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If you have any questions about the content or organization of this event, contact Nina L. Glisson at (803) 777-8158 or

For registration questions please contact Jennie Duval at (803)777-3799 or

Information about this Conference and other events sponsored by the Center can be found at


Click Here to access the 35th Annual Conference on The First-Year Experience
Program Booklet.

Click Here to access the 35th Annual Conference on The First-Year Experience

Join Us

The Annual Conference on The First-Year Experience provides an ongoing forum where higher education professionals can share experiences, concerns, and accomplishments related to supporting student learning, development, and success in the first college year. We invite you to be a part of productive collaborations, conversations, and relationships as we gather in Orlando this year.

Conference Co-Hosts

  • Florida International University
  • South African National Resource Centre for the First-Year Experience and Students in Transition
  • University of Central Florida
  • University of South Florida
  • Valencia College
  • York University

Conference Highlights

  • Keynote and plenary speakers focused on critical issues in higher education today
  • Facilitated discussions providing networking opportunities
  • Commercial and non-profit exhibits offering strategies and resources to support college transitions

Conference Discounts

The Annual Conference on The First-Year Experience is pleased to offer discounted registration fees to the following participants:

  • Conference presenters
  • Those registering before the early-bird deadline
  • Full-time graduate and undergraduate students
  • Chief academic officers accompanied by three or more fee-paying participants representing the same institution (full fee waiver)

Conference Culture

The Annual Conference on The First-Year Experience is designed to provide educators from every segment of higher education a comfortable, welcoming environment to share innovative ideas, programs, tools, and research critical to the learning, development, and success of first-year college students. The conference aims to promote a comprehensive and engaging community open to a diversity of ideas, in which all delegates are given the opportunity and resources to grow personally and professionally. The conference welcomes graduate and undergraduate students, encouraging them to deepen their knowledge of the academic communities of which they are a part.

Jordan Smith Undergraduate Fellowship Program

The National Resource Center for The First-Year Experience and Students in Transition is offering five undergraduate student fellowships that will cover the registration fee for the Annual Conference on The First-Year Experience. To learn more or to apply for these fellowships, visit or contact Dustin Roberts at (803) 777-3984. The application will be available via the Center's web site beginning August 17, 2015, with a submission deadline of November 11, 2015.

Conference Mentoring Program

Limited to 25 mentors and mentees each

Now in its sixth year, the Mentoring Program c onnects conference attendees new to FYE work with more seasoned and experienced educators with a goal of enhancing the conference experience and providing additional mentoring opportunities within the Center's international network. Mentors and mentees are matched based on professional experiences and interests and gather at an exclusive meet and greet event that occurs just prior to the Opening Session on Saturday, February 20, 2016 from 4:30 pm - 5:15 pm. Past participants, both the mentors and the mentees, have found the Mentoring Program to be an enjoyable and meaningful addition to the conference experience.

Possible Session Topics

  • Improving and institutionalizing first-year seminars
  • Using assessment to build better programs
  • Researching the first college year
  • Exploring first-year programs at community colleges
  • Forging stronger partnerships between academic and student affairs
  • Initiating and strengthening service-learning and community service initiatives
  • Maintaining a commitment to a diverse student body
  • Implementing vibrant learning communities
  • Exploring student health issues
  • Improving academic and career advising
  • Encouraging critical thinking and holistic learning
  • Incorporating active-learning strategies in the first-year classroom
  • Expanding high-impact, first-year initiatives beyond the first semester
  • Involving peer mentors in educational initiatives
  • Designing and implementing common reading programs
  • Implementing early alert/early referral programs
  • Exploring teaching tools and technology to enhance learning
  • Developing partnerships with parents
  • Bridging generational gaps
  • Managing classroom and technology etiquette
  • Improving faculty training and development
  • Exploring the first year of postsecondary education in the international context