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New Program Will Guide Bobcats Through First-Year Transition

August 30, 2019

With a new academic year underway, first-year students are transitioning to university life. In an effort to help these students integrate into the environment — while cultivating meaningful academic, social, wellness and leadership experiences — UC Merced’s Office of Student Life has created the Bobcat Compass program.

The year-long program expands the traditional Welcome Week format, which focused only on the first two weeks of school. Students involved with Bobcat Compass can participate in programs across campus and in the Merced community to build new relationships and foster learning inside and outside the classroom throughout their first year. Bobcat Compass encourages students to step out of their comfort zones and produce their own stories of success while at UC Merced.

“No one wants to go through their first year of college alone or without direction, and extending the initiatives typically offered to first-year students from the first two weeks to an entire year assures our new Bobcats that we are in their corner, all year long,” said Student Life and Campus Involvement Programs Assistant Director Enrique Guzman. “We are so excited for how the program will bring not only our students, but all of our campus together to promote student success.”

The year-long Bobcat Compass program expands on the traditional Welcome Week format that focused on the first two weeks of school.
The year-long Bobcat Compass program expands on the traditional Welcome Week format that focused on the first two weeks of school.

Though the Bobcat Compass program is designed for first-year students, all UC Merced students can take part in the events, workshops and initiatives. Various departments across campus will take part in the program, providing support for academic, career and personal goals the students have.

There’s more to the program than just connecting students to staff, faculty and community members. It provides academic development and leadership opportunities, as well.

“Every student coming to UC Merced for the first time has been told a different story about what to expect and how to succeed in college,” said Student Involvement & Inclusion Initiatives Coordinator Lorene Fisher. “The Bobcat Compass program provides the opportunity for all new students to learn about the plethora of resources we offer, while creating space for them to make new friends within their Bobcat family, so that they are equipped to write and tell their own stories of success.”

For more information regarding the Bobcat Compass program and other student success initiatives, visit the Office of Student Life in Granite Pass, Room 166.