About FYE
  • First Ascent
    First Ascent

    We aim to make sure your move to WCU is a smooth journey. Before you arrive, start your explorations here!

  • Welcome to your Community!
    Welcome to your Community!

    Discover the resources and networks you need and want as you meet new friends.

  • Chart Your Course
    Chart Your Course

    Embrace the challenge! Design your pathway to excellence with expert faculty and staff to guide the way!

  • WCU is Where You LEARN
    WCU is Where You LEARN

    Imagine the possibilities ? Create Excellence!

  • Experience the Journey
    Experience the Journey

    Make a difference in your world ? learn with intention and live with passion!

First Year ExperienceDear Students, Faculty, Staff, and Families:

Welcome to the First Year Experience at Western Carolina University!  With the transition into college life, we are eager to help students gain the most from academic and co-curricular experiences.  Students will have many questions, want directions, and need guidance.  Our goal is to provide the resources to empower a successful journey as we embark upon this exciting adventure together.  We are here for all of you!  You may view a presentation about FYE here.

What is the First Year Experience?

The First Year Experience is an 18 month window – from the time students are accepted to WCU until they become a sophomore.  WCU has a tremendous wealth of resources and opportunities for students and we are eager to offer guidance to help students find what they need when they need it.  Whether you need more information about living at WCU, or details about academics, or want to discover our co-curricular options, organizations, or how to become involved with the community. 

  • Our office is the portal for a selection of academic offerings designed specifically for first-year students.  We encourage you to look closely at the options on the Student page, under ‘Academics.’
  • We also collaborate with many divisions across campus to foster a holistic teaching and learning experience and environment. We recognize that learning does not stop at the classroom door - we aim to demonstrate the power of engaged learning partnerships.
  • Our office works to provide information, resources, and support networks that encompass needs for
    • Students
    • Faculty and Staff
    • Families

Mission & Goals


The Office of First Year Experiences aims to foster opportunities that will empower students to not only succeed with their transition to college life, but to also discover a passion for learning as they become the co-creators of their collegiate experience.  We will collaborate with the WCU community and with the regional community to enhance our students’ pride of place, civic responsibility, and sense of connectivity as they discover the intersections along their educational pathway.  We aim to facilitate conversations and partnerships among faculty, staff,  and students that engage productive conversations and challenge us to action with intentionality and purpose.


  • Foster opportunities and environments for a successful and holistic college experience for our students.
  • Facilitate collaboration and partnerships among faculty and staff that is inclusive of diverse perspectives.
  • Focus students towards intentionality – in the classroom and beyond.
  • Facilitate integrated and engaged initiatives aimed to enhance students’ ability to synthesize learning experiences.

First Year ExperienceWho we are

Our role is to offer guidance and support as students learn to navigate the wealth of resources and opportunities WCU has to offer.  As students begin to chart their academic pathways, we will help them discover the interrelated nature of life and learning – that learning is entwined with co-curricular, social, and life events – that when they add intentionality to the mix, they will begin to clarify values and synthesize understandings – they will determine their future.

First Year Experience
137 KIllian Annex
Western Carolina University
Cullowhee, NC 28723
Phone: (828) 227-3017

Glenda Hensley, Director
Phone: 828-227-2786
Email:  ghensley@wcu.edu

Janina DeHart, Assistant Director of Academic Transition & Success
Phone: (828) 227-2217
Email: jdehart@wcu.edu

FYE Cabinet


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