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Freshman to enjoy learning cohorts

As the fall 2010 school year began last week, many freshmen entered what is known as the Freshmen Year Experience Program (FYE). This program is a part of the various learning communities that were continued in the year 2010 at VSU.
“The Freshman learning communities are high impact practices for students as it helps enrich and prepare them for the years to come” Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences Conney Richards, who oversees the learning communities said.
Ninety four Arts and Sciences sections compose the Freshman Learning Communities.
These sections teach the basics and include: English, political science, sociology, history, math, perspective courses, and several various biology classes.
The students are divided into 25 students per group, which causes an air of familiarity among the students in knowing that he or she will have classes with the same group of people.
One of the main goals of the learning communities is to establish a sense of “close knit community” into the students. “Some students made multiple friends because they were living and around people that they recognized from class,” Dean Richards said.
Craig Bell, now a junior at Valdosta State, described his freshmen year experience as very beneficial.
“It’s a great way to make friends, I made a lot of connections,” Bell said. “I didn’t feel like I just got thrown in, and because I was put in with people I knew instead of people I didn’t, I felt I could express myself more so I got involved.”
“The non stressful environment everyone helps everyone not feel judged,” Bell said. “But I can still get my work done because since I know most people I can study with them.”
“It is perfect for undecided majors because it helps students adjust while still working within the core curriculum without immediate pressure,” Dean Richards said. “The goal of the learning communities is to help students see connections between their subjects as opposed to seeing them each as unrelated.”
Students in this program are subject to year- long courses and projects that are geared toward helping students reach their academic potential.
“The goal of these learning communities is to help incoming students adjust to the pace of college life and learn what is expected from their teachers,” Mrs. Gaskins, an English professor said. “It also helps the students bond earlier so they already know someone and there is no initial shyness.”

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