First Year Experience

First Year Experience

The first year of college is an exciting and challenging time where you will experience academic and personal growth. Our First Year Experience (FYE) program connects first year students to Montgomery College by: 

  • Educating students on services and resources
  • Empowering students to make their move toward their goals using informed decision making
  • Engaging students in Montgomery College and the community
  • Embracing students by meeting them where they are
  • Exciting students through the experience we provide in their first year
  • Enriching students' lives by providing, promoting and supporting learning opportunities that will help them grow personally, professionally, and academically
  • Exploring opportunities so students can discover who they want to be and plans they can make to realize their dreams.

The FYE program includes the Academic Orientation, New Student Orientation, workshops and events throughout the academic year, and the centerpiece of the FYE program: the First Year Seminar.


There are two types of orientation for new students at Montgomery College. 

New Student Orientation

Required for all degree-seeking students. Through New Student Orientation (NSO), we will answer your questions about MC, connect you to campus resources, and help you capitalize on your college experience. New Student Orientation is available both in-person and online. 

Academic Orientation

Required for all students. Learn all about academic planning by completing an online academic orientation session. The program can be accessed online anytime and usually takes about 30 minutes to complete.


FYE Activities and Resources 

FYE Summer Bridge Program

Prepare to meet the demands of college by bridging the gap between high school and college. 

The FYE Summer Bridge Program (PDF, Get Adobe Acrobat PDF Reader.-Link opens in new window.)  includes a one-credit course (First Year Seminar: STSU 100) that allows students to experience the college environment prior to the fall term.

Through structured and integrated activities, students are prepared to meet the demands of college by bridging the gap between high school and college. Statistics consistently have shown that students who attend a summer bridge program achieve higher grade point averages, have higher retention rates, and experience higher graduation rates than students who do not attend such programs. After completing the program, students typically demonstrate more confidence and self-assuredness—and are better prepared to begin college.

Students should attend the course on the campus on which they intend to take classes. They should also commit to enrolling at Montgomery College in the fall semester immediately following the First Year Seminar. Enrollment is limited; scholarships may be available.

What Will Students Do in the First Year Seminar?

  • Explore goals and career direction
  • Develop an education plan that meets their goals
  • Learn how to access campus resources and services
  • Discover new study and time management skills
  • Understand costs and financial aid opportunities
  • Improve team-building and problem-solving skills
  • Become familiar with the campuses
  • Understand graduation requirements
  • Increase knowledge of MC policies/procedures
  • Meet other students, faculty, and staff
  • Investigate transfer information
First Year Seminars

Seminars focus on strategies to help you become a successful student and assist you in developing an education plan that will guide your selection of classes and transfer.

  • STSU 100 First Year Seminar: Designed to assist the student in adjusting to college. Includes academic and student services available, study habit techniques, career and educational planning, and adjustment concerns. Especially intended for students during their initial semester of enrollment. One hour lecture/discussion each week; one semester hour. (Formerly DS 107)
  • STSU 101 Seminar for International Students: Orientation course for international students. Includes study skills, academic regulations, the American educational system, individual educational and vocational goals, communication skills, and American customs. Especially intended for students during their initial semester of enrollment in conjunction with American language developmental course offerings. Two hours lecture/discussion each week; two semester hours. (Formerly DS 104)

For more information, email

Montgomery College Student Guide

FYE Student Ambassadors

FYE Student Ambassadors

FYE Student ambassadors play a key role in assisting first-year students with the transition to college.

Student ambassadors are a select group of student leaders dedicated to serving first-year students by fostering support in academic performance and social development inside and outside the classroom. 


2020-2021 FYE Student Ambassador Application  
FYE Ambassador Role

Student Ambassador Qualifications and Benefits

  • Participate in FYE classes, Summer Bridge, New Student Orientation, Welcome Week and other engaging events designed for First Year students
  • Promote FYE and Student Life college/campus events and activities
  • Serve as leaders, mentors and positive role models for new MC students

Qualifications to become an FYE Student ambassador

  • Enrolled at MC at time of application and while participating in the program
  • Completed at least 12 credit hours at MC
  • Completed of STSU 100 or STSU 101 with a grade of ‘B’ or better
  • Earned an overall GPA of 3.0 or better at MC
  • Able to make a one academic year commitment (fall/spring)
  • Available 6-7 hours each week

Benefits of being an FYE Student ambassador:

  • Develop relationships with MC faculty, staff, and students
  • Enhance leadership skills
  • Expand work experience
  • Improve presentation and facilitation skills
  • Increase self-awareness
  • Widen awareness of the college/campus
  • Enhance Resume
FYE Student Ambassador Morie Brisbane
Morie Brisbane

Home: Germantown, Maryland
Major: Business

What do you like most about MC? 
What I like most about MC is the class sizes. The small class sizes provide students with the opportunity to connect with their professors, this allows them to feel comfortable asking for help. I like to make use of my professors office hours to ask questions.

What you found most beneficial from STSU 100: First Year Seminar or Summer bridge:
STSU 100 has helped me learn more about how college works. I learned about all the resources offered at MC through STSU 100, as well as important components of college like an academic plan, class registration, financial aid etc.

Advice for new students:
Creating an academic plan is so important. An academic plan will help make clear what your goals are for attending MC and keep you on track to achieving those goals. Curating an academic plan with a counselor will make sure that you're registering for the right classes at the right campus, which saves you money and time.

Your best/favorite MC experience:
My favorite MC experience so far has to be Student Senate. Being a part of Student Senate has been such a beneficial experience, it taught me professionalism, networking skills, and how to manage my self-image.

Campus resource you find most valuable or made the most use of:
Student life has been the most valuable resource to me. I've found great opportunities through the office of student life, Student Senate and being a First-Year Experience Ambassador. I've been able to make a lot of really great friends by getting involved in student life events. I've met some strong-minded people who motivate me to keep doing bigger and better things.

Dalanda Diallo 

Hometown: Montgomery Village, Maryland
Major: General Studies- Social Sciences (SSAH) 

What do you like most about MC?  
I love how MC provides students with many opportunities to grow and expand themselves. With many clubs and leadership programs, Montgomery College students can participate in, and lead organizations meant to build and develop their character. The college also has many programs, like Student Life, that help students know the different ways that they can be involved on campus. The college also provides a Mobile Food Market, which provides nutritious food for all students. Montgomery College also provides students with the flexibility of choosing classes on all three of its campuses. Counselors help with understanding majors, course selection and the transfer process. The college has an articulation system (ARTSYS), that allows students to know the transferability of courses to any institution in Maryland.  ARTSYS, along with various transfer agreements with many schools, provides students with a well-planned path to transfer successfully to a four-year university.    

What you found most beneficial from STSU 100: First Year Seminar of Summer Bridge: 
I took STSU 100 during the fall semester of my freshman year. I was able to use the time management and studying techniques I learned in STSU in all my other courses. I enjoyed the course because I firmly believe that it helped me transition from high school to college. I learned more in-depth about the resources found on the Germantown campus, many of which I continue to use. My STSU class allowed me to practice the new skills I learned directly in my daily life and on campus It was through STSU that I became interested in becoming a Student Ambassador. I was intrigued by how the Student Ambassador in my class worked so well with our teacher and helped us with our assignments. 

Advice for new students: 
I would advise new students to have a plan from the beginning. New students should ask themselves questions such as: What do I hope to gain from this school year? 
What do I intend to achieve this school year?  What will I do to make sure this year is more successful than the last? 

New students should stay organized and introduce themselves to their professor after the first class and ask how to be successful in that class. Giving a good impression allows professors to know your dedication to succeed in their class. I would also advise them to have a schedule or a planner and to write down every assignment and homework, as well as anything the teacher says that is important. Finally, students should utilize the campus resources such as the library, the M.A.P.E.L center, the Science Learning Center, and the Writing, Reading, and Language center, early on to build the habit of going there for help on assignments. Remember to make friends in class in case you miss important information and need a study buddy.  Visit a counselor, and most importantly, come into the college confident, and ready to succeed! 

Your best/favorite MC experience: 
I like how the school brings in performers during the months where heritages become celebrated. During Black History month during my first year, Ivorian drummers and dancers came and performed in the cafeteria. The performers invited students to join in and taught them some dances. It was nice seeing students enjoying and celebrating a different heritage they might not have seen before. The school also brought in Native American performers, at the cafeteria, and I remember a man chose different students, including me, to stand in a circle while they were performing. It was a fun experience because it was my first time seeing the fun dances up close. 

Campus resource you find most valuable or made the most use of:  
The Writing, Reading, and Language Center (WRLC) helped me tremendously during my first year of college. The tutors provided there are friendly and very helpful. I enjoyed my experiences there and made sure that I always went there to have an essay reviewed before I turned it into the professor. The WRLC provides students, with not only efficient tutoring, but it also has computers to work on papers and a WEPA printer to print out assignments. I utilized their computer to skype with a tutor from the Academic Success Center at the Takoma Park/Silver Spring campus to review for an Economics exam. The Writing, Reading and Language Center overall provided me with a great experience, and I am confident that I will continue using their services this upcoming year! 

FYE Student Ambassador Michelle Karlsberg
Michelle Alexis Karlsberg

Hometown: Gaithersburg, Maryland
Major: General Studies STEM

What do you like most about MC?
There is so much to love about Montgomery College, but I especially appreciate the incredible amount of opportunity the students have, the overall feeling of inclusion and friendliness at the college, and the diversity of the student body.

What you found most beneficial from STSU 100 (First-Year Seminar or Summer Bridge):
In my Summer Bridge class I found the Student Life presentation very helpful as I became aware of the extracurricular activities on campus such as The Globe newspaper, the Student Senate, clubs, and other Student Life events. Since learning about the extracurricular activities, I have become very involved at the Germantown campus which has enriched my educational experience immensely.

Advice for new students:
I would advise that new students always think about the future and plan in advance. For example, think about transfer as soon as possible to make sure you can meet the requirements by the time you graduate. This is also important when registering for classes at Montgomery College. I would also recommend that new students get involved in many extracurriculars like clubs, student groups like the Student Senate, and honors societies. These extracurriculars will give you experience in what you're interested in, will introduce you to new people, and can be a lot of fun!

Your best/favorite MC experience:
My favorite experience at MC was attending a legislative reception as a Student Ambassador to meet new Montgomery County Legislators and discuss the importance of funding for community colleges.

Campus resource you find most valuable or made the most use of:
The most valuable resource for me is the counseling department and the wonderful counselors at the Germantown campus. The counselors helped me to plan my classes based on my top-choice transfer institutions, helped me with general concerns about the semester, connected me to student leaders on campus, and explained other college resources and opportunities.

Syed Fasih

Hometown: Montgomery Village, Maryland
Major: Computer Science 

What you like most about MC:
What I love most about MC is how much the staff and faculty want the students to succeed. I couldn’t ask for a better environment to be in.

What you found most beneficial from STSU 100: First-Year Seminar or Summer Bridge:
The information about scholarships and how to access and apply for them. Also the information about student internships.

Advice for new students: 
Don’t be afraid to prioritize yourself more than others. Make strong connections with your professors and get involved with whatever you can. If you work hard and are focused, it will pay off in the end!

Your best/favorite MC experience:
My favorite experience so far was getting to know my English 101 professor. He changed my life by getting me to start thinking critically. If it was not for him, I would not have been as focused and would not have been involved on campus. 

Campus resource you find most valuable or made the most use of:
Definitely the MAPEL center. The tutors there are extremely smart and kind. Math is hard for a lot of people, but thanks to the MAPEL center I don’t have trouble with math.


Find FYE on Campus

Germantown Campus

Science and Applied Studies Building, Room 252
Hours: Monday - Friday, 8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Rockville Campus

Mannakee Building
Hours: Monday - Friday, 8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Takoma Park/Silver Spring Campus

Student Services Building, Room 233
Hours: Monday - Friday, 8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.