Blue Ridge Community and Technical College

Current Students No matter how old, dreams can still unfold!

First-Year Students

Adjusting to college life can be quite a challenge. Designed exclusively for our first-year students, these programs boost self-confidence and success on the Ridge.

First Year Experience Course

Many incoming freshmen are ill-equipped for the level of academic achievement expected of them by college faculty. All too often, students discover that habits which seemed adequate for their high school successes are not sufficient for meeting college-level expectations. To improve student success, along with retention, The First-Year Experience course has been integrated into the Student Success program on the Ridge. This  course should be taken in the student’s first semester as it teaches students how to be successful. This course focuses on crucial components for the first year of higher education in a community college such as reading skills, study skills, critical thinking skills, habits for success, exposure to student services, resources, and career planning. The First-Year Experience course provides students with systematic exposure to habits for success and emphasizes adaptation to individual learning styles. To learn more, contact Student Development Coordinator, Mary Francisco Newlin, Student Development Coordinator at 304-260-4380 Ext. 2117, email  or text: 304-745-2335

Peer Advising for Student Success (PASS)

Peer Advising for Student Success (PASS) was implemented to increase retention, student engagement, and success of first-year students. The program targets new degree-seeking students who are attending part-time or full-time. PASS program mentors are employed to make phone calls, send emails, and conduct face-to- face meetings with all new students throughout their first semester of enrollment. These contact methods provide specific information about the College, academic and student success services, registration procedures, e-mail and BRIDGE, and student engagement activities.

As campus liaisons, PASS mentors encourage students to connect with instructors, advisers, and SLA members. PASS mentors are trained and ready to make referrals to appropriate campus divisions. Through the many relationships they build, first-year students understand the academic and student success services available to them and become more engaged in the campus community.

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