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Freshmen Experience

Focus seminar with freshmen students

The D'Youville Freshman Experience (DFX) is a program designed to help you successfully adjust to college life.

Transitioning from high school to college can be challenging and stressful. D'Youville's Freshman Experience (DFX) gives first-year students the individualized attention they need to adjust to college life and be successful. 

It all starts with orientation for new students in July. 

orientation: What to Expect

During the two-day, two-night New Student Orientation, you'll meet fellow members of your incoming class, meet with your academic advisor and faculty and staff. You'll plan your fall course schedule, stay for 2 nights in a residence hall, learn about campus resources and get all of your questions answered.

During Orientation:

  • You'll meet students, including freshmen and upperclassmen, faculty and staff
  • Take a Skills Assessment Inventory (SAI) to learn your academic strengths and weaknesses
  • Get a customized action plan designed to make sure you have the tools you'll need for success in your academic program
  • Meet with your academic advisor and plan your fall course schedule
  • Meet your Mentor

More information can be found on the New Student Orientation page.

Freshman Mentor Program

Studies show a correlation between a young person's involvement in a quality mentoring relationship and positive academic outcomes. D'Youville's Freshman Mentor Program matches freshmen students with a mentor on campus for their first semester. Your mentor may be a professor, staff member or even an upperclassman.

Mentors provide their mentees with an experienced friend on campus who is there to help point you in the right direction, explain policy and procedures, answer questions and remind you of important events.

How Mentoring Works:

  • All freshmen are assigned mentors at New Student Orientation in July.
  • In the fall during their first semester, all freshman receive a work-study position with their assigned mentor. Working hours are flexible and range from 3 to 7 hours per week.
  • Students write a mandatory FOCUS 101 paper about their mentor

Freshman focus seminar (Focus 101)

All freshman students are enrolled in FOCUS 101 during their first semester on campus. These small, interactive classes help students learn more about their transition to college and become connected to the DYC community. FOCUS 101 meets once a week in the fall semester (1 hour and 15 minutes) and doesn't carry academic credit.

Class Topics and Experiences

  • Learn and practice methods helpful for college success including time management, study skills, and career research
  • Take part in community service events on Buffalo's west side, including York Street Clean Up, service at the community garden, social activity promotion and more.
  • Course criteria may be made of journal entries, mentor interview paper, collecting fact cards across campus and a final paper
  • Freshman gatherings bring together the entire class to hear about important topics