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Jullien Gordon talks to first-year students about how to make the most out of their college experience.

The first year of a student’s college experience is often the most exciting – new freedom, new friends, and new opportunities. 

But there are challenges, too. College is an adjustment. Often, if students don’t develop time management, organizational, and study skills, they may struggle. 

To help students better transition to academic life here on campus, UNC Greensboro has launched the Keker Common Experience program, which replaces the “common read” program. 

Funded in part by the Lucy Spinks Keker Endowment, the program has four key components: a success guide and academic planner, event series, scholarship, and speaker visit.

Every new Spartan received the success guide at NAV1GATE New Student Convocation. More than 2,000 students are actively using the guides as part of the FYE 101: Succeed at the G program and other transition courses. 

“Students are using the guide inside and outside of class,” said Emily Wiersma, associate director of first year experience. “It’s for the entire academic year, not just fall. We’re also seeing that it helps a lot with advising.”

The event series – which includes workshops on FAFSA, financial literacy, and effective study strategies, as well as career fairs – has also been popular among students, says Wiersma. While the events aren’t new to campus, Wiersma and her team are partnering with other campus offices to get new students plugged in with these events and resources. 

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Originally published Nov. 1, 2019.


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