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First-Year Experience

Going from high school to college is a big transition. TLU faculty, staff, and Peer Mentors are here to help you understand more about specific course requirements for first-year students.

What Are Academics Like During My First Year At TLU?

The Office of First-Year and Student Transitions also coordinates Bulldog Orientation and a wide range of programs focusing on support for specialized student populations and campus wide retention efforts on the first year and students in transition.

The office is home to such programs as Peer Mentors, Parent & Family support, and academic and social initiatives for transfers, athletes, veterans and first-generation students.

Freshmen Experience Course

FREX 134: Exploring the Arts and Sciences is a three-hour credit course designed to bring TLU first-year students into a multi-generational community of learning. By engaging texts written out of diverse disciplines and participating in curricular and co-curricular activities, this course introduces students to the multiple facets of TLU’s educational mission.

Special attention is focused on developing critically reflective reading skills at a university level. Transfer students who graduated from high school at least one year prior and have 24 hours or more of transferable credit are exempt from taking the course

Peer Mentors

Peer Mentors assist first-year students during orientation and throughout the year with their personal and academic transition into the TLU community. From facilitating and planning orientation activities to attending all FREX 134 classes to organizing social activities outside of class, Peer Mentors not only guide students through their first year, they experience it with them. Each Peer Mentor has an individual page on MyTLU where their FREX students can get to know them better and use as an additional resource about the course.

Peer Mentors are assigned to the Freshman Experience courses and have good academic and discipline records, have demonstrated their commitment to TLU through leadership and involvement and come highly recommended from TLU faculty and staff. Students interested in becoming Peer Mentors can find qualification information, requirements and application information on MyTLU.

Students not enrolled in FREX 134 still experience the TLU community and build a strong support network through programs specially designed for transfer students. More information about Transfer Socials can be found on MyTLU.

Paw Print Modules

Reflective Paw Print Modules give students an opportunity to apply the knowledge they have gained in class to activities outside the classroom and in the community. Reflective modules are an important and unique feature of TLU's general education program, Compass.

Students enroll in the Paw Print Module their first semester at TLU. This reflective module meets once each month for one hour to help students better understand Compass and its requirements and create an academic plan.

Students are required to take four reflective modules before they graduate and are encouraged to complete all modules by the end of the sophomore year.