Ignite Student Leadership Development Program

Freshmen have the opportunity to participate in our Ignite Student Leadership Program starting their first year. The Ignite-Year One program allows first year students the opportunity to engage with faculty, staff, and students at the university in discussions on leadership topics and attend presentations by campus leaders. SHOW UP and become a leader. 

Visit the PAX-Promoting Alvernia eXperiences portal to learn more about campus involvement and activities.

Alvernia Opportunities for Leadership (AOL) 

AOL is the process that students can go through to apply for numerous University Life leadership positions: Resident Assistant, Community Facilitator, Commuter Assistant, Orientation Weekend Leader, Orientation Assistant, Alternative Break Site Leader, Campus Ministry Leadership Team, Peer Mentor, Peer Tutor, Supplemental Instructor, Writing Tutor, and Peer Educator. This process typically starts in the beginning of the spring semester. SHOW UP to become a campus leader and invest in yourself. 

First Year Experience (FYE)

The First Year Experience (FYE) at Alvernia was developed to help students make a successful transition to college life and to learn about the mission and traditions of Alvernia University. The First Year Experience (FYE) consists of a series of common courses and academic experiences, which include Connection Days, an Orientation program, residential experiences, such as living-learning communities for students who live on campus, and a series of events and programs throughout their freshman year at Alvernia University. 

Get the FACS

The First Year Experience - FACS, is a component of the FYE program. First year students will have the opportunity to engage in a variety of financial, academic and career experiences that will provide them additional ways to connect with the Alvernia community and enhance their student experience.

Common Courses and Academic Experiences

While students are at Alvernia to focus on their academic field of study, they are also challenged to develop as life-long learners and ethical leaders with moral courage. These goals begin to be met through freshman year common courses and engagement with a common reading. All freshmen are required to take: First Year Seminar (FYS 101), Communication 101 (COM 101), Philosophy 105 (PHI 105), and Theology 105 (THE 105) during their freshman year at Alvernia.

Academic advising is central to students’ first year experience. Together with SEARCH Seminar, advising helps students to establish a strong foundation during their freshman year at Alvernia. Students are advised by the faculty member who is their SEARCH Seminar instructor. This gives students the opportunity to develop a relationship with their advisor that will endure during their entire freshman year. It will also help them to connect their experiences in their classes to their co-curricular experiences.  

The final experience is the common reading program. All freshmen read an interesting and thought-provoking common reading, which they will discuss in their SEARCH seminar course. Events, speakers, and course offerings treat themes that are related to the reading. Students are asked to think critically about the topic and viewpoints the reading offers.  

Connection Days and Orientation 

The Office of Student Activities leads these two initiatives to help students transition successfully into both college and Alvernia life. The goal of both programs to provide support through information, peer interaction, faculty/staff interaction, and programs to all first year students. Connection Day is a day that first year students are invited to campus to begin to gain information and a sense of what their experience at Alvernia will be like while allowing the students to begin to connect to their peers and the Alvernia faculty and staff within the community. Orientation is the program that starts the freshman's academic year. Students get to interact with their SEARCH Seminar class, instructor, peer mentor, Navigator, and are assigned Orientation Weekend Leaders (OWLs) to assist them in their transition. Students get to participate in several information sessions and participate in social opportunities to engage in the Alvernia experience. 

Residential Experience and Living-Learning Communities

For freshman student living on campus, the Office of Residence Life offers several different living-learning communities to engage with your freshman year. These communities are optional; however, they provide additional peer support, faculty/staff support, and programming around their theme.

All students, whether they choose to participate in a living-learning community or not, will have the opportunity to engage in hall programming designed around supporting our first year students in their transition to college living and college life. These programs range from developing roommate agreements, dealing with conflict, studying and academic skills, engaging in campus life, experiencing cultural-diversity, community service, and much more.  

Commuter Student Support

Students who are not living on campus will also receive additional support the first year. The Office of Student Activities will connect the commuter students to a Commuter Assistant (CA) who is an upperclass commuting student who can offer insight and advice to freshman commuter students. They will also sponsor programming to assist commuter students in their transition to their freshman year at Alvernia and life as a commuter student. For more information, contact the Office of Student Activities at 610-796-8408 or student.activities@alvernia.edu

Don't Forget to SHOW UP your Freshman Year!


Golden Wolves Weekends

The Office of Student Activities ensures that every weekend there are a variety of events and programs offered for students to attend Friday-Sunday. There is something to do everyday so SHOW UP your freshman year and stay on weekends.   

First Year Community Living

Freshmen have the opportunity to participate in a number of living-learning residential communities their freshman year. Freshman students will opt into these themed communities which are paired with an upperclass Community Facilitator and a Faculty/Staff Partner. Special programs around their community's theme will be offered to students. SHOW UP and participate in your community. 


First Year Experience