Freshman Advising

As a freshman at Fisher, you won't be on your own. We offer a number of programs and services designed to help you transition from high school to college.

The following programs are all part of what we call the First-Year Program at Fisher. Taken together, these programs will help you adjust to your new surroundings and acquire the skills necessary to address the challenges and opportunities of college life.

First-Year Seminar (ITDY 101)

First-Year Seminar is a 1-credit course that fosters academic success, personal growth, and career exploration. Designed as an orientation to university life, the class meets once a week, led by a Freshman Seminar leader, who also serves as your academic advisor over the course of your freshman year. The seminar leader is assisted by a current student acting as a peer advisor. Class discussions include issues such as personal wellness, community, diversity, goal-setting, study skills, time and stress management, and the ins-and-outs of successfully navigating the academic world of St. John Fisher University.

Learning Communities (LC)

In your Learning Community, faculty from two different academic disciplines teach two linked courses sharing a common theme, giving you the opportunity to learn about a topic from at least two perspectives. You will explore topics of social importance both in discussions and in writing. Past Learning Community topics have included, "Work in America," "The Fog of War," "YRU? Nature and Nurture in Human Development," "Living with Other Gods," and "Empowering the Powerless."

Learning Communities target writing, discussion, research, and group work skills as the first step in improving your ability to succeed in college. Since you will be meeting with the same group of students for both classes, you'll form close friendships that will complement the academic objectives of your first semester.

Research-based Writing (DEPT 1299)

In this course, you will learn the basics of writing an academic research paper, with an emphasis on the research process, elements of persuasive argumentation, proper use and documentation of sources, integration of more than one perspective on an issue, and the revision process. You also will learn to make an effective oral presentation of your research.

You may choose to register for a 199 section in any department, regardless of your major. Past topics have included "Scientific Writing," "Literature and Politics," "Computers, Communication, and Culture," "Political Tolerance," and "African American Cinema." Check out 3690, Fisher's online journal of first-year student research writing, for examples of student writing.

Great Beginnings Orientation

Great Beginnings is a half-day orientation session designed to introduce you and your families to life at Fisher. The program offers you the opportunity to meet with current students, faculty, staff, and freshman advisors.

You will attend sessions to familiarize yourself with the academic program, the First-Year Program, and other aspects of college life (clubs/activities, living on campus, athletics, scholar programs, etc.). There will be plenty of opportunities to have your questions answered, and to meet with other students entering in the fall.


A more intensive version of Great Beginnings, Orientation takes place in early September. This interactive, three-day program includes academic, social, and cultural activities.

Led by current students, Orientation gives you a chance to connect with other freshmen and returning students, learn about resources on campus, and establish a positive transition to your new home. It's the perfect way to welcome you and your fellow freshmen into the Fisher community.