What’s it like to be a first-year student at University of New England? How does UNE support their first-years? Well, we have an entire office dedicated to our first-year students’ transition from high school to UNE.
Our Office of the First Year Experience (FYE) supports first-year students through the transition into the UNE community through a number of educational and social programs, our Living Learning Communities and Themed Housing options, and a robust Peer Mentoring program.
Educational and Social Programs
These programs are opportunities for our first-year students to come together as a community. FYE programs are designed to give first year students a chance to get to know their classmates and learn about what it takes to be successful as a student at UNE.
Our educational opportunities include workshops and programs on:
- Course Registration
- Housing Selection
- Time Management
- And more!
We also host annual trips to:
- Boston, MA: A bus trip to Boston to explore city life
- McDougal Orchards: A local apple orchard to enjoy apple picking
- Various other Maine destinations based on student input and interest
Living Learning Communities and Themed Housing
Our Living Learning Communities (LLCs) and Themed Housing options provide an introductory leadership experience within the context of a residential setting. We accept just over 100 first-year students into these special living arrangements each year. These students move to campus earlier than the other first-year students to participate in an off-campus retreat, take part in special programming over the course of the year, take linked courses, and live together in a residence hall.
Living Learning Communities for 2020-21:
- Rx for Success: Pre-Pharmacy LLC
- Marine Living Learning Community
Current first-year student, Morgan was fortunate to participate in the Marine Living Learning Community during her first semester on campus. She gave us insight into what they’re really like:
“The MLC is a living community where a group of students live on the same floor and take the same courses. The MLC provides extra academic help and advisement. It’s really nice because you’re surrounded by students who are experiencing the same things you are and are able to help you when you need it. Because everyone takes the same courses and lives in the same area, you end up forming stronger bonds than you normally would just living in a dorm.”
Themed Housing for 2020-21:
- Go Global: Global Exploration Community
- Substance-Free Community
Peer Mentoring Program
Within our Peer Mentoring program, we pair first-year students with an upperclassman student to support you during your first year at UNE. Our mentors are trained extensively and armed with the tools to support first-year student success. Students can opt into this program at any time during their first year, but the majority of our mentees sign-up within the first two weeks of classes in the fall. Be on the lookout for more information once you move onto campus!
Some of the benefits include:
- Mentor Mondays: These are programs that take place one Monday per month that are specifically designed for mentors and mentees to connect.
- Monthly check-in meetings: Mentors are expected to connect with their mentees, perhaps over coffee, to chat about their experience and offer support.
First Year Experts
Our office employs four First Year Experts who are upperclassmen students that are here to support our first-year students. Each of these student leaders is trained in a specific area of FYE and they assist in the planning and development of FYE programs and initiatives.
Connect With Us
Coordinator of the First Year Experience
Jimmy Riley oversees the UNE’s First Year Experience program which is completely focused on supporting students through the transition from high school to UNE. He spends his time putting on social and educational programs for first-year students, working with the Living Learning Communities and Themed Housing, and doing just about anything he can to support UNE’s first-year students. Outside of work, you can find him at the lake, in a hockey rink, or at home with his wife, Rachel, and two mischievous cats, Bonnie and Clyde.