Kean University intends to create an environment full of resources that eases the transition from high school to college for freshmen. One of the departments that is based around first-year students is the School of General Studies. Moreover, the department seeks to prepare undergraduate students for success and strong skills.
For freshmen, this department offers the following:
- General Education Mentors (GEMs) - GEMs are upper-class students that are trained to assist first-year students with their social and academic transition to Kean.
- Transition to Kean (T2K) - In this required course, students learn about Kean's programs and services to develop academic skills to function successfully on campus.
Furthermore, the following freshmen have adjusted to Kean and understand the impact the resources made in their transition.
Karen Garcia de la Cruz, an Asian studies major, spoke of having an eye-opening moment upon arriving at Kean.
"As a freshman, coming to Kean was a new experience for me. [I became] independent ... which forces you to do things on your own," said Garcia de la Cruz. "As a studious student, one of my huge worries was not being the same student I was in high school solely because others have always mentioned college is different. It's something more serious and realistic."
With that being said, she would go to the Center for Academic Success (CAS) for financial support, mentors and guidance from staff members.
"During my freshman year, after interacting with these staff members, they impacted me positively. I didn't have an...issue to worry about because I knew that whenever I needed it, they were going to be there to provide it," said Garcia de la Cruz.
Her advice: "New experiences in life aren't always bad. They are great challenges because you never know what is out there in the real world."
Shayla Feliciano, a criminal justice major, recalls the nerve-wracking feelings she had living far from home, which were quickly alleviated by the friends she made.
"I live so far from my friends and home so I felt alone at first. However, I made friends quickly and really noticed how much I’ve grown as a young adult in just one semester," said Feliciano. "I honestly was concerned about making friends because friends and the people you know are very important, and [they] lead to better opportunities and experiences."
As a part of the Educational Opportunity Fund (EOF) program, she was able to get the guidance she needed from her counselor, noting that programs like this are helpful resources.
"I also use my online resources, whether it is the school's website or email for help. I’ve [also] met a lot of friendly people who are willing to help and guide me through my issues, which created a great impact on my success so far."
Her advice: "College is an experience, so take every opportunity given and create something you and others will be proud of."
Prospective students or even seasoned students are encouraged to visit the Kean University website to learn about the plethora of resources on campus.