Skip to main content

What is a First-Year Leader?

First-Year Leader Program

In addition to an instructor, many GSD 101 classes have a First-Year Leader (FYL). FYL's are selected in a competetive process that includes an evaluation of grades, public service, and performance in a variety of interviews and scenarios designed to reflect the dynamics of peer-to-peer mentoring. FYL's are high-achieving upperclassmen who serve as role models and mentors inside and outside the classroom. They take the GST 300 "Principles of Peer Mentoring /Tutoring" course and receive training throughout the semester. Taking part in the program is an excellent opportunity for Colonels to "pay forward" the mentorship and guidance they received from faculty, staff, and peers during their first semester of college. 

First-Year Leader Position Description

First-Year Leaders are peer mentors who assist first-year students enrolled in the GSD 101 courses during the fall semester. FYL's work with an instructor to facilitate classroom activities and discussion, provide information, and support students in group and one-on-one settings. 

Responsibilities in the Classroom

  • Facilitate group discussions or lead group activities
  • Be available to offer student perspectives, information, and resources
  • Lead learning activities and icebreakers to promote rapport
  • Attend at least one class per week

Responsibilities Outside the Classroom
  • Initiate one-on-one or group meetings for supplemental instruction or support
  • Serve as a student consultant, offering information and guidance
  • Attend out-of-class experiences with students
  • Communicate with students to coordinate social or service-orientation activities
  • Attend all scheduled GST 300 class meetings and complete assignments
  • Attend trainings during the spring semester and in August in preparation for Fall

First-Year Leader Benefits

  • Earn 3 credit-hours for GST 300, a class which provides extensive leadership training while developing existing strengths
  • Become a role model for fellow students, sharing strategies for academic success and providing a student perspective about campus and college resources
  • Serve the campus community by helping new students develop relationships and integrate into the university
  • Gain significant experience in the areas of communication, collaboration, and leadership to add to your resume

How to Become a First-Year Leader

The primary requirements are completion of GSD 101 as a freshman, a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0, and the desire to assist new students as they transition into college. Applications are usually submitted during the spring semester and new First-Year Leaders are selected following an interview process in April or May. If you have questions about the FYL program, contact

(Below) Future First-Year Leaders are briefed about the expectations and responsibilities of the position prior to interviews in the Spring 2019 semester. 

(Below) First-Year Leader interviews take place in the Noel Studio and include many hands-on activities designed to test applicants' abilities to interact interpersonally and in groups. 

First-Year Leader Interviews Spring 2019 (2)

2020 First-Year Leader Brochure4.18 MB
Open /*deleted href=#openmobile*/