The Office of Undergraduate Education

First Year Leaders

First Year Leaders (FYLs) assist professors who teach the required Freshman Seminar course and mentor new students during one-on-one meetings outside of class.

FYLs are required to enroll in credit/no credit leadership classes, teach topics associated with the Freshman Seminar, mentor first year students, and meet regularly with their Freshman Seminar instructor of record.

Applicants must be a sophomore or junior at the time of application, have a 3.0 GPA or higher, submit application materials, and participate in interviews.

If you’re interested in applying to be a FYL, please attend our upcoming virtual info sessions where you’ll hear from current FYLs about their experiences preparing for and teaching Freshman Seminar classes:

  • Tuesday, September 5 from 4:00-5:00 PM (Teams Meeting)
  • Wednesday, September 6 from 5:00-6:00 PM (Teams Meeting)
  • Thursday, September 7 from 5:00-6:00 PM in GR 4.208
  • Monday, September 11 from 6:00-7:00 PM (Teams Meeting)
  • Thursday, September 14 from 6:00-7:00 in FO 2.208
  • Monday, September 18 from 6:00-7:00 (Teams Meeting)

For additional information about First Year Leaders, contact Dr. JD Thomas at

First Year Leaders are:


First year students want to make friends and their satisfaction with college often depends on feeling connected to others. FYLs are companions who support new students and help them make friends with classmates.


First year students may feel overwhelmed due to information overload, unfamiliarity with campus locations, and confusing terminology. FYLs help new students connect to resources, services, campus activities, and learn university “language,” all of which positively influence graduation rates.


First year students must learn how to succeed in college, both academically and socially. FYLs act as mentors and teach new students about topics with which they have a high level of credibility, such as those related to behavior, lifestyle, and the university social scene.


First year students want the support of others who can offer help when necessary. FYLs can advocate on behalf of students, teach them how to advocate for themselves, and direct them to on-campus resources and services when help is needed.