Transitioning To A New School

With opportunity to excel in all avenues, Florida A&M University boasts a unique challenge for freshman in the class of 2018.

The university offers 74 undergraduate degree programs, a freshmen orientation class — also known as SLS — to prepare students and first year experience mentors (FYE).

According to Angela Peterson, coordinator, enrollment veteran service for the office of the University Registrar the preliminary number of students enrolled currently for the fall semester is 10,220.  

According to Barbara Cox, the director of admissions, the number of admitted freshmen is 2,151. The total number of transfers, including ones from community college, is 516.

The university registrar office provides a newsletter to assist in the transition for FAMU students. The steps include: getting advised, removing all holds and registering online.

SLS is designed for freshmen students to learn the history of the university and the different scenarios that they could experience throughout their college experience. The class is used to aide students in their adjustment and preparation for collegiate level courses expectations.

Professor Katisa Donaldson, masters of social work field director, currently teaches the freshmen first year experience-college transition class.

“The freshmen are a diverse [group] of students and my goal is to teach them the mission and history of FAMU and help them understand that they are the first class under female leadership. I have about 65 students, and I think they are open to guidance and willing to apply themselves,” Donaldson said.

The class of 2018 is the first class under the first female president of the university, Elmira Mangum. The class of 2018 will have a different experience as Dr. Mangum is preparing new changes for the university during her reign.

Jameison Walker a sophomore business administration student serves as a first year experience (FYE) mentor for the class of 2018.

“The prep program is a good program to help students transition to college well, the class provides learning skills different from other courses critical thinking, money and time management and how to network,” Walker said.

David Dingle, a freshman pre-nursing student from Miami, agrees with that sentiment.

“I look forward to attending my SLS class every week. The SLS course is a great way to get students to break out of their shells to interact with fellow Rattlers and show appreciation for their university,” Dingle said.

Still in the early stages, the SLS and FYE programs look to become a staple of the university for the foreseeable future.