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PAL and FYE help introduce students to campus

Great starting points for first-year students

CU 411 will take place on Sept. 6 in the Tivoli Turnhalle.
Illustration: Genessa Gutzait • The Sentry

First-Year Experience (FYE), Club Sports, and the Peer Advocate Leaders (PALs) are welcoming first-year students to campus with two events: the First Year Cookout and the CU 411. The First Year Cookout took place on the CU Denver Athletic Field on Aug. 21. The event served as a way to welcome new students with free food and a chance to connect with their professors, PALs, and many of the club sports CU Denver has to offer. 

The CU Denver 411 event is scheduled for Sept. 6 in the Tivoli Turnhalle. The event is a game night that is hosted by PALs, FYE, and Student Life, aimed to provide both resources and social engagement for new students to help them navigate campus and become involved in campus life. 

FYE and PAL not only provide new students with some fantastic events to help first-year students settle in on campus, but both programs also help with many other aspects in helping first-year students.   

“The effects of these programs have residual effects on students who remain at CU Denver and obtain their degrees from this institution in a multitude of ways.” Jessica LaTerra, a student who works with both programs, said. “For example, students who take an FYE class and have a PAL are more likely to become involved in campus. Students who are involved typically have higher GPAs and the retention rates are much higher.”

In many ways, both programs help support first-year students on campus by giving them PALs, whose role is critical because they serve as peer-to-peer support for new students and also help assist new students in their transition to CU Denver. FYE is designed to provide a welcoming and supportive learning environment for new students on campus.   

These programs set up students for success at CU Denver by offering many different resources. Christy Heaton, who is the Director of the First-Year Experience program, said, “FYE provides students with a connection to … academic advising, financial literacy, academic writing, critical thinking, service learning, mentorship, student life, information literacy, wellness, time management, study skills, diversity and inclusion, career and major exploration.” 

Both programs can ease students into their first year. “I would definitely recommend the FYE program to new students because of the way in which the program calms any worries, teaches you about the resources and centers on campus available to you, as well as introduces you to other freshmen who may be feeling the exact same things.” Jordan Knedler, a previous FYE student, said. “You make great friends, meet other students, and learn valuable lessons that you will take with you throughout your college experience.”

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