New Student Experiences

Whether you’re looking to get a head start on the first semester or would like to immerse yourself in a fun and enriching experience in the first few weeks of the semesters, these opportunities may be for you! Take a look at our Fall 2024 New Student Experiences. 

Pre-Semester Experiences

A group of students forming a circle in the academic quad

A group of students wearing face masks and holding up a pictures

A group of students presenting and in front of a small audience

August 12-22, 2024, Monday-Thursday, 9 a.m.- 4 p.m.

Get a head start on your college journey with the Summer Institute 2024! This eight day dynamic program is designed to help you excel academically and socially. You'll gain crucial academic skills and strategies, prepare for the demands of college-level courses, and build a supportive community on campus. By completing the Summer Institute, you'll strengthen your academic foundation, begin MAT-100P early, and even move into your residence halls ahead of time. Plus your ALEKS program fee will be covered, a $70 value, and you'll have the chance to win prizes. Lunches are provided.

For any questions, please email or learn more.

Testimonials from Summer Institute Alum

Rating with Stars with average rating of 4.67


I gave a five-star rating because the Summer Institute prepares a freshman for this new experience. They answer any questions you can have and inform us with all the resources we could possibly need. The Summer Institute is an amazing opportunity and I really enjoyed participating in it. I feel prepared for my first year and know where to turn to for help.

I really enjoyed participating in it. I feel prepared for my first year and know where to turn to for help.

I loved the summer institute. It was a great program that helped to understand what to expect for my first year of college.

I liked being with mentors and other students. It made me feel closer to Southern and I was happy about it.

I liked the workshops, especially the ones during the second and third week. I think they were super helpful and made me feel more secure on the resources made available for us.

It was very helpful and if you were ever confused about something there was always someone to help you out.

I couldn’t have had a great semester without the summer-institute program, honestly! It taught me a lot and helped me help others with the information I learned.

Comment box where the reviewer Strongly Agree with one of the comments above

The First-Year Student Leadership Experience (FLEX) Program is a pre-college experience that runs three consecutive days before (August 21-August 23) New Owl Welcome (NOW). The pre-college experience allows participants to meet and make connections with a diverse group of peers prior to classes beginning. Resident students will be able to move in early. FLEX will explore topics such as values, relationships, personal and professional goal setting, diversity, and much more. This program is provided at no cost to students or families. 

For more information contact Talia Lent, Office of Student Involvement and Leadership Development Graduate Intern at (203) 392-5782.

The Distinguished Male Achievement Network Retreat is a 1.5-day pre-collegiate experience to build support networks, community, and resources for men of color. The Distinguished M.A.N. aspires to contribute to the academic and personal success of men of color who identify as Black, Hispanic or Latino, Asian, American Indian, Pacific Islander, or Multiracial. The retreat provides participants with three primary components before beginning their experience at Southern:

  • a: student community
  • b: academic support resources
  • c: connections with faculty and staff.

For more information contact Dr. Kelvin Rutledge.

This mentorship program is a four-year commitment that starts before your first year at Southern and continues until you graduate. Participants will receive academic, professional, and personal support and guidance. This program aims to help you feel more comfortable and confident, learn new skills, make new friends, and gain experiences that will boost your success after graduation. Resident students will be able to move in early. Plus, you’ll earn a $500 scholarship at the end of each semester, rewarding your hard work and dedication!

Learn more or apply to the program.

In-Semester Experiences

Attention Commuters! Meet other first-year commuters for fun weekly experiences which will include a variety of different activities that will be based on YOUR interests. Throughout the first 6 weeks of the semester, you will be able to attend football games, go to escape rooms, see movies, and other fun activities! Each participant will receive a commemorative gift at the end of the program.

For more information contact. Davonte Glasford, Orientation, Transition & Family Engagement Graduate Intern at

Join fellow first-year students for weekly activities designed to introduce you to the opportunities and resources available at the School of Business while connecting with regional businesses and employers. Over the first six weeks of the semester, you’ll have the chance to visit local companies, engage in personal and professional development, and deepen your understanding of both yourself and the Southern community.

For information, contact Amy Grotzke.

The Mentor Academic Partnership Program, or MAP Program, is an opportunity where students with or without disabilities can form a support system with peers & professional staff while strengthening their advocacy skills.

For information, contact Jenna Barcello, Graduate Intern of CASAS, at

Join us in the first few weeks of the semester to get fit, get active, and get connected!  We'll have one-off tournaments like dodgeball and kickball, group fitness classes like yoga and pilates, and some outdoor activities like nature walks and canoeing trips!

For more information, contact Andrew Marullo.

Connecticut and specifically, New Haven, has been declared the pizza capital of the world! Ok, that may be a slight exaggeration. Beginning the 2nd week of the semester, join a group of other pizza enthusiasts for a weekly excursion to the best pizza places in New Haven. Each excursion will be preceded by a brief history lesson. Space is limited and this is at no cost to participants. Dates and times are TBD.

For more information, email Sal Rizza at

Complete this form to express your interest for both Pre-Semester and In-Semester experiences.

Interest Form