What does the Office of First-Year Experience do for students?
Student Transitions and Outreach (STO) supports the success of all first-year students, freshmen and transfers. We do this through:
- Supporting students’ understanding of the values and traditions of Loyola University Chicago
- Offering services that help students with the challenges of transition,
- Advocating for new students’ needs and interests
- Coordinating University-wide initiatives to foster partnerships aimed at student success
We are committed to empowering students to learn, to grow as well-rounded individuals, and to become graduates of Chicago’s Jesuit Catholic University. Our programs include:
Every new student participates in the New Student Orientation program before beginning at Loyola. This is a unique time to start building connections on campus, to meet your advisor and register for classes, and to begin acclimating to the Loyola community.
Loyola’s first-year students read the same book over the summer. The text is meant to give the incoming class a common experience and an example of the values and mission held dear at Loyola. The key concepts drawn from the First-Year Text will remain relevant throughout the first semester as many will be utilized in the first-year writing classes.
First-Year Essay Contest
Each year, first-year students are invited to share their reflections on the First-Year Text in what might be their first college essay. Submissions to the Year 1 Essay Contest will be considered for a variety of prizes.
Communities in Conversation
C-in-C events are designed for Loyola students to gather as a community of learners. Each year, the C-in-C program offers speakers, workshops, films, and discussions focused on a theme from the First-Year Text. Each event features a variety of individuals connected to the Loyola community.
This retreat is an opportunity to gain a better understanding of the Jesuit mission and identity as well as a sense of community through the common 360 experience. At each retreat students will experience the exciting activities planned for the weekend which include our challenge course and discussions on topics related to first-year student life. Everyone will have the opportunity to take some time away from Loyola’s urban campus environment and explore the beautiful grounds of Loyola’s Retreat and Ecology Campus (LUREC).
Loyola Seminar Courses (UNIV 102)
These one-credit classes provide Loyola’s first-year students with an academic experience that exposes them to active and collaborative learning in a supportive environment. Seminars are offered within several of Loyola’s Major areas of study, exposing students to the discipline as a possible Major. Importantly, no background knowledge in the topic area is needed for students, as they are encouraged to explore new areas of interest.
STO works with Loyola’s student group of first-generation college students to help link students to important people and resources at Loyola. The program creates opportunities to build community with peers and professionals through academic programs, networking, and social events.
Loyola Break Events
STO plans and highlights programing and events during academic breaks for students who stay on campus during holidays and times when classes aren’t in session during the academic year. Events will be highlighted in the weekly newsletter that goes out to all first-year students leading up to the breaks.
This program is designed to support first-year students’ transition to Loyola’s campus. The program will enhance the first-year experience by connecting students with campus professionals and fellow peers while building community on campus. Each student is paired with a faculty or staff member who will reach out and invite their small group of students to participate in events on or around campus.
Why should a new student contact the STO staff?
Lots of reasons! Here are a few:
- To talk to someone about the transition to college. We meet one-on-one with students all year long to discuss the college transition and talk about ways to find your fit at Loyola;
- To sign up for one of our programs, or suggest new programs that might be of interest to new students; or
- To explore leadership opportunities in the office, such as office staff positions, Orientation Leader or College Coach mentoring positions.
Contact us any time!
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