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What is First Year Initiative?

First Year Initiative (FYI) is a uniquely designed program made to help firstyear students transition to university life. Students attend Welcome Weekend before the start of the semester. A course called General Studies 101 is also incorporated to the program, which is taught by a Faculty Mentor and a PEP Leader.


What is Welcome Weekend?

Welcome Weekend takes place the three days before the fall semester begins. Students signed up for General Studies are expected to attend Welcome Weekend, and by traveling around campus they will listen to guest speakers, get to know their peers, become familiar with campus, and attend their first few General Studies 101 classes with their PEP Class.


When is Welcome Weekend?

Welcome Weekend starts Thursday, August 18th! We begin check-in at 8:00 am in the University Center Ballroom. That is also Move-In Day for the residence halls so feel free to come by at any time until 2:00 pm. We kick off official Welcome Weekend activities at 3:00 pm with the first GENS 101 class for students and a parent and family session for families and friends. Welcome Weekend activities last through Sunday. full schedule will be available soon!


What is General Studies 101?

General Studies 101, also known as Gens 101, is a 2-credit course that meetsevery Monday and Wednesday (and occasional Fridays) of the fall semester,12-12:50 p.m., taught by a departmental faculty member (called a FacultyMentor) and a PEP Leader (student mentor). Students learn valuableinformation about UTM, complete learning outcomes, and learn how to have asuccessful first semester. 93% of entering students enroll in General Studies101.


What is a PEP Leader, PEP Class?

A PEP Leader (Peer-Enabling Program Leader) is an upperclassman student whose job it is to assist their PEP Students in a smooth college life transition. These students work as a friend, role model, coach, tour guide, and resource for their students.

A PEP Class is what the group of students within one General Studies Class is called. This group will meet during General Studies and experience their first semester together. They are all a part of the same department or major and will travel through Welcome Weekend as a group together, with their PEP Leader guiding them.


How do I see if my child is signed up for First Year Initiative/General Studies?

By signing up for SOAR (Summer Orientation and Registration), they should be signed up for First Year Initiative during class registration. To see if they are signed up, login to their “my UTMartin” account at utm.edu, click Banner Self-Service > Students > Student Detail Schedule.


How can my child sign up for General Studies 101 if they didn’t at SOAR?

They can sign up for the course during FYI/Welcome Weekend check-in on Thursday, August 19th. They can also reach out to their academic advisor. Both of these methods will ensure your student is in the correct section with their major.


What are the benefits to FYI/General Studies 101?

The First Year Initiative Program is extremely beneficial to first-year students in terms of understanding their way around campus, getting to know their peers, knowing what resources are on campus, and how to succeed in their first semester of college. The ten-year first semester grade point average for firstyear students enrolled in General Studies 101 is 3.0 compared to 2.5 for those students who chose not to enroll.


Is there a fee for the FYI program? What does it cover?

There is a $180 fee added to your student’s fees that covers their participation in the FYI program. This covers a variety of things including materials, t-shirts, entertainment, educational programs, and pay for faculty mentors and PEP Leaders.


Will General Studies 1o1 factor into GPA calculation/scholarships?

General Studies 101 is graded A-F by the Faculty Mentor and does factor into the Tennessee Hope Lottery Scholarship and the student’s overall GPA. 75% of students earn an “A” in General Studies 101.


What’s the difference between a 2-credit class and a one-hour class?

A 2-credit class means that it contributes 2 class credits to the overall amount of class credits a student needs to graduate. A one-hour class means that the class itself only meets for one hour (12-12:50 p.m.).


What is the difference between an Advisor and a Faculty Mentor?

An advisor is a departmental faculty member within the student’s major who a student is assigned to after their first semester for the remainder of their college experience. The student will meet with their advisor to discuss things like signing up for next semester classes, major changes, career options, and more.


A Faculty Mentor is a departmental faculty member who teaches a General Studies course. The Faculty Mentor serves as a student’s advisor during their first semester

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