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What is a First-Year Leader?

In addition to the instructor leading each classroom, many GSD 101classes also have a "First-Year Leader. " The FYL's, who are upper-level students, serve as role models and mentors for first-year students. The First-Year Leaders have responsibilities both within and outside the classroom, and receive leadership training as well. This is a great opportunity for successful students to share their success strategies with new students.

First-Year Leader Position Description

The First-Year Leader is a peer mentoring position with the purpose of assisting first-year students enrolled in the GSD 101 courses during the fall semester. FYL's work with the instructor to facilitate classroom activities and discussion, and provide information and support.

Responsibilities in the GSD 101 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 GSD 101 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.

Benefits of Being a First-Year Leader

  • Earn 3 credit hours of GST 300, where you will receive extensive leadership training, build on your strengths, and develop outstanding leadership skills.
  • Become a role model for fellow students, sharing your strategies for academic success and providing a student perspective and knowledge of the campus.
  • The satisfaction of helping new students develop relationships, and become integrated into the university community.
  • Gain a significant experience 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 with their successful transition to college. Applications are usually submitted at the end of the semester and new First-Year Leaders are selected in the spring semester. If you have questions about the FYL program, contact

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