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Program Spotlight: First-Year Experience The First-Year Experience program is designed to familiarize new students with the people and programs that make Washington and Lee such a special place.

Rodocker_Jason-scaled-233x350 Program Spotlight: First-Year ExperienceDean for First-Year Experience Jason Rodocker

The First-Year Experience (FYE) program is designed to familiarize new students with the people and programs that make Washington and Lee such a special place. First-year students are beginning a relationship with the university that will not only define their next four years, but will likely shape their post-graduation future.

The Office of Student Affairs works diligently with first-year students to guide them through the process of joining the W&L community and taking ownership of their educational experience. A balance of challenge and support helps new students develop skills and confidence. The FYE program provides information to new students to help them stay organized and serves as a resource to answer questions they have about academics and co-curricular activities.

As Dean for First-Year Experience, Jason Rodocker serves as the primary resource for new undergraduate students from the time they commit to attending Washington and Lee to the time they begin their sophomore year.

“I genuinely enjoy assisting our first-year students in getting acclimated to W&L,” Rodocker said. “The First-Year Experience program plays a unique and important part in the university’s mission by partnering with all corners of campus to help new students feel welcome and understand the many opportunities and resources available to them.”

Rodocker joined W&L in 2005 and has served as Dean for First-Year Experience for more than 10 years. His responsibilities include coordinating summer communication, academic advising, first-year housing, Leading Edge pre-orientation trips, orientation week, continuing education, FYE 100, Phi Eta Sigma honor society and other services and support for first-year students. Rodocker has a Juris Doctorate and Masters in Higher Education from Indiana University and a Bachelor of Arts from Hanover College, with a major in communication and minor in business management.

First-year students quickly learn there is a direct connection at W&L between what happens in and beyond the classroom – our academic and student life programs are interconnected. Academic support is available from initial faculty advisers, professors, the Harte Teaching and Learning Center, peer tutors, and an academic coach. Social support comes from resident advisers, peer counselors and a variety of student affairs professionals. Parents are encouraged to ask students about their experiences to increase reflection, yet expect them to resolve the situation for their own growth and maturity. We seek to holistically develop students into leaders with a strong foundation for future success.

Additional information for parents and families about the First-Year Experience is available here.

Note: Parents and Family Weekend is October 1-3, 2021. Suggested accommodations and other information can be found at http://go.wlu.edu/pfw.