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The First-Year Experience is a comprehensive program of events, programs and activities that assist students in becoming familiar with GCSU 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 GCSU, including the first year theme of “Reason, Respect & Responsibility.”

Aspects of the FYE program include:

  • High school recruitment activities organized through the Admissions Office, including Scholar Receptions held during the senior year when top high school scholars from around the state are invited to GCSU for a day of information and exposure to the campus community.
  • POUNCE – the early registration program for incoming first-year students.
  • Springfest – Springfest is an exceptional opportunity for students who have decided to attend GCSU to reaffirm their decision, and for undecided students to discover the vitality and quality of Georgia’s designated public liberal arts university. The days’ agenda includes: academic open houses, non-academic drop-in opportunities, information on early registration (POUNCE), summer orientation, residence life, student organizations, campus tours, and resources that support student success. /springfest
  • FallFest - During the month of October, Georgia College & State University hosts a premiere visitation day for prospective students who are engaged in an early and timely search for their college of choice. At Fallfest, students and parents have the opportunity to attend academic presentations and open houses that are representative of all GCSU majors. A prospective freshman forum answers questions regarding the admissions process, financial aid, possible scholarships, campus living, early registration (POUNCE), and technology. Visiting students are encouraged to tour the Bobcat Marketplace (registered student organization fair) to preview opportunities for student involvement. /fallfest
  • New Student Orientation – a one day structured program for new first-year and transfer students to foster the link with faculty in their intended major, become familiar with the campus and array of academic and extracurricular programs available at GCSU.
  • Co-curricular Registration – an opportunity offered during Summer Orientation to intentionally link first-year students with campus clubs and organizations.
  • Summer Reading program – a unique summer reading assignment for first-year students entering GCSU in Fall semester. Books selected each year relate to the first-year theme, “Reason, Respect & Responsibility.”
  • CIRCLES – a program to assign the entering class into small discussion groups. Groups are facilitated by faculty and university staff and meet during Week of Welcome to discuss the assigned reading.
  • Convocation – a ceremony where the entire entering first-year class gathers for the official opening of the term.
  • Week of Welcome (WOW) – a week of academic programs and social activities prior to the beginning of Fall semester.
  • First-Year Academic Seminars – a one-credit course that is a required component of students’ schedules during their first term. Courses in each department are designed to assist students in adapting to college life and to identify resources within their major department to assist them in achieving their goals.
  • Advisement and Registration – an intentional process and relationship between students and university faculty or staff that not only provides quality advisement through the core curriculum, but also provides career exploration opportunities for students to assist them in making sound choices about majors and career directions.
  • First-Year Student Web page – a source for information on the “nuts and bolts” of student life at GCSU.
Georgia College & State University • 231 W. Hancock St. • Milledgeville, GA 31061 • 1-800-342-0471 ; (478)445-5004 •