First Year Experience Program finds continued success

By Janet Lira, Advocate Staff

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The First Year Experience Program, formerly known as the Promise Program, is helping new college students navigate the campus easier for a successful college experience and future.

The program concentrates on providing guidance to fresh out of high school students entering community college.

Coaches and leaders assist new students as they register for classes, financial aid applications and give out information about the tools they can use around campus and in the Student Services Center.

Educational workshops are set up by the coaches for additional aid and to have those in the program connect with each other. Students are also provided dedicated counselors to help them plan their career and answer any questions through counseling appointments.

During their first year in the program, students will be enrolled in counseling classes during their first, second and summer semester.

There are currently approximately 260 students enrolled in the program and administrators are still welcoming more. Students can sign up through the school website contracosta.edu in the Admissions + Aid tab.

Application, eligibility and participation requires students to have a high school diploma or equivalent, complete an educational plan and submit a First Year Experience application through the website.

The full list of requirements, eligibility and participation can be found on the website with links to submit applications.

A new club, “Compass Segue” has also been created through the First Year program as another branch of aid for new students by offering peer-to-peer support. The club also creates events and opportunities for campus and community engagement and will meet Thursday in SA-107.

Desirae McNeil, a coach for the First Year program, can be contacted for more information. First Year Experience is a second-year program with plenty of support the campus community.

“We strive to help new students feel more comfortable navigating tools the school offers to have a smooth transition from high school to community college,” McNeil said.

For more information about the program, educational coaches McNeil, Tiana McKneely and Joel Nickelson-Shanks can be found in the First Year Offices located in the Career/Transfer Center in SA-227.

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