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First-Year Experience

Welcome to Grace! If you’re thinking about becoming a student at Grace College, or you’re a member of the 2023 Freshman Class at Grace, we hope to answer many of your questions as you prepare for your first year of college.

First-Year Experience

At Grace, we provide a comprehensive program to assist first-year students in their adjustment to college life. It is our hope that Grace will become a fast second home for you and that you’ll feel welcome and supported as you connect with the Grace community and explore your strengths, goals, and callings.

Central components of the first-year program are Welcome Weekend (new student orientation), the Hike, and First-Year Foundations (FYE1000). FYE1000 provides first-year students a space to transition into college with an emphasis on meaningful relationships, intentional reflection, and collaborative learning. Each course component is designed around COMMUNITY, CURIOSITY, and CALLING. Learning tasks in this course are intended to develop a growth mindset, motivate life-long learning, and apply critical thinking to complex problems.

In FYE1000, you will meet 30-35 students who are part of your “learning community” – these classmates will become trusted companions and join you for four consecutive classes this year (FYE1000 – First-Year Foundations, BIB1050 – Exploring the Bible, PSY1200 – Essentials of Behavioral Science, and HIS1050 – Current Issues in  Historical Context.)

You and your learning community will be connected with both an upper-class student mentor and a faculty mentor who, in addition to teaching, will be available for questions, advice, or support throughout your adjustment to college life. Also vital to the first-year experience is a community of believers coming together through growth groups, a Christian liberal arts common experience through the Grace Core, and extracurricular opportunities through various clubs and campus involvement.

A Community of Christians

Grace College is a community of Christians who are committed to God and to each other for the purpose of developing spiritual maturity, academic proficiency and personal growth. Individual commitment to Jesus Christ is the cornerstone for participation in the Grace community. In sharing this vision, we desire each member to bear the responsibility for his or her own spiritual growth and to support and encourage others in the community. Christians who choose to join the Grace community do so freely and willingly take upon themselves these community living standards.

Growth Groups at Grace College are an important part of the spiritual life of each student. These are small groups of students from your residence hall who meet weekly for encouragement, Bible study and prayer. Each group is led by a Growth Group Leader (GGL), an upperclass student volunteer. GGLs are part of a floor leadership team that are chosen to help provide spiritual development for the students entrusted to them.

Growth Groups provide an atmosphere of relationship, encouragement, accountability, and love both corporately and individually.