student success said Mucci. They feature small classroom settings, group projects and presentations, and promote strong relationships among students,instructors and the college community. “Originally, our ‘first-year experience’ was centered on making students aware of what will be expected of them in college, as the demands and the independent-learning requirements are different from high school to college,” said Sisson. “But, we discovered that students enrolled in these first-year seminars became more engaged with the college and were ultimately more successful. As a result, we expanded on the idea. “Now, the varied offerings of our FYE/IDS seminars have proven time and again what national research has shown – that students are more successful in completing courses, in graduation rates, and in overall achievement when they are personally engaged with their college,” he said. Kayla Pope credits FYE courses with helping her find her own path to success. “I felt lost in high school – I didn’t partake in any extracurricular activities,” she said. “When I chose Middlesex, I wanted to get as involved as I could.” Luckily for Pope, she met Mucci, who encouraged her to sign up for FYE/IDS seminars and inspired her to engage in campus activities. In the fall of 2013, Pope enrolled in the “Freshman Seminar” linked to her “Intro to Psychology” course. “Being new to college can be rather intimidating,” said Pope. “FYE really gave me a chance to learn the ins and outs of college. It also helped me realize how many resources Middlesex has – and most importantly, that there are dozens of faculty members, student mentors and fellow students willing to help you.” After finding success in that first FYE/IDS seminar, Pope signed up for two others. Her experience in FYE also inspired her to get more involved on campus. She has served as a student mentor for an FYE/IDS course, and as a Supplemental Instruction Leader for “Anatomy & Physiology I” courses. Currently, she is president of the Radiography Club, and plans to graduate from the Radiologic Technology Program in May. Pope says she encourages everyone she meets to get involved and to take FYE/IDS courses, especially students who aren’t yet certain what their academic/career path may be. “It’s OK if you don’t know what direction you want to go in,” she said. “I was unsure!” An FY E team-building exercise. “But I wouldn’t be where I am today without FYE. It helped me understand and use all the amazing resources the college has available – academic resources, leadership positions, volunteer opportunities, and campus clubs and activities,” said Pope. “FYE taught me that I can reach my goals. I know now the opportunities are endless.” — Tura Linderholm ie e/Interdisciplinary Stud out First-Year Experienc For more information ab fye iddlesex.mass.edu/ Seminar, visit: www.m s Profiles | 15