First Year Experience

First Year Experience

Two First Year Experience courses, taken in sequence with small class sizes for a more personal experience, provide new Maria students with unique and engaging learning experiences, helping students find their place in the Maria community.  

The courses are designed to foster connections through shared academic and social experiences, while building the foundations for academic success. 

By providing students the opportunity to develop skills and strategies for promoting effective and successful learning, the courses empower students to become active and responsible partners in their own education. 

Maria College’s FYE courses support you in your transition to college life and college expectations. 

Philosophy of the First Year Experience

Student experiences in their first year are critical to their academic success and personal growth.  The first year is the foundation on which future educational accomplishments are built.

Maria is committed to a First Year Experience program that integrates students into the Maria College community, facilitates their transition to Maria College, fosters connections with faculty and classmates, and cultivates engaged, independent, and collaborative learners.  

The First Year Experience courses are one-credit each and required for new students except transfer students who have successfully completed 24 or more college credits or who have completed a comparable course at another college.

Tips for First Year Students

Make sure you know what campus resources are available before you need them.

Arrange to meet your advisor in the first weeks of the semester.

Read class materials before going to class to be prepared to participate, or to ask questions.

Involve yourself in your courses. Sit in the front row and stay focused.

Appreciate and read feedback from your instructors – both the positive and the constructive criticism.


Communicate with your instructors outside of class by visiting them during office hours, and by email. 

Organize yourself. If your instructors suggest a “system” for specific classes, follow their advice.

Learn to build a study plan that includes when and how much you need to study.

Look out for your health. Seek a balance between your personal life and your academic life.

Engage yourself with other students in your classes.

Go to all your classes, and be on time.

Earn your grades and your degree! Your instructors do not “give” you grades, you earn them!

FYE 101: Habits of Mind

Students in FYE 101 explore, learn, and apply “Habits of Mind,” traits of effective and successful thinkers. 

  • Applying Past Knowledge to New Situations
  • Gathering Data Through All the Senses
  • Persisting
  • Managing Impulsivity
  • Listening with Understanding & Empathy
  • Thinking Flexibly
  • Striving for Accuracy
  • Questioning and Posing Problems
  • Communicating with Clarity and Precision
  • Creating, Imagining, and Innovating
  • Thinking Interdependently
  • Taking Responsible Risks
  • Finding Humor
  • Remaining Open to Continuous Learning
  • Thinking About Thinking
  • Responding with Wonderment and Awe

Read more at: Habits of Mind

FYE 102: What Employers Want

Students in FYE 102 examine and practice behaviors that today’s employers want their employees to bring to the job.

  • Ability to work in a team
  • To communicate effectively
  • To adapt to change
  • To problem-solve
  • To be a leader
  • To make decisions
  • To obtain and process information
  • To plan, organize, and prioritize
  • To think creatively
  • To use computers and technology
  • To be dependable and reliable

Read more at: National Association of College and Employers