The Office of First-Year Experience (FYE) helps students transition from high school to university life. This includes 1) providing every student with a peer mentor- a trained guide who will help orient students to the university, answer questions, and check-in periodically with students during their first year and 2) hosting other orientation activities including New Student Orientation (NSO) and the First-Year Arts Card program. These efforts span the time between students' admission notification through the end of their first year on campus.
First-Year Mentoring is designed to support all new students as they transition to, and learn to thrive in, a challenging university environment. This support spans three key periods:
Pre-Arrival (March – August):
Within 2-3 weeks following admissions notification, students admitted for fall semester, and summer term are assigned to a peer mentor who will contact them (by email, phone and text) in order to answer their questions and provide direction concerning next steps in their transition from high school to the university.
Fall Semester (September – December) and/or Summer Term (June-August):
First-Year Mentoring provides every new student with the support of an individual peer mentor regardless of major, course schedule, or potential for success. We make every effort to continue the relationship formed between students and their pre-arrival mentors. Mentors and students will meet together and communicate via email and text messaging throughout the semester in order to answer questions, discuss their experiences, and connect with important university resources. Last year there were over 19,000 face-to-face meetings between students and their FYE peer mentors and the student feedback we receive is very positive about the experience.
Winter Semester (January – April):
The mentoring relationships established during fall and summer continue through periodic follow-up interviews during January through February. Although very few mentored courses or reserved seats are offered during winter semester, students who begin their university experience during winter semester will be assigned to a peer mentor.
Transfer students are also eligible for the support of a peer mentor upon request. However, access to mentored courses is reserved for freshmen. Students transferring to BYU will be contacted prior to their arrival in order to request a mentor.
First-Year Experience & New Student Orientation (NSO)
Your orientation to BYU actually begins long before you arrive on campus. Prior to the beginning of your first term or semester, you will be contacted by a peer mentor from the Office of First-Year Experience (FYE). This mentor is a paid, trained university employee who successfully navigated their own first year and who can be a guide and resource for you across your first two semesters at BYU. Peer mentors will send periodic email, texts and even make phone calls to students. Mentors are available to answer questions, provide suggestions about effective learning strategies, connect you with other resources (e.g. academic advisors, financial aid resources, faculty members, the counseling center, etc.), and help you become a full participant in the BYU community.
A few weeks after you receive your acceptance notification you will be sent a link by the FYE office to a series of online orientation modules. These modules contain very important information about resources, programs and services available to you as a full-time student. They were developed to help your transition to BYU be as smooth as possible. The modules will take between 90 minutes to two hours and can be completed at your own pace. However, it will be important for you to complete all modules prior to arriving on campus. These modules are only one part part of your orientation to BYU. So, be sure you register for and make plans to attend the in-person NSO described below.
Immediately prior to the first day of every semester and term, an event referred to as New Student Orientation (NSO) is held. The purpose of NSO is to 1) welcome new and transfer students into the BYU community. 2) help new students understand and appreciate the unique opportunities provided by a BYU education, 3) introduce key campus resources, and 4) offer new students a great chance to connect with other students and meet their peer mentor.
NSO events and activities are designed to be both informative and fun. Activities vary according to the term or semester. In addition to a welcome from the administration and a campus tour, each orientation may include a university devotional; library tour; meetings about colleges and majors, financial aid and scholarships, the Honors Program; and an introduction to several of the traditions at the Y.
Many of the activities are organized around Y Groups, small groups of students led by peer mentors and other upperclassmen, which offer students personalized attention and support. To become fully immersed and engaged in the BYU community, NSO is vital.
Please see https://fye.byu.edu/about-nso for detailed information about NSO and to register for an NSO event.