students writing notesTransform First Year prepares new students in the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences for university-level study.

Program aims to prep students for first-year experience

This summer, the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences (FAHSS) launched its university preparedness program, “Transform First Year,” for its incoming students coming from high school. Both domestic and international students are enrolled in the program.

“Transform First Year is a program designed to help with school readiness for first-year students,” says Tony Vo, student experience co-ordinator in FAHSS. “We know that students are eager to start their university experience, so we wanted to offer them a program that mirrors what their first-year experience could be.”

Sessions are held both in person and online and led by Vo and a team of upper-year mentors. Local students are attending in-person sessions, while out-of-town and international students join the sessions online. The kick-off event was held June 30 with weekly sessions running through July and August. The program attracted 50 incoming students.

Participants are required to review online modules, join online discussions and team challenges, meet with their team lead once a week during mentor meeting sessions or online activities, and participate in Windsor Wednesday on the UWin FAHSS App.

“I chose to do Transform because it immediately appealed to me to learn the ropes of how university functions and how I can be the best possible student I can be,” says Catie Lenover, an incoming film production student.

“University is also a time where there is a higher chance of meeting lifelong friends and creating connections. This is something I hope to gain by the end of Transform.”

She notes that the mentoring gives incoming students the facts on what university will be like and how to best prepare for it.

“I have learned so much, especially the importance of being an independent learner and what it takes to LEAD (a reference to the LEAD Scholars program) in this next stage of our lives,” Lenover says.

Aysha Mian says the program has made her feel better equipped to begin her studies in psychology.

“I felt unprepared to go to university. I only knew a few people from my faculty, roughly understood how the university systems worked, and had only stepped foot on campus once before Transform,” she says. “The idea of university was overwhelming to say the least. That changed after starting Transform. I had the opportunity to learn about the university, the opportunities, and the services it provides.”

Transform First Year concludes on Sept. 1 with the Transform Close Off Ceremony.