About First Year Programs

View our mission statement and strategic priorities using the Sustainable Academic Business Plan. This is our framework to maintain excellence in program delivery, in light of the current drivers in our community. The plan outlines the short and long term that will sustain the work into the near future.

Our work is guided by the following methods:

  • Intentionality - We use current assessment, research, and best practices to make decisions.
  • Collaboration - We develop transparent and collaborative relationships with campus and community partners.
  • Diversity and Inclusion - We understand that all students have unique stories, and we support their individual learning paths.

First Year Programs is a part of Undergraduate Academic Affairs (UAA).  In UAA our work should be inspiring, experimental, and visionary. We develop, assess, and evaluate programming and curriculum by answering the following questions:

  • Is UAA doing the work we should be doing?
  • How are we able to be truly imaginative with this work?
  • Can we re-imagine the work in way to push boundaries of the undergraduate student experience?
  • Advising & Orientation

    Advising & Orientation (A&O) sessions provide new students their introduction to the UW community. Every A&O session combines academic advising, course registration, and an introduction to campus resources. We offer many different session types that cater to the wide ranging needs of our student body.

  • Commuter and Transfer Commons

    The Commuter and Transfer Commons helps student living at home, commuting to and or transfered to the UW, create a sense of identity within the larger University community. The CTC focuses on programs and outreach services for students who do not live on campus or the University District.

  • Dawg Daze

    Each autumn, the UW campus begins the quarter with Dawg Daze, a week of welcome with more than 250 welcome events designed to help new and returning students connect with the campus, explore opportunities, and get involved with programs and services that relate to their interests.

  • First-year Interest Groups

    For more than 30 years, First-year Interest Groups (FIGs) have helped students to seamlessly transition to life at the UW. FIGs allow first-year freshman and transfer students to enroll in the same schedule as 20-25 other new students. In addition to the same schedule, FIG students also participate in a seminar taught by trained FIG Leader and designed to position new students to take full advantage of the UW.

  • University Seminars

    The University Seminar program offers first-year students the opportunity to engage in an academic topic with a UW faculty or staff member. The Seminars, often with interdisciplinary topics, are small discussion-based courses usually reserved for junior or senior undergraduates.

  • FIG Clustering

    We involve UW faculty and staff members in planning each year's FIG courses to create clusters of courses that will complement each other, and allow students to experience some of the university's most exciting course offerings in their first quarter.

  • Parent Orientation

    Parent Orientation is a day-long series of presentations, workshops, and tours for parents and families of first year students. Parent Orientation is offered in June, July, and August in conjunction with the second day of the student Advising & Orientation (A&O) program.