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Students meeting first year success advisers

Making Friends and Finding Your Way

Your first year of college is an exciting time, and we want to make sure you get the most out of it. Our First-Year Experience (FYE) program gives you the opportunity to meet new friends, explore your interests, connect with mentors and advisers, and learn about the resources you need for success at Clark. FYE includes advising, Orientation, Clark Navigator, the First-Year Intensive course, and living in first-year residence halls.

First-Year Success Advising

Start planning your academic journey at Clark. To register for classes, you need to meet with your first-year success adviser (you will meet twice before classes start). Make sure you do this sooner rather than later. First-year courses fill up quickly!

To set up the meeting:

  • Complete the required online Advising and Registration Tutorial, which will introduce you to Clark’s course requirements.
  • At the end of the tutorial, you will schedule an advising appointment with your adviser.
  • Complete the Adviser Information Form so that your adviser gets a sense of your interests.

You will meet with your adviser via Zoom. Your adviser will give you a personal identification number (PIN) to register for classes during the meeting.

To get the most out of your meeting, we suggest you:


Our Orientation programs are designed to help you begin the collegiate journey.

Before in-person Orientation begins:

  • All students need to complete the online Orientation modules and other requirements.
  • All international students are required to attend International Student Welcome starting.
  • Additional Pre-Orientation programs are available for U.S. students of color, first-generation students, and students with disabilities. The programs are not required, but they do have early application deadlines:

In-person Orientation activities

All first-year and transfer students are required to attend the Orientation in the days leading up to the start of classes:

  • First-Year Student Orientation
  • Transfer Student Orientation

Clark Navigator

Clark Navigator introduces you to Clark and Worcester. Through weekly activities, you and your Navigator group will explore a full array of campus facilities, academic resources, social and co-curricular life, and events and opportunities in the broader community.

Clark Navigator helps you:

  • Make and sustain friendships with your peers, beginning during Orientation and continuing through your first semester.
  • Become connected with an upper-class peer mentor who can provide advice, support, and resources to navigate your first semester.
  • Explore and become involved in Clark and the local community through academic, co-curricular, community, or social activities.
  • Develop skills and strategies to support your transition to college academics.
  • Become familiar with the campus culture and resources surrounding diversity, equity, and inclusion.

First-Year Intensive Course

As a first year student, you will register for a First-Year Intensive (FYI) course. Your FYI professor will become your pre-major adviser, counseling you on your academic choices at Clark and working with you for several semesters — until you declare a major (usually by the end of your sophomore year).

A couple points about academic majors:

  • If you haven’t decided on a major, you’re not alone. About a quarter of incoming first-year students are undecided. For the first two years, you will take a wide variety of classes and explore your interests. Your adviser will work with you as you decide which major to pursue.
  • If you already know your major, you don’t need to pick an FYI course tied to that major. All FYI faculty are pre-major advisers who can assist you with academic program planning. If necessary, your adviser will refer you to departmental experts for assistance in preparing for your intended major.

Learn about the First-Year Intensive course

First-Year Residence Halls

A key part of the First-Year Experience is living in a residence hall with your peers. Here, you will get to know other first-year students and become accustomed to life at Clark.

Our first-year residence halls are Bullock, Dana, Hughes, and Wright. Students wishing to live in Clark’s single-gendered Dodd Hall, will live in first-year clusters.

First-year residence halls are designed to support students transition to college. Each floor has at least one resident adviser who works to build community, support health and safety, and assists students in the building. Various activities focused on making new friends, navigating Clark, and being a successful student take place in hall lounges, where students can hang out and connect with their peers.

More info about first-year and transfer student housing
Apply for housing
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