First-year Academic Programs – Introduction

Western Washington University has created special first year academic programs designed to facilitate the transition of new students to college. There are several options available at WWU:

  • Early Start: Viking Launch: a program that brings students on campus a week before fall term, with early move-in and a head start on academic success in a credit-bearing course.
  • First-year Interest Groups: in their first quarter, new students enroll in a seminar course with a small group of students that is linked to one or two other courses in the general education curriculum.
  • New Student Experience Seminars: are stand-alone courses which are limited to enrollment to 25 students. They are special topics courses or community-engaged learning experiences that change quarterly and are designed to enhance your experience as a first-year or transfer student.
  • Year-long Strands: students in the first-year strands take a sequence of three linked courses over their first three quarters at WWU. This provides a sequence of learning experiences along with the chance to develop a cohort with a group of students with similar interests.

Learn more about how these programs contribute to student success in the First-year.