Tuesday, June 12, 2007
Living-learning floor opens for undecided students
By Rebecca Wyatt Thomas, OU Web Writer
Many freshmen come to Oakland University undecided about their majors and future career paths. In order to help the undecided students learn more about OU, themselves and each other, New Student Programs, the Advising Resource Center and University Housing have developed My FYE, a living-learning community for undecided first year students. Each of the 22 students in the program will live on the same floor in Hamlin Hall, attend some of the same classes and learn about the campus resources available to them.
A Peer Learning Assistant (PLA) will be assigned to the floor and help the students with any problems they might have and also engage them in activities. Sophomore Rebecca Siljanovski was selected to serve as the first PLA.
“My friends have always seen me as the motherly figure and through this role I can help the new students and get their OU experience off to a good start,” Siljanovski said.
A nursing major, Siljanovski made the decision to go into the medical profession before graduating from high school, but she said she understands what the students are going through in selecting a major and finding an area where they fit in.
Siljanovski, who was selected after an interview and presentation, wants students to set goals and she, along with the other My FYE leaders, will show the students how OU can help them attain those dreams.
Siljanovski participated in COM 101 where she said she was introduced to campus resources like the Student Technology Center, Academic Skills Center, Advising Resource Center and others, and she wants to share those with new students.
“I want to make sure that everyone has an idea of what’s going on and how to use all the tools available to them,” Siljanovski said.
Students can elect to participate in the My FYE program during orientation. Anyone who chooses to participate must plan to live in the residence halls.
“Through the program, students will complete three courses together; Rhetoric 150, History 115 and Collegiate Communication 101. They will also participate in out-of-class activities that complement what they are learning inside the classroom,” said Sara Webb, coordinator of New Student Programs. “We will also start introducing the students to tools they can use to envision themselves in potential majors and careers.”
There are also possibilities for residents of the floor to participate in activities together such as attending sporting events, forming a small group to work out , forming an intramural sports team, attending lectures and movie nights in the lounge.
“We are all going through the same things. I am just as excited and nervous about things as the incoming students. We’ll all get to know each other and help each other,” Siljanovski said.
The rhetoric class will be taught by Timothy Briggs, recipient of the 2007 Excellence in Teaching Award. The history class will be taught by Cara Shelly.
My FYE will formally kick off with a welcome event for participants and their parents following Convocation, which will be held Tuesday, Sept. 4 from 3-5 p.m. in the O’rena.
For first-year students who aren’t able to live on campus, two other programs, COM 101 and Connections, are available which help students connect with classmates and learn about campus resources. For more information contact New Student Programs at (248) 370-4418.
For more information on My FYE, contact the Advising Resource Center at (248) 370-3227 or ask about it during orientation.