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First-Year Experience

We place particular emphasis on the first year of college, and work to make it a smooth transition and a positive experience. Through the Office of First-Year Experience (FYE) we provide opportunities for you to get involved and to build relationships in the classroom and in the Madonna community.

Soon after you’re admitted, you will receive a booklet of information from us in the mail regarding your next steps. The Office of First-Year Experience exists to ensure that your first year at Madonna is a great experience that will set you up to continue successfully through to graduation.

Contact FYE

Office of First-Year Experience
Room 1411
              Hannah Morch
Director of First-Year Experience
 Collaborative Studies

All incoming first-year students participate in the Collaborative Studies program, which typically links one or two General Education courses with a section of UNV 1010.

The faculty members create learning experiences in which students work collaboratively, cross the boundaries of different academic disciplines, and engage in discussion and conversation about relevant ideas and issues.

The linked courses also integrate reflection on the service learning project students work on as part of UNV 1010.

 First-Year of College Philosophy

Printable version

At Madonna University, we believe that the first year of university study calls for a focused program of study, advisement, and orientation based on the following philosophical perspectives:

  • Learning is social and is best promoted and supported by a community of learners. To this end, the University encourages first-year-of-college students to participate in the Collaborative Studies Program, a curriculum that links first-year courses to create a community of learners.
  • Learning is developmental; that is, first-year students are at individual levels of maturation and intellectual, social, and personal development. As educators, the faculty is committed to understanding where students are when they come to us, accepting and valuing them as persons, and identifying strategies for fostering their development.
  • Learning is holistic, and at Madonna we strive to fulfill our mission of intellectual, spiritual, and personal development. To this end, the Collaborative Studies Program promotes interdisciplinary approaches to learning and problem solving so students recognize the interconnectedness of knowledge and human experience.
  • Our educational practice should be learner-centered. This implies that students need to be taught to take responsibilities for their learning in order to promote the ideal of life-long learning. One aspect of this goal relates to the component of UNV 1010: Transitions to Higher Education, that familiarizes students with the variety of academic support services available to them as Madonna University students and encourages them to use these services when they experience academic difficulty.
  • Education at Madonna University should promote the idea of service to our communities, particularly to those in the global community who are less fortunate. This is a reflection of the University's commitment to Catholic teachings on social justice and the ideals of St. Francis of Assisi. To this end, the University requires all students in UNV 1010 to participate in a service learning experience.
  • Students benefit from understanding the history, traditions, and foundational values of the university they attend. Through the continuum of admissions, orientation, pre-enrollment, first semester, and second semester, the University has designed intentional strategies for communicating these ideas to first-year students.
UNV 1010

UNV 1010: Transitions to Higher Education is a one credit course required of all incoming students who are less than 24 years old and have fewer than 12 college transfer credits.

UNV 1010 is designed to:

  • Address transition issues that First-Year Students face when entering the University
  • Introduce students to thought-provoking, challenging, and interesting ideas to enhance their critical thinking, research, writing, and presentation skills
  • Engage students in a community of learners
  • Incorporate a service-learning experience that fulfills the University’s mission of service