Regional students in Connecticut’s state system often experience negative effects when they transition to the main University of Connecticut campus to complete their degrees. So, a mentoring program called the UConn Fostering Ideal Regional Student Transitions (FIRST) was launched. Before regional students transferred to the main campus, they spent a day-long field trip with their peer mentors, attending classes, eating in the dining halls and touring the large campus.

Transition issues often result in a reduction in science grades due to large lectures and the use of TAs, difficulty navigating support systems and a poor sense of community. Plus, surveys found that many regional transfers are first-generation students and/or member of underrepresented groups, and work to support their education, making joining organizations to gain a sense of belonging more difficult.

“Every student deserves support and to feel like they belong when they get to campus, no matter what year they are or where they’re coming from,” mentor Quinn Baron ’23 (CLAS) told UConn Today. “Everything about it, especially our campus tour, has been so rewarding and very special. I felt like I was part of a program that was really making a difference.”

Read more about the program here.