A sub-committee with representation from each USHE institution met for over a year to tune the first-year experience across the entire state. The result was a discipline profile and a list of FYE core competencies and outcomes shared by all USHE institutions.

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FYE Discipline Profile

First-Year Experience (FYE) programs and courses are the place where students actively connect to the college learning community. FYE programs can be run in a wide variety of ways, from intensive pre-semester orientation programs to first-year seminars and related courses. But whatever form they take, an FYE course should provide students with an understanding of the broad set of values, skills, and knowledge central to navigating the cultural norms and roles of being a college student who can successfully understand, cope with, and acquire the desired outcomes of an entry-level college credit-bearing course (e.g., a General Education course).


FYE Core Competencies and Essential Outcomes



A student who achieves proficiency in FYE will identify, explain, and value the mission and purpose of higher education in helping students flourish personally, civically, and professionally.

A proficient learner will be able to:

  • Distinguish between the general and unique institutional mission of higher education (i.e., creating educated persons) and prevalent cultural attitudes about higher education.
  • Explain the role and value of each part of the degree (e.g., general education and college/university requirements, the major, electives, co/extra-curricular, etc.) and how all of those parts integrate to produce an educated person.
  • Reflect on and articulate how becoming an educated person will help them flourish personally, civically, and professionally.

Intentional Learner


A student who achieves proficiency in FYE will understand themselves as an intentional learner who can articulate the learner role as being active and engaged rather than passive and disengaged.

A proficient learner will be able to:

  • Recognize the habits of mind (i.e., intellectual, motivational, emotional, self- awareness, and self-directedness) which are necessary for agency, growth, wellness, and success in college and beyond.
  • Proactively and dynamically engage with available resources (e.g., library, digital resources, peers, faculty, staff, advisors, tutors, mentors, and other social supports) in order to be successful.

Developing Connections


A student who achieves proficiency in FYE will have a mindset of success and belonging and will understand how they can contribute to and benefit from the university and wider community.

A proficient learner will be able to:

  • Express positive attitudes about the possibilities and benefits of their identity as a learner who belongs to a community of learners.
  • Understand how to connect to, participate in, and create various formal and informal communities on and off campus.