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First Year Experience (FYE)

What is FYE at Washington Adventist University?

The First Year Experience (FYE) program is designed to help new students learn the Washington Adventist University culture, adjust to the new academic challenges of higher education, and master the rigors of college life. The program is a university-wide effort to orient new students to the WAU campus and help them quickly feel they are an important part of the community as they learn how to be a successful college student.  The program combines thoughtful instruction, cooperative learning, experiential activities, and spiritual support in a small class setting to provide new students with a great beginning at WAU.

What is the WAU First Year Experience Mentoring Program?

The program pairs alumni and friends of the university with new students who are looking for educational advice, career guidance and life lessons. It is a wonderful opportunity for you to give back to the next generation of WAU students.

Mentor training is February 8, 2015, 9:30 a.m. - 12 noon at Columbia Room, Wilkinson Hall


Common Reading for 2014-2015

King PeggyKing PeggyKing Peggy by Peggielene Bartels and Eleanor Herman. An American secretary, Peggielene Bartels, finds herself on an astonishing journey when suddenly she is the ruler of a town of 7,000 people on Ghana’s central Coast, half a world away.  Upon arriving for her coronation in beautiful Otuam, she discovers the dire reality: there’s no running water, no doctor, no high school, and many of the village elders are stealing the towns’ funds.

“Captivating.  King Peggy is a great case study on how one person—with the proper encouragement and support—can bring light and life to a community.” The Baltimore Times

Facebook link:

Your College Experience Strategies for Success, tenth edition  
By John N. Gardner and Betsy O. Barefoot
ISBN: 978-0-312-60254-3 (student edition)

FYE includes:

  • New Student Orientation: a week of experiences designed to help you learn what to expect academically, how to navigate campus, and where to find things, including campus resources and support services.
  • FYE Class: a one credit-hour class taken during the first semester that teaches new students foundational skills needed to adjust to college life, learn the importance of critical thinking, and develop a strong cohort of peers. 
  • FYE Common Reading:  a book chosen to engage, enlighten and encourage new students is assigned as summer reading.  In the first few weeks of the semester, students will deliver class presentations based on their common reading book assignments.
  • FYE Activities: student engagement opportunities completed throughout the year consisting of a variety of activities including workshops, off campus outings, networking, and new experiences.
  • FYE Academic Enhancement: provided by a collaborative effort between the Betty Howard Center for Student Success staff, academic department tutors, and the FYE coordinator, to help students manage the challenges of college classes.
  • FYE Mentoring: provides the student with a trained and committed mentor who will provide insight, guidance and support from a different prospective to help new students grow personally and professionally.

What FYE can do for the new WAU student?

  • Teach skills that will enhance college success.
  • Help forge connections with faculty, staff and peers.
  • Provide a strong since of belonging in the WAU community.
  • Create challenges to see the world in a different way.
  • Provide opportunities to grow intellectually and spiritually.

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The transition to college can be challenging, confusing and difficult. Those first weeks can be filled with questions and unknowns.  The FYE program at WAU equips new students with the knowledge and skills to find answers to their questions and empowers them to be successful.  Beginning with the first days of New Student Orientation, the FYE team members engage students with a multitude of experiences that help stimulate focus and determination to be a successful student, all the way to graduation.  The foundation of the FYE program will make the new student experience the adventure of a life time.

Find us on Facebook:

Find us in person at the Betty Howard Center for Student Success in Wilkinson Hall, Room 133.


This year we have an exciting new program called STEM University(STEM U), designed for students majoring in the following STEM fields: Biology, Biochemistry, Chemistry, Computer Science, and Mathematics.

In this university within the university, science is champion! For more information, please check out our webpage or Facebook page.



Washington Adventist University
7600 Flower Ave.
Takoma Park, Md. 20912
Becky Barker FYE Coordinator
Phone 301-891-4106 / 301-576-0192