First-Year & Second-Year Experience

About Us

First-Year & Second-Year Experience is an area in the Division of Student Affairs which creates and facilitates dynamic opportunities for connection and discovery, meaningful belonging and leadership.

First-Year Experience

During their first year, new students are introduced to a wide variety of experiences, one of which is participation in the FYE 100 course. This class supports and guides students through their first semester in a community of peers, led by a faculty instructor and an upper class Peer Leader.

Second-Year Experience

As students move into their second year, opportunities are more self-directed in the "Year of More" including mentoring, involvement advising, and experiences for community and leadership.

FYE 100 Course and FYE Peer Leaders

All first-year students take FYE 100 during their first semester. This 1 credit course focuses on: engaging with and connecting to peers; gain skills for academic success; explore a sense of belonging and commitment to the community.

Each FYE section is led by a faculty instructor and a Peer Leader.

Peer Leaders are upperclass students that have been selected and trained to guide and assist new students throughout their first year.

Peer Leader selection launches late fall for the following academic year.

FYE Photo Voice

First-Year students have the unique opportunity to contribute to a participatory research project "PhotoVoice" in which they take images that represent their experience of CONNECTION during their first year at BW.

Images, along with a brief text describing how the image shows their experience of connection, will be considered for display at OVATION 2024.

Submit to the project HERE.

BW Sophomore Women's Personal + Professional Development

A personal and professional development program, created by Isabella Doyle, fosters connection and leadership for second-year women-identifing students.

Participants engage in workshops, discussions and activities to develop professionally and personally, from the perspective of empowerment. The experience is led collaboratively by student leaders and alumnae mentors, with support from Second-Year Experience.

The program runs for a semester, including time as a cohort and meeting with an alumnae mentor.

DEADLINE to apply for Spring 2024 cohort is Friday, December 8.

Want to find out more? Fill out THIS INTEREST FORM.


Claudine Grunenwald Kirschner '93 (she/her)

Director of First-Year & Second-Year Experience

(440) 826-8523

(216) 906-9522 (cell)

Nick Giammarco (he/him)

First-Year Experience Graduate Intern

Jodi Novotny (she/her)

Administrative Assistant, Student Life Center and Brain Center for Community Engagement

(440) 826-8128


First-Year & Second-Year Experience

275 Eastland Rd.
Berea OH 44017
United States