Students studying together in the Library

First Year Advising

Center for Student Achievement

The First Year Advising Program pairs a specially trained faculty or staff member with an entering freshmen for the duration of the student's freshmen year. The transition from high school to college can be a difficult one. When freshmen arrive on campus for Orientation it may be the first time they have seen a college campus. This can be a completely new experience and some students may not have someone at home who is able to prepare them for what they are about to experience. We want freshmen to have at least one person on campus that they will feel comfortable speaking with if they have questions or encounter any difficulties.

First Year Advising Mission & Goals

The mission of the First Year Advising Program is to connect each incoming freshman with a support person who will facilitate in and guide the student through their transition into higher education and the USC Aiken community.

Program Goals:

  • To create an atmosphere wherein the student feels comfortable asking questions and sharing information
  • To help the student have a clear understanding of higher education and the educational goals of USCA, and reaffirm the decision to pursue higher education
  • To provide the student with needed information on academic policies, procedures, requirements, and programs
  • To aid in student decision making and help the student become an effective and confident decision-maker
  • To serve as a resource person by connecting the student with a relevant support services and programs.

First Year Advisor Criteria

  • Advisor is nominated by their supervisor or a First Year Advisor.
  • Advisor must have at least earned a Bachelor's degree.
  • Advisor must have worked at USCA for one year or have prior academic advising experience.
  • Advisor must have strong communication skills.
  • Advisor must be committed to student development and student success.
  • Advisor must be organized and flexible.
  • Advisor must have time in their schedule to allow for meetings with students and for doing activities to reach out to their advisees.
  • Advisor must be able to participate in training sessions.
  • Advisor must be committed to the success of the program by participating in an annual assessment process.

First Year Advisor Responsibilities

  • Advisor must be available for advisement for at least one Orientation program.
  • Advisor must attend three training sessions (general information, SSC, and DegreeWorks).
  • Advisor must see students at Priority Registration in November and April.
  • Advisor must be available to see students two to three additional times each semester.
  • Advisor must regularly e-mail students regarding key semester dates.