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Your First Year Experience 

How to Make Your Transition to College

  • Take control of your own education: think of yourself as a scholar.
  • Get to know your professors; they are your single greatest resource.
  • Be assertive. Create your own support systems, and seek help when you realize you may need it.
  • Take advantage of the resources.
  • Take control of your time. Plan ahead to satisfy academic obligations and make room for everything else.
  • Stretch yourself: enroll in at least one course that really challenges you.
  • Make thoughtful decisions: don't take a course just to satisfy a requirement, and don't drop any course too quickly.
  • Think beyond the moment: set goals for the semester, the year, your college career.

Adapted from the SMU Learning Enhancement Center website -

What's the Difference between the First-Year Experience CLASS and the First-Year Experience EXPERIENCE?

Many students register for the First-Year Experience course, FYEX 100: Student Strategies for Success.   This two-credit course helps students develop successful student skills, such as time management, utilizing individual learning styles, study skill, and goal-setting.  The class is designed to help new students feel connected to the campus and part of the campus community.

The First-Year Experience is not limited to this class!  Many instructors infuse parts of the First-Year Experience philosophy into their classes by increasing the interaction between students and the instructor, between students and other students, and by connecting students to the campus community. 

What We Can Talk About

Another difference between high school and college is the amount of information we can share with families and friends. Under the US Department of Education (, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is a federal law that protects the privacy of student education records.

FERPA gives parents certain rights with respect to their children's education records. These rights transfer to the student when he or she reaches the age of 18 or attends a school beyond the high school level. Students to whom the rights have transferred are "eligible students."

In other words, many students enrolled in college control the rights to their own records.  HCC follows the federal law and school policy. Faculty and staff cannot share information without the students’ permission.

Many parents and friends avoid frustration by establishing a regular pattern of communication with their students. Not having direct access to grades and information regarding students may be a new experience, but students benefit from the independence and responsibility. 

Online Resources for a Successful First Year

These resources are provided for your information only.

Wellness Resources

Grassroots Crisis Intervention Center

Healthy Howard

Student Sex Life

Safe Sex for GLBT Students

Housing Resources

Housing for HCC Students

Academic Resources

Academic Honesty

Resources for Writing

College Survival

First Year Success

Special Information

For Adult Learners

For Veterans

For Students with Disabilities

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