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First Year Experience

Flagler College's first year experience program helps you as a new student transition into our campus community. A community that is uniquely situated in the nation's oldest city and is dedicated to your academic success and development.

This program will help you integrate into the intellectual, cultural, and social life of the college. We do this through:

  • Active learning:You will be challenged to engage in class and collaborate with your professors and classmates, building your own personalized academic and co-curricular experience.
  • Personalized support:From your CACE Advisor to your faculty and mentors, you will have a team surrounding you even before you arrive to campus.

The Common Read

Each year, Flagler selects a book that will provide a foundation for a common academic experience among incoming students. First Year students are mailed a copy of the book the summer before their first term, along with a welcome letter from Flagler’s President. The book serves as common text in the First Year Seminar.

2020-2021 SELECTION

This year’s selection is the graphic memoir The Best We Could Do by Thi Bui. The book addresses critical issues about identity, displacement and assimilation, race, and political and historical movements and their impact on people. This powerful and timely narrative will open the door to substantial and important conversations and journeys of self-exploration and personal reflection as you each think about your own familial histories, your sense of culture and identity, and understanding of crucial historical events.

To prepare you for your class discussions on the book, you will complete an annotation assignment before you arrive to campus.

If annotation is a new skill for you, don’t worry! The First Year Seminar faculty will host virtual workshops the week of July 20th to help you get started and to answer your questions. Look for more information on these workshops with the Roar Up Orientation information you will receive soon.

About the Book

Bui tells the story of her family’s journey out of Vietnam as part of the exodus that occurred at the end of the Vietnam War. Throughout her tale she addresses many key issues about identity, displacement, assimilation, family, history, and race. She does this by blending the written word with images. She uses a variety of metaphors and idioms to convey these crucial ideas.

Once you have read the book through once in its entirety, it is then time to go back for a closer reading and to engage and interact with the text more thoughtfully. On your second read, you will practice annotating the text.

Annotation is a critical skill you will need for college success. Annotation enables you to more fully understand the main arguments the author is making. It helps you to track key points the author makes to support their arguments, and this will help prepare you for class discussions and writing prompts.

To annotate your text, as you read you should:

  • Underline or highlight key words, points, and ideas;
  • Underline, highlight, or mark parts of the text where the author addresses identity, displacement, assimilation, family, history, or race;
  • Using a notebook, a word document, or even in the margins of the text, note your own thoughts or responses to the key points you marked;
  • Include questions you have about the text in your notes.

Academic Orientation

Academic Orientation seeks to prepare students for college life, and the Flagler academic experiences in particular. In short, we want to begin to work on tools for academic success, and help you transition into the start of classes feeling more confident and comfortable. Academic Orientation events will take place during the Roar Up Virtual Summer Orientation as well as during Welcome Week. Stay tuned for more details and a schedule of events coming soon!

First Year Seminar

The First Year Seminar seeks to assist new students as they transition to college and a new community. It will provide you with the skills and practical knowledge you’ll need for success in college. But more than that, this class will be your first chance to engage in real college-level critical thought about self and world; about the value and responsibilities of citizenship in diverse democracy. First Year Seminar is taught by faculty from various disciplines across the Flagler Campus. They each bring their own passions and interests into the classroom.

Though all sections have some texts in common, no two First Year Seminars are exactly alike. You may read about political philosophy and the history of science. You may explore cultural meanings of business and entertainment. You may stand beside Socrates as he considers leaving this world for the good of his city, and beside Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. as he tries to make the world better. You may explore your new home by foot, bike, or kayak, and will get connected to campus resources that will be critical during your transition. And throughout it all, you will form a community with your professor, peers, and mentor.


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