The First Year Experience

By Natasha Yvette Lucas

Web Editor 

The First Year Experience (FYE) program is designed to educate Palm Beach State College first time college students about available campus resources and services. As a result the program will help make the transition to college less difficult and more successful.

Within the FYE program there is another program that was introduced in the fall term; Passport to Success Program. This program is commonly used by college and universities around the country. Passport to Success Program is intended to guide students to explore the campus life.

The Passport to Success Program starts off by giving a first year student a passport booklet with recommended task. There are 12 suggestions of ways to allow the students to become involved with campus life.

“To fill out the passport, it was like a mini scavenger hunt. I completed 8 out of 12 questions that were offered in the passport. One of the eight tasks that I completed was attending a home game. And also joining a club, which was the Rotaract Club.” said 18 year-old Karina Rivera, a Passport to Success Program participant.

By participating in the Passport to Success Program, students have the opportunity to connect with faculty, staff, and fellow students, which will support and help them to make the most of their college and learning experience.

“I had the opportunity to know a dean on my campus, Dean Banks” said Rivera.

To encourage participation in Passport to Success Program, students who completed the required activities are entered into two drawings and the winners are awarded prizes. In the fall, students were awarded the campus based prize and grand prize. Prize winners like, Kathleen Outlaw who won an ipad2, also winner Rivera won a $250 book store gift card and a Kindle ebook reader.

While students were happy to compete for a prize, they found that their participation in the program did in fact assist with their adjustment to the college and provided them with information about available resources.

“I learned so much that was available to us students, like the computer lab, career center, and a fitness center. I didn’t even know we have a fitness center” said Outlaw.

The FYE will continue to partner with faculty, staff and student groups to develop and initiate programs and services for our first time in college students.

Beginning in the fall of 2012 term, the FYE will introduce a New Student Convocation at PBSC. First time students along with family members will be welcomed to the college in a formal ceremony, followed by a showcase of the many resources that exist on the respective campuses to help students in their academic endeavors and beyond.

Prizes for the Passport Success Program were provided by the Kresge SEMILLAS grant, PBSC Library, Lake Worth campus, and the PBSC Foundation.

The program has developed a website that contains step by step guides from admissions to enrollment, and informational links that is relevant to the student’s first year at the college. Students can also get answers to their questions by sending an email to the program at fye@palmbeachstate.edu or by placing a post on the FYE’s Facebook page. Please log on to www.palmbeachstate.edu/fye.xml .