North is Community. Collaboration. Support.
Your first year at college will be filled with change. New surroundings, new challenges, a new community. We're here to help make your transition as smooth as possible. As you adjust to being a college student at Northern Vermont University–Johnson, our First-Year Experience program will help you with decisions about your academic path, introduce you to campus resources to boost your success, and give you opportunities to make friends with other NVU students.
You'll discover academic advising residence halls; clubs, sports, and other activities; and much more.
FYE is the starting point for new students, but we’re here to support you the whole time you’re at NVU. Many students drop by long after their first year ends to say “hello” to our staff, get mentoring, or grab snacks.
NVU-Johnson First-Year Experience Programs
Summer SOAR: Student Orientation, Advising, and Resources
SOAR is an all-day campus event where you’ll meet staff and administrators who will make your transition smoother.
You’ll attend sessions on financial aid and student employment, academic advising and support services, IT help, student life, and the Common Reading Initiative, which begins with a shared summer reading experience. We’ll also take your student ID photo — and you’ll leave with your fall class schedule.
Families can get their questions answered about financial aid, payment, housing, and student support.
All first-year students and transfer students must attend.
Fall Orientation takes place the weekend before our opening convocation, an official welcome to all students, after which classes begin.
You’ll explore campus life as you talk with your academic advisor; meet student leaders; learn about public safety, student life, and health resources; and more. You’ll get your first taste of college-level discussion and analysis as you participate in a small-group discussion of the year’s Common Reading text.
As you settle into your new home, be prepared for other fun activities: parties, games, concerts, and hanging out with your new friends.
Academic advising helps you identify education and life goals and keeps you on track with your classes. You’ll meet with your advisor numerous times during the academic year, starting at Fall Orientation, to talk about scheduling, course selection, the registration process, your academic progress, and any concerns you may have.
Common Reading Initiative
All first-year students participate in this semester-long program that starts with a shared reading during summer on themes such as diversity and inclusion and working through challenges. Exhibits, talks, and other related programming are scheduled all semester. You’ll have opportunities to share your thoughts on important issues in the supportive space of small groups. It’s a powerful way to immerse yourself in NVU’s mission and deepen connections to your peers.
Learn more about past years' common readings.
Expand your horizons by attending a range of campus events. You’ll earn academic credit for attending fun, diverse campus programs, such as films, lectures, performances, athletics events, and art exhibits. Learn more about Creative Audience.
Cosmetics, songwriting, math puzzles, community-building, New Orleans culture — those are some recent topics of our First-Year Seminars. You choose which three-credit class you take from our wide-ranging, interdisciplinary mix.
In these small, collaborative classes, geared to first-year students, you’ll be with peers who share your interest. It’s a challenging but supportive environment to help you adjust to college-level academics and build bonds with your classmates.
Second Semester Reboot
Welcome back to campus after the break! The new semester is a good time to look back on the fall semester. What did you learn about yourself? What worked well, and what should you change? What do you need to be successful this semester?
Motivating talks by NVU President Elaine Collins and a faculty member will inspire you as you focus your efforts on a successful spring semester.
A big part of college success is making connections — with other students and with your professors. And as a first-year student at NVU, there’s no better way to build connections than joining a Learning Community, or LC.
LCs are small groups of students who take two classes together and participate in a variety of activities all organized around a common theme that matches your interests — so from day one you’re making friends with people who share those interests. And because LCs are small, you’re building close-knit relationships with your professors as well.
Residential Life and Service Learning Programs
The college transition and living in a community can bring stress with the change. Homesickness, roommate relationships, peer pressure, managing time, and maintaining a healthy diet are common concerns of new students. We’ll keep you posted on programs during the year that can help you adjust.
Service learning is an integral part of the NVU experience. Many students volunteer and have leadership roles with community-based projects around the U.S. and in other countries. You’ll learn about these opportunities early in your first semester.
For first-year students who start at NVU-Johnson in the spring semester, our two-day Winter SOAR offers sessions on financial aid, academic advising and support, and other important information. You’ll also get to know other new students.