First-Year Student Programs

How to College: Tool & Skill-Building Academic Success Program

Transitioning into (or out of) college (or post-graduate school) is not always easy… especially if you are the first in your family to attend, if you are a part of an underrepresented community, or if you regularly find yourself with more questions than answers. Initiatives for Identity, Inclusion & Belonging (i3b) partners with the Academic Success Center to create opportunities for students to develop the skills and gather tools they need to experience first-year success! These sessions are not limited to exploring academic success skills and principles but also an opportunity to explore tools for navigating issues of discrimination, bias, and microaggressions within academic spaces while highlighting our identities as assets within the wider campus community. Sessions typically explore university resources, key skills for student success, and opportunities to connect with student leaders.

Social Justice Dialogues – First-Year Seminar (FYS 102 – 25)

This course is designed for students who have a deep interest in issues related to race, social justice, power, privilege, oppression, intercultural dialogue, and the ways such issues influence our leadership abilities and interests. By focusing on how we think and talk about social justice broadly, including race and other intersecting social identities in the United States, students will deepen their understanding and simultaneously learn techniques to engage in constructive conversations and critical dialogues across differences. Students will simultaneously develop skills for facilitating and leading difficult dialogues in ways that help them become more inclusive leaders and active contributors to a diverse and inclusive campus community.

Please note that this is a 3-credit course, fulfills the cultural graduation requirement, and is subject to undergraduate tuition, fees, and prerequisites. We encourage you to talk to your academic advisor if you have questions about your graduation requirements.

Welcome Week Programs: Open Houses

Open Houses give students, faculty, and staff opportunities to get introduced to our spaces and staff. Offered as a pop-in or reception style, each open house allows community members to learn about our programs and resources and how to connect with our initiatives and opportunities. Time is allotted for campus partners and organization leaders to introduce themselves while sharing their connection to our department. Further information is provided in the respective fall and spring Welcome Week Booklets provided to all first-year students and within the Welcome Week Website and the Welcome Week myUMBC group page.

Where My People At? Identity-Based Engagement Virtual Series

The Where My People At? virtual sessions provide first-year students and first-year transfers an opportunity to learn more about life at UMBC as a student of color, religious, spiritual, and/or LGBTQIA2+ identifying students, as well as students who are interested in getting involved with our culturally-centered, religious and spiritual, or social action student organizations. These virtual sessions happen before the beginning of the Fall semester to give incoming students a “sneak peak” into connection opportunities. Sessions include a brief overview of the Initiatives for Identity, Inclusion & Belonging department and staff, current student organization leaders, staff and faculty advisors, and recent alums about multicultural, spiritual, and LGBTQIA2+ engagement at UMBC. This series aims for first-year students to make new connections, join a new group, meet student leaders, learn about campus resources, including our centers and see what this community can offer them! These sessions show new students how to find our i3b spaces once on campus, find the coordinators for Student Organizations, and provide a brief overview of our core programs.