First Year Programming

The First Year Experience program at Taylor is designed to make the transition to Taylor smooth and comfortable. Administrators, faculty, staff and fellow students are committed to helping you become a contributing, active member of the Taylor community. 

Taylor has a 40-year history of addressing the specific needs of first-year students. Our goal is to assist you as you adjust to Taylor. First-year students are integrated into the Taylor community through curricular and co-curricular programming, which includes meeting weekly with a small group of peers led by upperclassmen the first half of the fall semester. We want you to feel at home and experience the Taylor community at its best.   

Taylor’s First Year Experience program can help you meet new friends and transition academically, while providing opportunities for you to understand yourself and God more deeply.

IAS 101: First Year Experience

The purpose of the First Year Experience program is to provide continuing services that will support new students in their transition to college life. These services include curricular and co-curricular programs which help new students like you integrate into the culture of the University and help you in understanding your relationship to the intellectual, social and spiritual climate of Taylor University. The curricular component is a general education course—IAS 101: First Year Experience—in which all first-time freshmen are enrolled the first half of the fall semester. Through lectures and peer-led small group discussions, the topics of campus resources, college adjustment, student engagement, holistic development, and diverse perspectives will be addressed. IAS 101 is also offered each spring semester for new students arriving on campus in J-term or the spring semester. 

O Groups

First Year Orientation Groups (O Groups) are small peer groups led by upperclassmen. These groups meet weekly for the first half of the fall semester and are designed to provide continuing peer support for first-year students as they transition to Taylor. In your O Group discussion group, you’ll review and apply what you’re learning in IAS 101: First Year Experience.

Welcome Weekend

Welcome Weekend is the weekend preceding the first week of fall classes. First-year students move into the residence halls and take part in significant Taylor traditions. Student leaders are on campus to help you settle in and kick off the year before returning students arrive.

Transfer Students

Welcome to the Taylor family! We are thankful that you have chosen Taylor as your school. We trust that you will grow spiritually in your time here. People all over campus are committed to helping you transition smoothly and acclimate to life at Taylor. We are excited to have you as a part of the Taylor community!


Contact Shawnda Freer, Director of First Year Experience

*The First-Year Experience® is a service mark of the University of South Carolina.