First-Year Experience

The First-Year Experience is a comprehensive program of events, programs and activities that assist students in becoming familiar with Georgia College & State University and in developing the necessary college skills to thrive in GCSU’s liberal arts environment. The sequenced schedule of events and activities persists over a 12-month period – from contact during a prospective student’s senior year of high school through the completion of the first term of study at GCSU. The First-Year Experience not only links incoming students with the institution, but also with faculty within their prospective department, and with other incoming students. The FYE also introduces students to the mission and expectations of the learning community of Georgia College & State University, including the first year theme of “Reason, Respect & Responsibility.”

First-Year Experience Programs at GCSU

New Student Orientation

A structured day-long program during June and July that offers new students and transfer students the opportunity to establish a link with faculty in their intended major, become familiar with the campus and the array of academic and campus life programs available and "take care of business" to prepare for move-in.

First-Year Checklist

A helpful guide to start students on a path to developing the qualities of a GCSU graduate. Check your mail for your personalized copy in early August, or find it digitally here.

Week of Welcome

The official welcome week for GCSU'S first-year students.  It is an immersive experience that showcases the unique and multifaceted culture of Georgia College & State University. It's a time to get acquainted with the GCSU campus community, to make new connections, to get involved, and to explore the different parts of campus. There are several required programs for first-year students during Week of Welcome that cover important topics about health and safety, diversity and inclusion, and the transition into the college environment.

First-Year Seminar

The semester-long onboarding seminar for first-year students that introduces students to the core curriculum, major exploration, strategies for academic success, and the history, culture, resources, and traditions of Georgia College & State University.

First-Year Guides

Returning GCSU students who support first-year students in their academic transition to college. Students see their First-Year Guide every week in their first-year seminar course.


Academic seminar courses for first-year students that address critical thinking and global perspectives through a variety of subjects and themes from historical, sociology, philosophical, educational, or artistic perspectives.

GC Journeys

A series of extra and co-curricular activities that help GCSU put the liberal arts into action. GC Journeys include first-year experience programming, study abroad, career planning milestones, undergraduate research, community-based learning, leadership experiences, and capstone projects.

Academic Expo

A day-long academic fair prior to spring registration that introduces first-year students to academic majors, faculty, and co-curricular programming.


A week-long series of events celebrating the Homecoming theme that includes opportunities for first-year students to participate in GCSU traditions and enjoy social events. The weekend culminates with a home basketball game with the coronation of the homecoming royalty in the Centennial Center.

First-Year Living

Georgia College & State University requires all first-year students to live in university housing for a minimum of two consecutive semesters. This policy is based upon the university's belief in the importance of the educational benefits in self-government, community living, group discipline and the opportunity for relationships with faculty and staff members that campus housing provides.