What is Drury's First-Year Experience Program?

Not just a guide for four years, but guiding for life!

My name is Emily Givens, and I am the Director of Transitional Programs. My main focus is to make sure all new students – freshmen, transfers and internationals – have a smooth transition into the Drury community. If you have any questions about the information below please contact me at egivens@drury.edu, or (417) 873-6894.

Drury's First-Year Experience program consists of many elements which are designed to help our freshmen transition easily into life at Drury:

CORE 101 - The Drury Seminar
All freshmen are required to take this course which helps students develop the abilities needed for success in college and in life. These include critical thinking, reading, writing and oral communication skills.

Freshmen Academic Advisors
The CORE 101 professor is not only the instructor for the course, but is also the academic advisor for the students in his/her class.

Advising and Registration
The Office of Academic Planning builds a first-semester class schedule that will help students achieve educational goals, without the stress that sometimes accompanies the registration process. Beginning February 1, students who are admitted and have paid the tuition and housing deposits ($100 tuition deposit and $200 housing deposit if you plan to live on campus) will receive materials about registration for the first semester of classes and information about degree requirements. Students and parents should discuss this information before replying to our request for information about academic plans and interests using an on-line questionnaire. Questionnaires completed by March 1, 2015 will receive priority registration. A team of professionals will review the information and build an appropriate schedule for each student. Students can expect to receive an email sent to their Drury email account in early June that lists their fall course schedule and an explanation of the degree requirements met by these courses. Schedule refinement will take place on or before Freshman First Day, June 26, 2015.

Freshman First Day
Friday, June 26, 2015 is Freshman First Day. In late April, incoming freshmen will receive an invitation in the mail with the schedule of events. Throughout the day, students will have the chance to meet with faculty, staff, current administrators, and current Drury students. Students will also meet their pre-assigned CORE 101 professor and classmates for the first time. This is a great opportunity to meet your roommates and ask questions to staff members in the departments of housing, financial aid, financial services, admissions, Greek life, technology services and much more! View the schedule of events for Freshman First Day.

LEAP: Leadership Enrichment Adventure Program
LEAP is Drury's Leadership Enrichment Adventure Program which is organized through the Office of Transitional Programs. It is a 4-day, 3-night experience offered the summer prior to students beginning their freshman year. Students have the opportunity to register for a trip focused on one of the following three areas: Outdoor Immersion - enjoying outdoor activities such as camping, hiking, climbing and floating; Service Immersion - engaging in and learning about community service, leadership and non-profit organizations in the local community; Science Immersion - participating in science-related activities and experiments alongside Drury’s top faculty members from the Biology, Chemistry and Physics departments.
The purpose of LEAP is to:

  • Accelerate new University friendships
  • Enhance communication and social skills
  • Have an opportunity to complete challenges and tasks both individually and in a team setting
  • Strengthen the ability to handle challenges in a fun, safe and educational environment

All four sessions of LEAP will spend the first day at the Leadership Ranch in Republic, Missouri where students will participate in a low ropes course to promote teambuilding. Prior experience with the scheduled activities in any of the sessions is not necessary. Accommodations will be made for varying abilities and levels of experience. Students will be accompanied by Drury staff members and will be supervised by professionals during all activities. The cost of this experience is $250 per student for the Science and Service Immersion trips; $300 per student for the Outdoor Immersion trip. This fee includes all meals, lodging, transportation, activities and entertainment over the four days. Students who arrive a day early and wish to stay on campus should plan to pay an additional $15.  Register for one of the LEAP sessions here.

DU Bridge Program
DU Bridge is organized through the Office of Diversity Support Services.  This program is held prior to the start of New Student Orientation from Wednesday, August 12th – Friday morning, August 14th. The primary focus is to give our incoming freshman students of color an opportunity to build connections and accelerate friendships, meet influential people in the community and on campus that can make their initial college experience a positive one.  This program is free. For questions about Drury’s Bridge Program, please contact Rosalyn Thomas, Coordinator of Diversity Support Services, at thomas005@drury.edu or (417) 873-6827.

New Student Orientation
New Student Orientation will be held Friday, August 14th – Monday, August 17th, 2015 and is required for all freshmen. During orientation, freshmen will experience the social and academic sides of Drury. Some of the events students will participate in are: attending CORE 101 class, bowling, ice skating and broomball, an off-campus community service event, dinner in the home of a faculty member, student activities fair, a huge fireworks show, and much more!

Orientation Leaders
Upperclassmen Orientation Leaders will be present throughout the four days of orientation to assist new students by answering questions, providing guidance and informing students about what they can expect once classes begin on Monday, August 17th at 5 p.m.

Student Activities Fair
This event is held the third day of New Student Orientation. The purpose of the fair is to encourage students to sign up for campus organizations, clubs and groups early on, before classes begin. There are over 90 student organizations available for Drury students to choose from.

Office of Transitional Programs
The first year of college often presents students with new challenges as they face the academic and personal transitions required of them. This office, located in Findlay Student Center 120, serves as a resource for students who would like to discuss and resolve any issues that are preventing them from succeeding at Drury. We can assist students with goal setting, time management, academic concerns, and personal issues. We are here to listen, offer advice, point out new alternatives, and understand the exciting times and difficulties that lie ahead.

You can contact Emily at egivens@drury.edu or (417) 873-6894.