Gateway to Service….. Engaging Minds, Transforming Lives

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.

Common Reading for 2016-2017

grit to great blue coverThe authors personally know of what they are writing about. They grew up in the Bronx, with no money or connections. But through dint of hard work and perseverance, they rose to the top of the advertising world, as CEO and president, respectively, of the Kaplan Thaler Group and Publicis USA, creating and orchestrating world-famous advertising campaigns such as the Aflac duck and Clairol Herbal Essence. In their meetings with executives from around the world, they have seen firsthand the power of grit in helping women and men advance in their careers. In Grit to Great, they offer a rich narrative from the front lines of business on the impact determination, hard work, and focused attention have on getting ahead, whether you are an entry-level new hire or a seasoned veteran eager to advance your career. Written in the same entertaining and compelling fashion that made The Power of Nice a national bestseller, they offer a wealth of strategies and research on how to turn potential into performance, and how to compete—and win—against anyone, no matter how smart or connected they may be. Grit to Great is the perfect gift for any friend, employee, or graduating student about to enter the job market. It turns out there is a secret to success—and it's one each and every one of us has complete control over. This book shows you how to really get ahead. So, let's get to work. - See more at:

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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.


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


School of Arts & Social Sciences 

The School of Arts & Social Sciences offers a curriculum focused on fostering the development of the skills essential to be successful in the global service economy of the 21st Century: writing, critical thinking, debate, analysis, and an understanding and appreciation for cultural diversity.

School of Health Professions, Science & Wellness

The School of Health Professions, Science & Wellness employs a philosophy that balances practical training and theory in approaching education for future health sciences professionals. We bridge the gap between concept and practice.

School of Graduate & Professional Studies (SGPS)

For more than 30 years, WAU has been a leader in providing career building undergraduate degree programs for working professionals. WAU has continued to expand those offerings by adding graduate programs. This provides undergraduate students the opportunity to transition into graduate programs and continue to enhance their skills and competitive marketability.