The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

Guidance: Help is offered to counsel incoming students

With a map in one hand, a dozen books in the other and a look of desperation, the first day at EC can be a cruel reminder of the long gone freshman days in high school.

The First Year Experience program (FYE) is a one-year academic program for students who are in their first year of college who desire counseling to find direction in life.

“The majority of our students are students who have just graduated from high school,” Cynthia Mosqueda, counselor said.

“We offer them early registration and career assessment if their undecided majors,” she said.

FYE not only offers students the opportunity to register, but it offers personal, academic and career counseling.

“The students who participate in FYE have a ninety-five percent retention rate,” Mosqueda said.

“That means that at the end of the semester, ninety-five percent of our students are still there passing the course,” sahe said.

The program, which was established in 2000, is funded through Title Five in the form of federal grants. These grants are provided by the department of education.

“We’re in the fourth year of our five-year grant,” Mosqueda said. “We have one more year of funding and we have an endowment fund through which we are trying to raise money for scholarships and to fund our program.”

FYE currently has 250 students enrolled.

In addition, there are 300 more students linked to FYE due to the merging of FYE and the Learning Community, which is another academic program on campus, Mosqueda said.

Students in the program will usually take courses together during the fall and spring semesters so that they can develop relationships with classmates and learn how to work together Mosqueda said.

“Since everybody knows each other, it’s a lot easier,” Ivonne Orozco, said. “You gain confidence in what you do.”

“I feel as if I am a more active student than before,” Orozco said. “I do participate more as student than I did in high school.”

After the school year is over, participating students are still part of the program but are no longer directed by the counselors, so they are more independent in what they do.

“FYE helps us figure out a lot of things,” Orozco said. “They are kind of a guide for the first year.”

The success of the program took a while to realize but is now noticeable in the amount of students who are transferring, Mosqueda said.

“We didn’t begin seeing the numbers until this year,” Mosqueda said. “We have thirty-three students who are transferring this year.”

Students are usually recruited from South Bay schools but are not limited to local high schools, Mosqueda said.

“Today I had two girls from Huntington Park come in,” she said.

For interested students, recruiting occurs during the FYE’s open house where placement tests are administered.

Finally, students fill out an application and are interviewed by Mosqueda.

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