At Whittier College, we share a common goal with our parents and families: supporting the academic and social success of our students. This page provides an overview of just some of the experiences our First-Year Experience program will bring to your son or daughter, as well as how to best navigate the services available to him or her. In providing this information, we hope you will assist your student in making a seamless transition to college life.
Components of the First-Year Program
Living/Learning Communities (LLCs). Incoming first-year students who live on campus will be housed in one of two first year residence halls, Stauffer or Johnson Hall, known as Living Learning Communities. LLCs consist of groups of 15-16 students taking two linked courses together, one of which is the Freshman Writing Seminar (INTD 100), and are housed as roommates and/or in rooms in close proximity.
Students who do not live on campus (commuters) will also be required to take the Freshman Writing Seminar and linked course and are given access to LLCs until 7:00 p.m., with the intention of working in study groups with the students from their courses.
Academic Advising & Mentorship Programs. The Center for Advising and Academic Success (CAAS) empowers students to become successful, self-directed, and collaborative learners through resources that include tutoring, academic coaching, workshops, writing resources, a computer lab, study space, as well as a full-time professional staff trained in academic advising. Faculty mentors and upper class students who serves as peer mentors also work with students in selecting their major and provide writing and general academic support.
Events. The First-Year program works closely with various departments on campus to host events and programs especially for first year students. Of course, the campus hosts a number of annual events to keep students and families connected, such as Whittier Weekend and Family Celebration and Honors Convocation.
Navigating the Details
Campus Safety. The Department of Campus Safety is authorized by Whittier College to protect the campus community and campus property and strives to make the campus safe for all Whittier students. Campus Safety officers patrol the campus 24 hours a day, seven days a week and are to perform many police functions on property owned and operated by the College, such as answering crime calls, calls for service and emergencies, dealing with parking on campus, and providing escort services.
Student Health Care. Whittier’s Student Health & Wellness Center provides primary health care services, as well as health and wellness resources, to College residents and commuters. The center is staffed throughout the academic year by a full-time licensed registered nurse. During the week, a number of physicians hold rotating office hours and see patients on an appointment or walk-in basis. All students, prior to enrolling at Whittier, are asked to complete and submit a health history form and a physician-signed health examination form.
Vehicle Registration. All students are allowed to have a vehicle on campus. However, vehicles must be registered – at no charge - with the Department of Campus Safety. Permits are available in Campus Safety office, Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.- 4 p.m. Students will need to present current state department of motor vehicles registration and a valid driver’s license.
Understanding FERPA. The Family Education Rights and Privacy Act, FERPA, is a law that protects the privacy of student education records. Once a student turns 18 years of age, he or she becomes the sole person eligible to obtain information in regards to his/her academic records. The College must have written permission from the student to release any of this information. Students are responsible for signing and submitting a FERPA release form prior to enrolling at Whittier. The release form is available online via Moodle or the Office of the Registrar webpage.
Finances. Students should remain educated on the type of financial aid available to them. It is equally important to understand the repayment required. Each year, a student should remember to submit a FAFSA form as early as possible to ensure that he or she receives maximum funding. The Office of Financial Aid usually distributes funding on a first-come, first-served basis.