First Year Experience

First Year Experience Staff and Counsellors

Carolyn Hymon
Director of FYE
All first year students enter Rust College through the First Year Experience Program (FYEP). The purpose of FYE is to further the goals of Rust College by providing a quality program of general education which meets the needs of students at different levels of ability and academic preparation. 

FYE is committed to offering students academic learning experiences that will prepare them for successful undergraduate academic careers culminating in a baccalaureate degree from Rust College. The primary goals of FYE are to provide academic and retention programs to new students that promote intellectual and social development leading to academic success. These goals are accomplished based on students’ individual needs and preparation. 

Thus, FYE provides academic support and instructional services to include counseling, tutoring and advisement that will maximize retention and promote successful achievement in college. All first year students must complete a general education program consisting of 55hours of requirements in the humanities, natural sciences, and social science.

First Year Experience assists students in making the transition to college and connecting them with academic and non-academic resources necessary for retention, graduation and career placements.

OASIS (Optimizing Academic Success, Improving Students):
Students will receive orientation for two weeks to prepare them for their college career. OASIS is Rust College’s way of ensuring that new students are prepared for becoming part of the Rust College community. This is an opportunity for students to be introduced to their academic program, policies, curriculum and degree requirements. Students will be advised, registered, given their student ID, NETID and password (ID and password to gain access to the internet and Blackboard).

Grades First is a web-based student performance monitoring system that provides automated student services and communication between faculty, academic advisors, Student Support Services staff, and students.  The program allows FYE Advisors to monitor class attendance, track class assignments, and manage students’ advising and tutorial appointments. Grades First will assist in facilitating communication between all parties involved in the student’s success efforts and will provide early alerts for students that may be at-risk academically.   Grades First Early Alert pinpoints at-risk students early in the term to allow for intervention when students need it most. Grades First makes it easy to intervene and provide the student the support they need most.


College Orientation 111 (ORT-111) & College Orientation 112 (ORT-112) are mandatory for all students that are first time in college.  ORT-111 is taught by FYE advisors and ORT-112 is taught collaboratively by FYE Advisors and Division Chairs for each program of study. This course is designed to acquaint entering students with the fundamental aspects of college life in a religious and culturally diverse setting.  Emphasis is placed on the history of Rust College, college policy and procedures, course selection, study methods, class attendance and academic advisement. In short, this College Orientation Class is designed to increase students’ success in college by assisting them in developing and expanding their academic and life skills.  Its primary goal is to assist students in making a successful transition to higher education while acclimating them to campus life through an awareness of opportunities and resources available.