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Why SYE?

Second year students are at a pivotal point developmentally in their lives and show different needs than students at other levels. To avoid the “sophomore slump” second year students need certain guidance and resources.

Specific needs of second year students include:

  • Academic advising and career planning
  • Exploring and selecting a major
  • Academic and social integration
  • Contact with faculty outside of the classroom setting
  • Skills and support to cope with lack of classes in their major
  • Staying motivated to finish their general education classes

Our program is specifically designed to meet these needs to ensure that all second year students have the opportunity to succeed both in and out of the classroom.

“The Effect of a Sophomore Year Experience On-Campus Living-Learning Community: Participants Sense of Meaning in Life, Academic Self-Efficacy, and Satisfaction” by Shannon M. Finning-Kwoka

Empowering Connection to UWO

“Studies…suggest that students who live on campus, work on campus and work less than 20 hours per week, as well as those who become moderately involved in campus clubs and organizations, have a significant advantage over those who do not. It all comes down to connecting with, and ultimately feeling that you are a part of, your university family while allowing enough time to be successful academically. Remember, a 15-hour course load (about five courses) will require approximately 45 hours of class time and study time per week. As parents, you have a big part in guiding and advising and encouraging your college student in areas that will help promote success.”

Empowering Academics

Second Year Students quickly learn that the expectations and demands of upper class coursework are significantly higher than they were their Freshman year.

Academic Faculty expect commitment and diligence from upperclass students. It is a basic expectation that students prepare for class by reviewing all assigned materials. The standard rule is that a student should prepare two hours for every hour in class. College is a full-time job. Whether you have attended college, raised children or built a career, you understand the value of work. Your son or daughter can learn from your experiences.

Empowering Communication with Faculty and Staff

Please encourage your student to communicate directly with University faculty and staff and take responsibility for their own school relationships. They should know which department to call if a problem arises and feel comfortable asking for help. It’s important that you resist the natural urge to come to the rescue and instead, show your student that you are confident that they can handle their own business by encouraging them to do so. Empower your student to strive for self-reliance and independence, but to also reach out for help when appropriate.

Maintaining Contact with your SYE Student

As you know, it is essential to maintain an active relationship with your son or daughter. Whether you live across the country or across town, we recommend that you initiate a conversation with your new college student about how to keep in touch (e-mail, letters or phone), how often (daily, weekly or monthly), and at what time of day (morning, evening or just on the weekends).

Visiting campus is an excellent idea, but surprise visits are not recommended. As new college students adjust to their schedules, they will know which weekends or evenings will work best for them. For example, a Sunday visit the day before midterm exams may not be a good time. Your son or daughter can help you choose the right time. You may plan a visit around an event such as the international festival, a basketball game or a theatre performance.

Empowering Adult Relationship Skills with Roommate / Suitemates:

Maybe your student complained about roommate issues over the past summer, this year is the perfect opportunity for you to empower your student to exercise the adult skills of interpersonal communication, conflict resolution and relationship development.  Encourage your student to communicate proactively with their roommates / suitemates in advance of issues arising and in the event of issues arising, to address them maturely and independently.

Empowering Basic Living Skills

The second year of college is an excellent time to empower your student to take full control of their basic life needs and commitments. Things like banking, medical appointments / prescriptions, laundry and life goals/ experiences are all examples of life elements that your student must develop a more or complete grasp on, in order to continue to grow and be successful in their future.

Source: Adapted from the UNC Charlotte Admissions Department website “Preparing Your Child”


Campus Resources:

Career & Professional Development:

We provide you with career information, advice and occupational guidance.”

Undergraduate Academic Resource Center:

“The Undergraduate Advising and Resource Center (UARC) is here for students to guide them in the right direction. That direction may be choosing a major, signing up for classes, reading their STAR, and more.”

Center for Academic Resources:

“Students can receive free one-on-one tutoring for most courses on campus. There are also several kinds of regularly scheduled group study sessions, such as Supplemental Instruction (SI) and Peer Educator Review Sessions (PERS).”


“We envision a culture where student-athletes are proud of UW-Oshkosh and have positive personal, social and civic values that foster academic and athletic success.”


Counseling Center:

“Our mission is to offer confidential assistance to UW Oshkosh students who would like to be more effective in their academic, vocational and personal lives. This could involve examination of such areas/issues as personal values, interpersonal or family relationships, self-esteem and identity, career decision-making, motivation and academic performance.”


Math Lab:

“The Mathematics Department operates two free drop-in tutor labs, both located in Swart Hall.”

Writing Center:

At the Writing Center, our mission is to help all students become better writers by helping them understand and improve their writing processes.”