First-Year Experience Program

First year students are all smiles in their new dorm room.The First-Year Experience is designed to help freshmen 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:

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

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

Faculty Mentors
Faculty mentors teach the Freshman 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.

Peer Mentor Program
Upper class students work with first-year students to help them successfully transition to Whittier College and provide writing and general academic support.

Living Learning Communities (LLCs)
LLCs consist of a small class of students taking linked courses together, one of which is the Freshman Writing Seminar (INTD 100). Students taking the linked courses live in close proximity to one another, in one of the first year residence halls, Stauffer or Johnson.

Academic Advising
First-year students work with CAAS' Advising Resource Center to register for courses during the summer 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.


First-Year Programs
562.907.4202 or 562.907.4833