Freshman Year Program
Individualized attention is given to each new freshman as he/she enters Dominican College. The Freshman Year Program is a multi-faceted process which assists and supports students as they make the important transition from high school to college life. The program is geared towards providing first-year students with the foundation for a successful college experience that allows for the attainment of the student's academic, social, personal, and career goals.
The Freshman Year Office reports to the Vice President for Academic Affairs and Academic Dean and coordinates the staff and opportunities which help each freshman adjust to life as a Dominican College student, orients new students, and acts as a point of referral to other College personnel and support services. Important programs provided through the Freshman Year Office include Freshman Registration Days, New Student Orientation, the Freshman Directorate, the Peer Mentor Program, Freshman Seminar, the Bridge Program, Freshman Academic Tracking, and Major Application Day.
The Freshman Directorate
The Freshman Year Director works closely with the Freshman Directorate, a select group of faculty members who serve as the academic advising team for freshmen. Directorate members provide one-to-one advising and assist with academic tracking throughout the first year at Dominican College. They assist new students in forming and solidifying educational and career aspirations and in making the transition to permanent faculty advisors in their majors on Major Application Day.
The Freshman Seminar is required for all first-year students and consists of 3 credits that span two semesters. Overall, the Seminar's goal is to enhance the development of critical thinking, to introduce the concept of liberal learning, and to make connections to the College's mission. Examples of topics explored are: the scientific method, liberal studies, and career choices and college majors. The topics are embedded within the tow-semester Seminar. The first semester consists of offering students a strong foundation in the liberal arts as well as introducing them to the tools that foster academic confidence. The second semester is aimed at giving students an opportunity to apply the tools learned form the first semester Seminar experience.
First-year students often have many questions and special concerns regarding college life. Many feel particular stress from being in a new social environment while trying to make the transition to new academic requirements. The group of upper-classmen students known as the Peer Mentors is another important part of Dominican's Freshman Year Program. As Peer Assistants in the Freshman Seminar and Freshman Year Office, they are specially trained and serve as a rich source of information about important campus events and policies as well as extracurricular activities. Each Peer Mentor is assigned a small group of freshmen whom he/she meets with on a regular basis, including their attendance in the Freshman Seminar. Peer Mentors make sure all students are aware of the academic and student support services open to them at Dominican.
Freshman Interest Groups (FIGs) Program
The Freshman Interest Group (FIG) program is a unique program for first-year students, both residents and commuters, that goes beyond the classroom and academic experience. FIGs consist of freshman modules containing approximately 20-25 students, with each module hosting a particular theme. Students will be given the the option of selecting a FIG theme of their choice, such as Generation First (for first-generation students), Art, Sports, and the Gaming and Technology groups. The goal of the FIGs is to provide an integrated learning experience for freshmen by connecting faculty, students, liberal arts learning, and campus experiences in a purposeful, coherent, and seamless fashion. All FIGs will host one major event and at least fours minor events per year.
The Bridge Program
The College also provides a Bridge Program, an academic support program for traditional students who do not meet the College's general admissions criteria but who have demonstrated strong motivation to learn. The Bridge Program Coordinator meets with these students regularly, evaluates each student's performance, and arranges for tutoring. Through this careful monitoring of student progress and close consultation, many of these underprepared students are able to gain the skills and confidence they need to complete their college degrees.