What is Drury’s First-Year Experience Program?

Drury University > New Student Programs & First Year Experience > What is Drury’s First-Year Experience Program?

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

My name is Jennifer Stewart, and I am the Director of Orientation and New Student 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,or (417) 873-6919.

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

FUSE 101

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 FUSE 101 professor is not only the instructor for the course, but is also an 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, 2018 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 22, 2018.

Fusion First Day

In late April, incoming freshmen will receive an invitation by email 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 FUSE 101 professor and classmates for the first time. This is a great opportunity to meet your roommates and ask questions of staff members in the departments of housing, financial aid, financial services, admissions, Greek life, technology services and much more! 

Fusion First Day Schedule Fusion First Day RSVP

Drury Ignite

Ignite offers a unique experience for incoming freshmen to meet other like-minded students in mid-summer before New Student Orientation begins in August. Whether students share an interest in learning about their new home and what makes the Ozarks an amazing place,  the area of community service, or a love of the outdoors, Ignite seeks to foster long-lasting friendships and enhance existing communication and leadership skills in a fun, safe and educational environment. The Exploring the Ozarks LEAP session is 4 nights/5 days. Ignite participants will attend a team-building low ropes course at the Leadership Ranch in Republic, Missouri to help break the ice and begin the journey as well as engage in fun interactive leadership activities at the close of each evening. 

  • 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.

Ignite participants will spend time at the Leadership Ranch in Republic, Missouri where students will participate in a low ropes course to promote team building skills. 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 $350 per student for the Exploring the Ozark trip. This fee includes all meals, lodging, transportation, activities and entertainment over the four days.

Register for Ignite

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 15 – Friday morning, August 17. 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 or (417) 873-6827.

New Student Orientation

New Student Orientation will be held Friday, August 20 – Monday, August 23, 2021 and is required for all new students. During orientation, new students will experience the social and academic sides of Drury.

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 

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 80 student organizations available for Drury students to choose from.

Office of New Student 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.

For questions regarding any of this information, please contact Jennifer Stewart, Director of Orientation and New Student Programs at or (417) 873-6919.