First-Year Residential Experience (FYRE)

At PSU we recognize that classroom learning is just part of the picture, along with extracurricular and co-curricular activities, internships, and community involvement. Now we’ve reimagined our Residential Life Program to create a new and exciting First-Year Residential Experience (FYRE) that enriches student engagement and the transition to PSU.

Similar programs are found at some of the nation’s top colleges and universities, and FYRE will be a foundational program of our Integrated Clusters learning model. We are pleased to launch FYRE for the 2018-2019 year!

Classes typically represent only one-third of a student’s time on campus; FYRE adds important value to the other two-thirds with special programs, increased access to faculty and University services, and experiences that help students find their personal path at PSU.

“It’s simple: the needs of first-year students are different than those of returning students, so we’re meeting these needs in an innovative way that brings the services to them.” – Amanda Grazioso, Director of Residential Life

It all starts during June Orientation, when new students pick one of the several “Wicked Problems” that will be tackled in First-Year Seminar. Students will be organized in residence halls based on these choices, which will foster many opportunities for shared exploration, group project work, and developing ties with peers who are both like-minded (because they chose to study the same “Wicked Problem”) and “other-minded” (because they may be taking a much different course of study). Students will get to know their group during Panther Days.

FYRE is part of the ongoing improvement and modernization of residence halls, staff training in the latest best practices, and innovative programs that encourage new students to make their marks in their chosen academic disciplines, in our clubs and galleries, and on our playing fields and stages—wherever their interests take them.

FYRE benefits first-year students by:

  1. having them live together in traditional-style halls (Belknap, Blair, Geneva Smith, Grafton, Mary Lyon, Pemigewasset) to support social and community development;
  2. introducing campus resources and instilling Habits of Mind that help them achieve academically;
  3. fostering new and different perspectives that support skill development required for future success;
  4. involving alumni and community members who share career advice and wisdom;
  5. providing a great start to college for all students including transfer and commuting students, who will be invited to group activities.