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The First Year Experience Program is designed to equip First Year students with the skills and experiences needed to make a successful transition into Centenary University.

Your first year of college is a time when you will meet new people, live and learn in a new community. It’s a time to discover more about who you are and who you are to become.

For some of you, this will be your first time away from home. When you think about how you are going to adjust to college life, it’s completely normal to feel a mixture of excitement and trepidation. At Centenary University, we are committed to make this transition as smooth as possible for you through our First Year Programs.

We want to help you make those meaningful connections that will help you reach your highest levels of achievement. Experienced students, faculty and staff will introduce you to the Centenary Community through classes, campus clubs and organizations, community service, and leadership programs.

Bridging the Transition

Each September, our first year students enroll in a year-long program designed to bridge the transition from high school to college. Called the First Year Experience, it launches your life-long learning adventure at Centenary.

Created by faculty and students, the First Year Experience ensures your first year at Centenary University is exciting and rewarding. You will build new friendships and learn more about yourself through special courses and memorable events.

Your journey begins in the summer with an invitation to our Fresh Start Event. Fresh Start is an informative over-night experience designed to get you and your parents ready for Centenary University. There you will meet your future classmates and professors, learn about our different campus services, and get ready for your life as a university student.

Specially Trained Faculty & Small Classes

Our creative faculty deliver innovative, interdisciplinary freshmen courses that fuse new ideas and Internet technology into a lively learning process.

With a student to teacher ratio of 16:1 classes are small, with seminars and meetings in dorms and lounges that complement your classroom studies.

Being a First Year student at Centenary means being involved in your major and a program called Academic Foundations. The Academics Foundations Program is a comprehensive first year program that was first implemented in 2003. The program’s primary goal is to help first year students make the transition from secondary school to college with equal and individualized attention given to academic, social, and emotional development. This program strives to foster the spirit of civility and respect required for participation in a diverse democratic society, and endeavors to cultivate socially and ethically responsible behavior.

First Year Leaders

First Year Leaders (FYLs) are upperclassmen at Centenary University who have been selected based on their leadership qualities.

They fill the role of mentor, friend, and informative source for incoming students.

The goal of the First Year Leader Program is simple: to help freshmen students smoothly make the transition from high school to university student. First Year Leaders are embedded in the Academic Foundations at Centenary Courses (AFC) and attend every session of their assigned class. In the classroom they are expected to aid the professor. Outside class, the FYL’s are available to tutor students in all AFC-related course work and are responsible for coordinating social and academic programs that promote team building and bonding.

Academic Support Services

The First Year Experience has a number of ways to help you excel in your university experience. Peer Tutors, the Writing Collaboratory, and Online Tutors are all here to help.

The Academic Success Center is here to help with any of your academic needs and all come as part of your tuition package so do not ever feel like you cannot ask for help!

FYE Team

Dr. Robert Battistini
Director of General Education

Pronouns: he/him/his
You will occasionally find Dr. Battistini in a Centenary classroom, perhaps standing on a desk to illustrate the glories of early American rhetoric. But otherwise, Robert is your faculty advocate: if your academic experience isn’t terrific, let him know! He coordinates the AFC classes (“Academic Foundations at Centenary”), and is responsible for General Education: your opportunity to build skills adjacent to your major.

You’ll also see Robert at Fresh Start, Orientation—and as many campus activities as his 8-year-old daughter will allow. Why? Because Centenary focuses on the whole student. We don’t put a fence around academics: your student life will affect your studenting, and the happy buzz of great classes echoes through the whole campus. So he and Tiffany (see below) nurture the links among everything that happens on campus: academics, student life, residence life, athletics, and everything else you do.  Our vision of Centenary is coalescence and community.

Robert has worked in higher education over 25 years, in a number of universities and colleges. All of this experience, as scholar, teacher, and administrator, is at your service: to make your first-year at Centenary the best it possibly can be.

Tiffany Kushner
Assistant Dean of Student Life

Pronouns: she/her/hers

As an administrator at Centenary for 11 years, Tiffany is fiercely dedicated to supporting student success.  She works in the Student Life Department, but you can find her all over campus.  Tiffany takes pleasure in helping first year students as they journey from high school to college, and transfer students as they adjust to living and learning at Centenary. You can work with her to start or join a club, get involved, become a campus leader, ask questions about orientation, host a student event, find out what is going on around campus and much more.

Please consider Tiffany a resource for any non-academic, co-curricular questions.  If she does not have the answer, she will happily link you with the appropriate resources. Tiffany loves seeing familiar faces across campus and enjoys working in such a close and caring community. While her main goal is to make students feel safe, comfortable and connected on campus, as a resident of Hackettstown for over 10 years, Tiffany loves to help students to get to know all that our lovely town has to offer.