First-Year Experience

The following programs foster students' learning and achievement in and out of the classroom by addressing academic and personal dimensions of student development throughout the student's first year at Ithaca College.


Orientation is a critical first step for all new students in their transition to college. Orientation includes opportunities for students to confirm their course schedule, meet faculty, learn about key support resources, connect with other students, and navigate life at IC before classes begin. We want to ensure that each of our IC students are prepared to be successful academically, socially, and personally. Click here to learn more about Family and Guest Orientation!

Ithaca Seminars

These interdisciplinary courses are academically engaging with an additional emphasis issues regarding transitioning to college. Click here to learn more!

First-Year Residential Experience

The First-Year Residential Experience (FYRE) provides new students with the opportunity to share their stories, connect with peers, staff, and faculty, and live together in a respectful, inclusive, and educational community. There are multiple residential learning communities available to first-year students. Transfer students are encouraged to live the "transfer community" in Terrace 11. Click here to learn more!


All students, including both those who choose to drink alcohol and those who choose not to, are expected to complete AlcoholEdu. This is a personalized and interactive online course, all students must complete prior to the start of the fall semester. This brief, online course will be available from August 6th, 2019 until August 19th, 2019. Click here to learn more!

First-Year Pre-Semester & Transition Programs

Students may apply to participate in the following optional programs:

One Summer Weekend

You’re invited to participate in this exciting program to get a taste of Ithaca in the summer: Live on campus for a weekend, connect with current IC student leaders and incoming classmates who share similar interests, and enjoy social activities. Ithaca is a great place to be in the summer! Click here to learn more.


Jumpstart includes four different pre-semester programs offered prior to Orientation in August, where students can choose to participate in one of the four programs focused on leadership, community service, outdoor adventure, or sustainable living. Applications open June 1st and close July 3rd. Click here to learn more.


FIRST Look is an opportunity for First-Gen students and their families to join us before orientation begins to connect with IC’s First-Gen community, gain familiarity with your new campus home, create a success plan, and learn how to maximize your talents for your academic transition. Click here to learn more.

Hillel FreshFest

Every year Hillel welcomes first-year students and their families to its Fresh Fest celebration. You'll meet in-coming and current Jewish students and Hillel staff and start your college experience surrounded by friends and a caring community. Click here to learn more.

First-Year Speaker Series

Guest speakers focus on inclusive community development and successful transition strategies. Click here to learn more.

Leadership Weekend

This overnight retreat during the spring semester is designed to develop first-year students' leadership skills and to provide an opportunity for them to connect with other emerging leaders. Click here to learn more.