FYE office moved to Engleman, more space


Madeline S. ScharfNews Editor

The office of First Year Experience (FYE) has officially moved to Engelman Hall room C 105. Previously where the Disability Resource Center (DRC) resided, the FYE team has made it a comfortable and open environment to First Year freshman students. 

FYE is responsible for programs such as the INQ classes and LEP objectives. Nicole Henderson, Director of First Year Experience, explains how the program helps students. “It provides a transition between high school and college,” said Henderson.  

Students have found this to be a valuable resource. Jalyn Roberts, a freshman psychology major, believes it has helped her, even in the first week. “It has shown me that my habits in high school were terrible and not beneficial,” said Roberts via email interview. “Overall, it’s helpful in showing me the tools I need for each class.” 

As a peer mentor, Kamal Orahovac helps guide the First-Year students. “For me, being a peer mentor is about being a bridge between students and faculty,” the Junior English major commented over email. “We use our experience to help first year students know what they have in store for them for the first semester.” 

The importance of this program is highlighted this year, as high school seniors who were online now transfer into in-person college. “Students came in this year feeling unprepared with their senior year online,” said Henderson. This program allows them a safe environment to assimilate to in-person learning and college classes in general.  

The peer mentors are there for extra help. “Your peer mentors are there as a resource for both social and academic questions,” said Orahovac. 

Orahovac found the first week with these students to be a positive one. “It’s much closer to pre-COVID times,” he said about the experience in the classroom. The FYE program has allowed these students to be able to enjoy this resource.  

The FYE offices were moved from their previous home in Buley Library. They were moved after the DRC merged with the Academic Success Center, becoming the Center for Academic Success and Accessibility.  

This move seems to have benefited the FYE program. “I am happy about the move,” said Henderson, “we worked hard to make it welcoming to students.” There is also another bonus to being in Engelman. “We can help students find their classrooms.” 

Having students be comfortable in the FYE space seems to have been a main goal. The layout is open and welcoming, and comfy chairs greet students who are waiting to speak to someone. “It is also great that they (they FYE office) are offering coffee in the space,” commented Orahovac. “It is a great way to make people cozy and facilitate interactions.” 

The new space has been received well by the students who would be spending the most time in the facilities, the peer mentors. “It (the new offices) definitely impressed me,” said Orahovac, “and I am eager to use the spaces they set out for us.” 

There are even bigger plans for the space once COVID-19 dies out. The office has two new spaces, a place where peer mentors can talk one on one with their mentees, and a room where students can get help and more information on their FYRE project. “Post-COVID, we can even have classes be in the FYRE room,” said Henderson. 

The new FYE office is a wonderful resource available in the middle of campus. “Take advantage of the FYE space,” said Orahovac, “It will be a huge advantage to know people in the space ahead of FYRE season. 

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