First-Year Experiences

Orientation can go only so far in making freshmen feel connected. Many schools, such as those below, now build into the curriculum first-year seminars or other programs that bring small groups of students together with faculty or staff on a regular basis.

In spring 2013 we invited college presidents, chief academic officers, deans of students and deans of admissions from more than 1,500 schools to nominate up to 10 institutions with stellar examples of first-year experiences. Colleges and universities that were mentioned most often are listed here, in alphabetical order.

Stanford University

Stanford, CA

University of Maryland—​College Park

College Park, MD

University of North Carolina—​Chapel Hill

Chapel Hill, NC

University of South Carolina

Columbia, SC

Wagner College

Staten Island, NY

Washington University in St. Louis

St. Louis, MO

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