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First Year Experience

Engagement in Academics

The Marietta College First Year Experience builds an intellectual foundation for your academic achievement. We believe that a Liberal Arts curriculum, where rigor is grounded in both the breadth of the Arts and Sciences and the depth of the major, is the best preparation for your lifelong success. This is more than a simple transition from high school to college; it begins an education based on research, creativity, and in-depth study in various fields. As you begin to embrace higher education, you will form academic relationships with your professors while expanding your knowledge and intellectual skill set. Faculty, through their multiple roles of teacher, facilitator, and advisor, will guide you in this first year of your developmental process of becoming an engaged, committed scholar—capable of critical thinking, relevant contextual analysis, and profound intellectual inquiry.

Engagement in Campus and Community

The Marietta College First Year Experience expands your horizons as you engage as an active citizen and productive member of many different groups, communities, and society at large. We believe the best way to encourage you to embrace our history, traditions, and values is to weave them into the fabric of the Marietta College culture. We believe that the value of residential living provides an engagement in the First Year Complex that is available for all students, residential and non-residential. Staff and peer leaders, through their multiple roles as educators, mentors, and facilitators, will guide you in this first year of your developmental process of becoming an engaged, active member of campus, local, and global communities. Awareness of and interaction with other people who live, work, and study here can lead you to a clearer sense of the value of community diversity and dialogue—which you can expand into at rue cross-cultural and global perspective of the world. Ongoing, meaningful interaction with others who may or may not share your beliefs and experiences is the path to civil discourse and cultural understanding. The service you offer to your community serves to strengthen your ties to the people around you, just as your awareness of resources and opportunities that the college provides you in support of your success reinforces your campus connections.

Engagement in Self-discovery

The Marietta College First Year Experience raises your self-awareness and facilitates your process of personal development. We believe that some of the most profound transitions and meaningful changes in your life occur during your years at college, and your personal transition to independent, educated, engaged citizenship largely depends upon your efforts, beginning here. In the First Year, we will encourage you to identify your goals and ethical decision-making framework. We will teach you to employ your planning and organizational skills for success, just as you need to rely on your resilience (your grit, even) to keep working hard in the midst of obstacles and to learn from your failures. While Marietta faculty, staff, and peer leaders will always serve as guides, educators, and mentors for you, the ultimate responsibility for learning lies with you, the student—and you are well served by your ability to know and engage the campus resources that help you succeed.

In the end, college success is your responsibility. Embrace the foundations of engagement in academics, campus, and community life, and do the hard work of self-discovery, and you will succeed.

A Marietta College student smiles while petting a dog during a Feel Good Friday event

Entering as an Exploratory Student

Students can enter Marietta College in one of two ways. You can declare a major or come in as Exploratory with interest areas. Many students choose the latter option to give themselves time to explore the various majors and minors available. There is pressure to declare your major upon entering as a freshman. In fact, students have until their second semester of sophomore year to declare a major. Many students who enter with a declared major will change their major within the first year. The exceptions to this standard include majoring in Petroleum Engineering and Sports Medicine. It can be difficult to graduate in four years for these majors if you do not start the major course of study in your first year.

What does it mean to be an Exploratory student?

During your first year, you are encouraged to take courses that will help you explore different disciplines. Many of these courses will also count toward your General Education requirements, so while you are exploring, you are making progress toward graduation. COLL 200 is the perfect 1 credit course for the exploratory student. It is offered in both semesters. The course is offered by the Career Center and assists students in exploring different career options and majors.

The Career Center also has excellent resources designed to help students explore careers and majors.