The First-Year Experience is a comprehensive program of events, programs and activities that assist students in becoming familiar with Georgia College and in developing the necessary college skills to thrive in GC’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 Georgia College. 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, including the first year theme of “Reason, Respect & Responsibility.”
First-Year Experience Programs at Georgia College
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.
Weekend of Welcome
The official welcome weekend for Georgia College first-year students. It is an immersive experience that showcases the unique and multifaceted culture of Georgia College. It's a time to get acquainted with the Georgia College 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 Weekend of Welcome that cover important topics about health and safety, diversity and inclusion, and the transition into the college environment. GCReads is a signature program during Weekend of Welcome facilitated by the office of the First-Year Experience. Feedback on the 2020 GCReads program can be found here.
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.
Fun social and educational programs designed specifically for first-year students on the first Friday of every month.
First-Year Events at Ina Dillard Russell Library
A series of engaging educational programs for first-year students to learn about available resources at Ina Dillard Russell Library and how they can use those resources to help them succeed in college.
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.
A series of extra and co-curricular activities that help Georgia College 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.
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 GC traditions and enjoy social events. The weekend culminates with a home basketball game with the coronation of the homecoming royalty in the Centennial Center.
Georgia College 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.