University of Pittsburgh-Johnstown

First-Year Success Program

The First-Year Success Program (FYSP) is required for students admitted on a provisional basis. It features a comprehensive set of support services designed to foster academic and personal success during the first semester of college.

How Does it Work?

Students are notified of their participation in the First-Year Success Program (FYSP) through their acceptance letter from Pitt-Johnstown. During the summer, students receive additional information about the program, including their FYSP contract and fall semester to-do list, and have the opportunity to meet with the Academic Success Center counselors during Academic Planning Days. Throughout the fall semester, students will mee regularly with their academic counselors, who closely monitor progress, provide support, and refer students to campus resources. The academic counselor’s primary goal is to understand the students as an individual and to tap into his or her strengths to develop a plan for success. In most cases, a close relationship is established between the student and academic counselor, who becomes the “go-to” person for the student.

What Are the Program Requirements?

Introductory First-Year Success Program Meeting

All FYSP participants are required to attend a mandatory meeting to discuss the program and its requiremetns.  The date and time of the meeting with be provided through summer correspondance.  The date and time for the Fall 2020 introductory meeting will also be posted here once the fall semester calendar has been finalized.

Participation in CAS 1917: Foundations of Learning

This 3-credit course examines the academic and psychosocial components of effective college learning.  Students will explore their identities as learners and build skills to maximize academic potential.  CAS 1917 is intended for freshman or sophomores and is a requirement for students participating in FYSP and GOAL.

Participation in Bi-Weekly Meetings with ASC Academic Counselor

Each FYSP Participant will be assigned to and meet with an ASC Academic Counselor at the same time every other week. When scheduling these appointments, we will take into consideration the student’s academic schedule, as well as any other obligations, such as sports practices, work schedules, etc. During these meetings, we will discuss your classes and assignments, as well as ways to utilize your strengths and improve upon your weaknesses to maximize your first semester performance.

Participation in Bi-Weekly Meetings with Mentor for Academic and Personal Success (MAPS)

Each FYSP Participant will also be assigned a peer mentor to meet with every other week, when he/she is not meeting with an academic counselor (the student meets with an academic counselor one week and then a peer mentor the next week). The meetings are both assigned for the exact same day and time. During these meetings, FYSP participants and their peer mentors will discuss strategies to help them succeed in their first semester at Pitt-Johnstown, as well as their entire academic career. You may discuss topics such as time management, organization, note-taking, mindset, as well as the ins and outs of being a student at Pitt-Johnstown.

Participation in Minimum of Five Study Hall Hours Per Week

It is crucial that you develop strong study habits in your first semester of college. By requiring FYSP participants to complete study hall hours outside of their dorm rooms, we hope to introduce students to the various locations on campus that are conducive to deep concentration and healthy study habits.  FYSP students can complete study hours in the Academic Success Center or Owen Library. Both locations have ID scanners that you will utilize to login at the start of your study session and log out at the completion of your study session. The ID system automatically totals your hours of studying and notifies you of your weekly amount accumulated when you sign out. Any hours of tutoring in which the student participates also count towards the five required study hall hours.

Participation in ASC Tutoring Support Services

All students are required to use some type of Tutoring Support Services. We offer a wide variety of tutoring options for students because every student’s needs are different. FYSP Participants will work their academic counselors to determine which type(s) of tutoring will most benefit them. This program requirement is completely individualized.

This Program Works!

FYSP participants consistently outperform much of the general first-year student population in the first semester at Pitt-Johnstown. A quarter of fall 2014 participants obtained Dean’s List, a rate matching the rest of their freshman class. We believe much of the success of our students is linked to the intrusive nature and high level of accountability of the program. Students benefit from the highly structured environment — creating an important bridge from high school to college. In addition, a high correlation exists between program component compliance and academic achievement.

Questions? Contact:

Cassandra LaFramboise, MA
Academic Counselor & FYSP Coordinator