common academic experience; introduces students to intellectual life at the university; creates a greater sense of community among students, faculty, and staff; emphasizes the value of reading; and establishes the connection between reading, intellectual development, and other cultural events on campus.
• Freshman Convocation — On August 25 incoming freshmen and their families will attend a unique convocation where they will be welcomed to UVU and the life of a Wolverine. First held in 2012, UVU is the first institution of higher education in Utah to hold an evening event, which families are invited to attend.
• UVCommit — Incoming freshmen will be challenged to set a goal to complete a degree program and invited to sign the UVCommit pledge.
• CLSS 1000 or CLSS 205G — Specifically designed with freshmen in mind, these two classes help new students make a successful transition to college-level coursework and become informed, respectful global citizens.
• Learning Communities — This program consists of two courses linked together to explore common themes and encourage partnerships with professors and peers. Students and faculty in these communities work together in rewarding community engagement projects.
• StartSmart Emails — During their first semester at UVU, new students receive weekly emails from the office of Student Success and Retention. The emails contain helpful hints and information about campus deadlines, resources, study tips, and more.
• Service Days — First-year CLSS 1000 students are required—and all students are encouraged—to participate in service days, which are an effective way to become involved in the campus and the community.
• Freshman Celebration — This end-of-year party honor students’ individual successes as well as the success of the freshman class as a whole and is a great way to celebrate surviving the first year in college.
“We feel our First Year Experience is a comprehensive, fun, and effective way for our new students to engage with their University experience,” said Martha Wilson, UVU First Year Experience coordinator. “We want these students to be part of our UVU family and be proud to be a Wolverine. Even more importantly, we want them to be successful and achieve their personal academic goals.”