First-Year Experience Program

The First-Year Experience is designed to help first-year students successfully transition to Whittier College and develop dispositions of academic and social engagement.

The program teaches students how to be active, contributing members of the campus community, develop a proactive approach to learning, and fully understand their educational options and career opportunities through the development of close relationships with faculty, fellow students, and upper class peer mentors.

The First-Year program consists of:

First-Year Orientation – The official beginning of your college adventure, orientation assists new students, parents, and families make transitions, academically and socially, into the College community.

First-Year Writing Seminar (FWS)
Also known as INTD 100, these seminars - themed courses designed by faculty from all disciplines - delve into challenging intellectual questions that first-years explore in class discussions and essays.

Faculty Mentors
Faculty mentors teach the First-Year Writing Seminar and also serve as first-year advisors until students are ready to declare a major. Mentors reserve time to meet with students each week.

Writing Associates Program
Upper class students work with first-year students to provide writing and general academic support.

Residential Learning Communities
RLCs consist of a small class of students taking linked courses together, one of which is the First-Year Writing Seminar (INTD 100). Students taking the linked courses live in close proximity to one another, in one of the first-year residence halls.

Academic Advising
First-year students work with CAAS (Center for Advising and Academic Success) to register for courses during the summer/spring before the start of school.

The First-Year program collaborates with various departments on campus – including Residential Life, the Office of Equity and Inclusion, and the Weingart Center for Career and Professional Development - to host events and programs especially for first-year students.