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First Year Experience

First Year Experience

The first year of college is an exciting and challenging time where you will experience academic and personal growth. Our First Year Experience (FYE) program connects first year students to Montgomery College by: 

  • Educating students on services and resources
  • Empowering students to make their move toward their goals using informed decision making
  • Engaging students in Montgomery College and the community
  • Embracing students by meeting them where they are
  • Exciting students through the experience we provide in their first year
  • Enriching students' lives by providing, promoting and supporting learning opportunities that will help them grow personally, professionally, and academically
  • Exploring opportunities so students can discover who they want to be and plans they can make to realize their dreams.

The FYE program includes New Student Orientation, workshops and events throughout the academic year, and the centerpiece of the FYE program: the First Year Seminar.

New Student Orientation

Have a successful start at Montgomery College. Through New Student Orientation (NSO), we'll answer your questions, connect you to campus resources, and help you make the most of your college experience. New degree-seeking students must complete NSO before registering for classes. Access New Student Orientation online

FYE Activities and Resources 

The FYE Summer Bridge Program  includes a one-credit course (First Year Seminar: STSU 100) that allows students to experience the college environment prior to the fall term.

Through structured and integrated activities, students are prepared to meet the demands of college by bridging the gap between high school and college. Statistics consistently have shown that students who attend a summer bridge program achieve higher grade point averages, have higher retention rates, and experience higher graduation rates than students who do not attend such programs. After completing the program, students typically demonstrate more confidence and self-assuredness—and are better prepared to begin college.

Students should attend the course on the campus on which they intend to take classes. They should also commit to enrolling at Montgomery College in the fall semester immediately following the First Year Seminar. Enrollment is limited; scholarships may be available. See all the courses available for the Summer Bridge Program (PDF, Get Adobe Acrobat PDF Reader - Link opens in new window) .

What Will Students Do in the First Year Seminar?

  • Explore goals and career direction
  • Develop an education plan that meets their goals
  • Learn how to access campus resources and services
  • Discover new study and time management skills
  • Understand costs and financial aid opportunities
  • Improve team-building and problem-solving skills
  • Become familiar with the campuses
  • Understand graduation requirements
  • Increase knowledge of MC policies/procedures
  • Meet other students, faculty, and staff
  • Investigate transfer information
  • STSU 100 First Year Seminar: Designed to assist the student in adjusting to college. Includes academic and student services available, study habit techniques, career and educational planning, and adjustment concerns. Especially intended for students during their initial semester of enrollment. One hour lecture/discussion each week; one semester hour. (Formerly DS 107)
  • STSU 101 Seminar for International Students: Orientation course for international students. Includes study skills, academic regulations, the American educational system, individual educational and vocational goals, communication skills, and American customs. Especially intended for students during their initial semester of enrollment in conjunction with American language developmental course offerings. Two hours lecture/discussion each week; two semester hours. (Formerly DS 104)

For more information, email

FYE Student Ambassadors
FYE Student Ambassadors

FYE Student ambassadors play a key role in assisting first-year students with the transition to college.

Student ambassadors are a select group of student leaders dedicated to serving first-year students by fostering support in academic performance and social development inside and outside the classroom.

Edith Carrasco
Edith Angel Carrasco

Hometown: Perú

Major: Community Health

Fun Fact About Me: I like to watch movies and choose them depending on whether I like the plot within the first 10 minutes. Another fun fact about me is that due to the pandemic and social distancing, I learned how to cut hair through YouTube tutorials, and now my family only wants me to give them haircuts.

What I like most about MC:  Montgomery College is an institution that provides high-quality education and has a staff that cares about the general welfare of all students. The teachers at MC have excellent human qualities, with vast knowledge in their area, and they are very dedicated to their students. Also, MC provides tutoring and coaching services in different areas.

Advice for new students: I would advise new students to dare to dream; even in the most challenging times, don't give up. MC has many resources oriented to help the student. If they have questions, they can find a counselor or academic advisor, attend informational workshops, and sign up for the various student assistance programs MC offers. At MC, the new students will find guidance on starting their academic life and plan course selection based on each student's needs through SAPC and many resources to complement academic life with physical and emotional well-being.

Campus resources that I find most valuable and made the most use of: The campus resources I find most valuable are MC Library, SHaW Center, Counseling and Advising, Writing, Reading, and Language Center (WRLC), ATPA, and TRIO. Since I have had access to these resources, I have received tremendous support in my academic development.

Makia Adam
Makia Nouradine Adam

Hometown: Sudan

Major: General Studies-STEM

Fun Fact About Me: Getting along with new people is one of my hidden talents.

What I like most about MC: The diversity at MC appeals to me; the staff, advising and counseling, as well as the tutoring centers that I could go to for help.

What I have found most beneficial from STSU100 First Year Seminar: In STSU 100 I learned about the resources, college network, and all of the other opportunities that MC offers to students and their families. Most importantly, I learned the necessary skills to help guide and become a better leader.

Advice for new students: You can’t take the whole element in one bite, however, if you break it down into small pieces, then you can start from there step by step. This applies to the college process the same way, start off slowly and get yourself used to how college works. All in all, here at MC you are going to meet so many people. Good people, I mean really good people, who will inspire you, drive you, lead you, and go out of their way to help you in your education and direct you towards the right path. Just believe in yourself.

Campus resources that I find most valuable and made the most use of: STEM Learning center, Writing, Reading and Language Center (WRLC), and Counseling and Advising. These should be on top of your list for reaching out for help.

Magdaline Agyare
Magdaline Agyare 

Hometown: Accra, Ghana 

Major: Political Science 

Fun fact about me: I’m left handed! 

What I like about MC: One thing that I have always loved about MC is the close-knit community and how supportive the faculty is. I truly love the diversity throughout the college. MC has various choices and opportunities they provide, the bridge they connect with numerous Institutions and universities. 

Advice for new students: My advice for new students would be to find a faculty member who they can trust and build a relationship with. They can teach you the most valuable things and mentor you throughout your experience at MC. Always go for it! Please don’t be afraid, even in fear, go for it. 

Campus resources that I find most valuable and made the most use of: The resources I found most valuable were the professors. They make sure to see you striving. Also, the Writing, Reading and Language Center (WRLC). 

Maria Jose Andrade 
Maria Jose Andrade 

Hometown: Bogota, Colombia 

Major: General Studies SSAH 

Fun Fact About Me: When reading a novel or watching a TV show, I will for sure start with the very last part and determine if it’s going to be worth it. 

What I like most about MC: What I like the most about Montgomery College is that the institution has its doors open to every individual who is willing to take their education to the next level with perseverance. 

Advice for new students: As Coelho said in The Way of the Bow , “But never hold back from firing the arrow if all that paralyses you is fear of making a mistake. If you have made the right movements, open your hand and release the string. Even if the arrow fails to hit the target, you will learn how to improve your aim next time.” Try as much as you want and never be afraid of it. Each 1% improvement is the seed that your future self will see bloom. 

Campus resources that I find most valuable and made the most use of: I find the Library and Counseling and Advising the most valuable campus resources. 

Jaspreet Bhatia
Jaspreet Bhatia

Hometown:  Rockville, MD

Major: Business

Fun Fact About Me: I was a former Hollywood actor.

What I like most about MC: People are nice and the campuses are small. I can easily remember where offices are located. The college keeps us very engaged by hosting good events for students throughout the year.

Advice for new students:  Just be you and enjoy your college experience.

Campus resources that I find most valuable and made the most use of: I feel like the best campus resource and the most underutilized is the Library.

Erika Boone
Erika Boone

Hometown:  Silver Spring, MD

Major: Digital Media and Web Technology

Fun Fact About Me: I am a huge lover of video games and technology.

What I like most about MC: I like the sense of community, and how the staff try their best to help you.

Advice for new students: Think of MC as a fresh start, check out the clubs and resources to make the most out of your education.

Campus resources that I find most valuable and made the most use of: Being able to do school work on campus. I feel being on campus versus at home helps me focus more and get school work done uninterrupted. 

Surya Iyer
Surya Iyer

Hometown: Mumbai, India

Major: Computer Gaming and Simulation

Fun Fact About Me: I lived in India from the age of 2 to 17 before moving here.

What I like most about MC: The freedom that the courses allow along with the diversity in the campus.

Advice for new students: Don’t be intimidated or afraid to approach people, since they’re likely in similar situations to you.

Campus resources that I find most valuable and made the most use of: campus shuttles, the library for self-study, and the cafeteria services.

Mohamed Kamara
Mohamed Kamara

Hometown: Dakar, Senegal

Major: General Studies HACL

Fun Fact About Me: I speak 3 languages (English, Wolof and French)

What I like most about MC: What I like the most about MC is that they truly care for your success. MC offers scholarships, initiates many different programs, and makes sure that you have the support you need for your experience at the college and beyond.

Advice for new students: Do not procrastinate. Make a plan that includes the reason why you are in college, which courses and resources you need to graduate on time, and who can support you to reach your goals. I didn’t do this and ended up changing my major three times which meant that I had to spend an extra year to make course requirements for my degree.

Campus resources that I find most valuable and made the most use of: I find that the Counseling and Advising department is extremely valuable because they know so much more than you about your degree, and can quickly guide you to what you need to do in order to graduate.

Michael Kummer
Michael Kummer

Hometown: North Bethesda, Maryland

Major: Architectural Technology

Fun Fact About Me: I like to go on hikes in my free time!

What I like most about MC: The thing I like most about Montgomery College are the people here. During my time at MC, I have seen countless examples of students, Professors and staff trying to help each other out and support each other here.

What I have found most beneficial from STSU100 First Year Seminar: The thing I have found most beneficial about STSU 100 was the lesson on time management. Starting out, I have found that the life of a college student can get really busy. Knowing how to manage my time wisely became extremely beneficial for me.

Advice for new students: Take advantage of all the college resources here! I have found this college packed full of useful resources. From Student life to counseling and advising, you will find someone willing to help you with your goals. Have fun!

Campus resources that I find most valuable and made the most use of: I have found the Writing, Reading and Language Center (WRLC) a great resource to use for all of your writing, and I think my most used resource here at the college! Another resource I have found extremely valuable is Counseling and Advising. Counselors are the best people to go to for course planning and getting yourself oriented to college life and protocols.

Isaiah Marshall
Isaiah Marshall

Hometown:  Silver Spring, MD

Major: Computer Science

Fun Fact About Me: I run a music production studio and have been playing guitar for 19 years.

What I like most about MC: My favorite aspect about MC is that all my classes are available online.

What I have found most beneficial from STSU100 First Year Seminar: The most beneficial thing about STSU 100 was filling out time logs that allowed me to see how much time I was spending on homework in all of my classes. 

Advice for new students: I would advise new students to be aware of how they’re spending all their time and to be prepared to adjust their regular schedules if need be. 

Campus resources that I find most valuable and made the most use of: The virtual tutoring center is the most valuable resource that I made use of. It was great being able to visit when I didn’t understand a concept in my Calculus class.

Nira Matos Vicuna
Nira Matos Vicuna

Hometown: Lima, Peru

Major: Architectural Technology

Fun Fact About Me: I like to read the movies’ plot before watching them because I want to know in advance how they end. 

What I like most about MC: Cultural diversity is the most that I like most in MC. Staff, professors, and students have different backgrounds, languages, and cultures that make them unique. Since I started College, everyone made me feel well-welcome. 
What I have found most beneficial from STSU101: Having taken STSU101 was the most beneficial and worthy experience for me in my first semester. This course helped me to have an awareness of the different and beneficial resources that Montgomery College provides for its students. Also, participating in this class gave me the confidence to express and be able to share my opinions in English.

Advice for new students: My advice for new students is not to be afraid of asking for help during their time at MC. I know all staff members, professors, and faculty are willing to help students with their needs and also, and they will encourage them to achieve to be the best students. Let them hear your voice!

Campus resources that I find most valuable and made the most use of: In my opinion, among all the resources that MC provides for students, the most valuable is the Writing, Reading, and Language Center. This center is accessible to everyone who needs to improve in those areas, and also it provides tutoring in different disciplines. As an international student, I can asseverate that this resource will help them to improve and become confident in the English language

Ignatia Msomi
Ignatia Msomi

Hometown: Durban, South Africa

Major: General Studies in STEM - Nursing

Fun facts about me: I was born and raised in Durban, South Africa. When I was younger, I used to dream about traveling to all the cities and states in America that I would see in some of my favorite movies. Now that I am living here in America, every year I make it my mission to travel to a city or state I have never been too.

What I Like about MC: I love the diversity, equity, and inclusion of all three campuses. Yes, I have taken courses from all three campuses. I love how there are so many resources available to students at no cost. I also love that MC has excellent faculty staff that are dedicated to helping us students stay focused, engaged, and connected by providing guidance and support so we can become successful students.

Advice for new students: Have an idea of what it is you want to major in, then schedule a meeting with a counselor/ advisor, create plan for your course work, and do not be afraid to ask for help, it is always available at MC. Most importantly, make the most of your time at MC by joining student clubs and enjoy your experiences.

Campus resources that I found most valuable and made the most use of: Counseling and Advising, the Library, WRLC, and the Ackerman STEM Learning Center. All these resources played a huge part in me having grades that are beyond good academic standing.

Eva O'Hara
Eva O’Hara 

Hometown: Rockville, MD 

Major: Business 

Fun Fact About Me: I became a licensed massage therapist before starting at MC. 

What I like most about MC: The professors! They are passionate and personally invested in the students they teach and the material they cover. Plus, their unique personalities shine through their lectures which keeps class interesting. 

Advice for new students: All your questions are valid. Although at first it can be intimidating to approach faculty, they will welcome you with open arms. Building the confidence to bring questions and concerns to your professors/advisors can become a superpower. 

Campus resources that I find most valuable and made the most use of: Academically, I make the most use of the amazingly patient tutors in the Learning Centers. Personally, I really value Student Life. They always have something cool lined up! Clubs and events can be perfect for getting to know other students, which can be especially hard to do in virtual classes. 

Jazlleen Ramirez
Jazlleen Ramirez

Hometown: Damascus, Maryland

Major: General Studies- STEM 

Fun Fact About Me: A fun fact about me is that I am a first-generation student with a Salvadorian background and I will be the first to step into receiving a higher education. 

What I like most about MC: I like the helpful resources that are provided from MC. Whether it is for schooling, financial aid, transportation and even food, MC helps and cares for their students so that everyone can succeed in any circumstance. 

What I have found most beneficial from STSU 100 First Year Seminar: I found STSU 100 beneficial in getting to know what Montgomery College offers. I was able to learn the many courses that are offered, how to meet up with an advisor and the process of transferring from a two-year institution to a four-year institution. 

Campus resources that I found most valuable and made the most use of: Smartthinking is a great source to help improve essays/papers in any subject online. The Writing, Reading and Language Centers are also a great way to receive in person help for papers. I found these two resources very useful to be successful college student. 

Irene Leiva
Irene Sagastume Leiva

Hometown: Izabal, Guatemala

Major: Homeland Security

Fun Fact About Me: I was raised on a farm in the countryside of Guatemala

What I like most about MC:  MC is very welcoming, and very quickly, you feel included. There are so many students from different backgrounds. Also, there are so many events you can be a part of. So, it is not only about academics but also enjoying college life. 

Advice for new students: My biggest advice is not to be afraid to ask for help. Someone is bound to know or at least point you in the right direction. Everyone at MC has been in the same shoes as you, so just know they can relate.

Campus resources that I find most valuable and made the most use of:  Virtual tutoring, Library, Writing, Reading, and Language Center and Counseling & Advising.

Student Ambassador Qualifications and Benefits

  • Participate in FYE classes, Summer Bridge, New Student Orientation, Welcome Week and other engaging events designed for First Year students
  • Promote FYE and Student Life college/campus events and activities
  • Serve as leaders, mentors and positive role models for new MC students

Qualifications to become an FYE Student ambassador

  • Enrolled at MC at time of application and while participating in the program
  • Completed at least 12 credit hours at MC
  • Completed of STSU 100 or STSU 101 with a grade of ‘B’ or better
  • Earned an overall GPA of 3.0 or better at MC
  • Able to make a one academic year commitment (fall/spring)
  • Available 6-7 hours each week

Benefits of being an FYE Student ambassador

  • Develop relationships with MC faculty, staff, and students
  • Enhance leadership skills
  • Expand work experience
  • Improve presentation and facilitation skills
  • Increase self-awareness
  • Widen awareness of the college/campus
  • Enhance Resume
To participate in the 2023-2024 academic year program, students will need to:
  • Commit to weekly meetings and workshops
  • Enroll in the STSU 200: Introduction to Student Leadership course (fall only) on Wednesdays from 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
  • Request a Letter of Recommendation from a MC faculty/staff member, which they will email to: and
  • Complete the application below
FYE Student Ambassador Leadership Program Application

Find FYE on Campus