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Strategic Enrollment Management and Student Success

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First-year success courses

VCU strongly encourages all incoming first-year students to enroll in at least one First-Year Student Success course. These courses count toward graduation requirements and meet only once a week for 50 minutes.

National research shows that these first-year courses greatly impact the overall grade performance of students and also improve how connected a student feels to their university (thus improving their persistence in college and their GPA).

These courses are taught by our academic advisors, financial aid counselors, campus leaders and student affairs professionals interested in connecting to first-year students based on their interests, fears, aspirations and career goals.


First-Year Student Success courses include:

For descriptions of these programs, please see our full list of courses.


Here's what a few of the students who have taken First-Year Student Success courses had to say about their experience:

  • "Great class that really made me discover myself and what I believe in. Thanks for a great half-semester!"
  • "I really enjoyed taking this class and experiencing a space for LGBTQ+ friendly talk and discussion."
  • "Very knowledgeable, and helps nurture an inclusive learning environment where discussion is heavily promoted."
  • "[My professor] was a fantastic professor for this course and helped me acquire useful knowledge in regard to resources and opportunities available from VCUarts. He also did a great job giving us more information about the various majors offered next year."
  • "This class helped me with the struggles often associated with being a freshman, and I was able to take away key techniques to cope with stress and concentration."
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