About First Year Experience
First Year Experience (FYE) is committed to supporting all of the newest members of our university ‘ohana (family). Our mission is to build a foundation for student’s full academic and social integration into the campus through the development of long lasting connections to other students, faculty, staff and student support resources; to build a supportive learning environment that promotes academic success; and to create a commitment to and understanding of what it means to be a proud member of our UH Hilo ‘ohana.
Creating Connections is important for our new student to feel connected. We want to connect students to each other, building long lasting friendships and support networks. We want to connect students to faculty to help them see that professors are people too and thereby making it easier to stop by during office hours or engage more fully in their classes. We want to connect students to all of the many campus resources and staff that run them so that when they’re struggling with something, they are aware of what resources are available to them on campus and who the people are that are available to help and support them.
- First Year Students
- Transfer Students
Promoting Academic Success
By promoting academic success we support the main reason that our students are here at UH Hilo. We help them earn higher grades and have the confidence in their own skills to be a successful student. Activities and initiatives that promote strong academics, a connection to their major, developing critical thinking skills, and continued learning both inside and outside the classroom are an integral component of a successful Vulcan graduate.
Developing a sense of ʻohana amongst our newest students is also a focus area for us. That feeling of pride when you think about how awesome it is to be a Vulcan, that warm fuzzy feeling you have when you feel like this is your home, your community, your family. That means creating traditions that’ll last for years to come, supporting Vulcan Athletics and other great Vulcan activities, and helping people fill their closet with nothing but red, black, and white clothes.
The Staff of the First Year Experience office consists of a Director, Student Ambassadors who are Mentors and assist with planning Orientation.
The Director is Shara Mahoe. The role of the Director is to coordinate and direct campus initiatives involving new students. Additionally, the Director is responsible for the supervision of the Student Ambassadors and the Peer Mentor program. She coordinates the Fall and Spring Orientation Program, ensuring that new students to the university are transitioned, welcomed, and oriented to what is needed to be a successful UH Hilo graduate. She also assists with the coordination of the Living Learning Community program where First Year students with a shared interest live together in one of our residence halls and take a shared academic course together each semester.
The Student Ambassador position is a year-long leadership opportunity. They play a key role in our Peer Mentor Program During Orientation, these students not only help to manage the operational aspects of the events, but also engage and support our newest students, parents, and families throughout the week. They act as a resource, answering questions, providing directions, getting to know our newest students, and providing a sense of welcoming to our campus ‘ohana. Additionally, Student Ambassadors reach out to new students over the summer before they arrive welcoming them, answering questions about UH Hilo, and getting them excited about their new experience.