First Year Experience (FYE)

Kati Hultman-Schlabach, Director of
First Year Experience and Student Leadership
Trinity 103
260.399.7700 X6740


The USF First Year Experience (FYE) serves first year students by providing resources and experiences that will inspire intellectual, social, and spiritual engagement through a holistic approach that integrates learning, leadership, and service to establish a foundation for student success and transformation.

Core Components:

New Student Orientation (NSO)

NSO is designed to orient new students to the Cougar experience, helping them to learn processes, resources, and systems that will support their success. Orientation will be informational, productive, and engaging.

Welcome Weekend (WW)

Welcome Weekend is the initial immersion into the USF campus experience. Designed for both residential and commuter students, the weekend is a mix of fun and time-honored traditions, engagement in relationship-building, and continued learning about campus systems and resources.

Orientation and Welcome Leaders (OWLs)

The FYE Team of student leaders, known as OWLs, is comprised of upperclassmen who have a passion for welcoming new students to campus and into the Cougar Family. Under the supervision of the Director of First Year Experience and Student Leadership, OWLs assist in the facilitation of New Student Orientation and Welcome Weekend with an emphasis on building relationships with and mentoring incoming students as they embark upon their first year experiences.

The First Year Advising Program

(Overseen by Academic and Career Development Center)

First Year Advising challenges and supports first-year students in making a successful transition to the college, feeling connected to and engaged with USF programs and resources, and in achieving academic, Professional, and personal goals.

Engage – First Year Seminar

(Overseen by General Education in Academic Affairs)

A common course for all first-year students to more deeply explore the dynamics of being a student at USF, learn about St. Francis and St. Clare of Assisi, and begin the academic application of the Franciscan values.