Freshman Experience

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The Freshman Experience Program at Georgia Tech was created to help incoming freshmen make the transition from high school to college life. It is important for students to build a strong foundation both academically and socially during their first year. As participants of the Freshman Experience Program, students will be given many opportunities to interact with their new community and develop a basis to continue their remain years as an undergraduate. [1]


Living Arrangements

Since one of the purposes of the program is to get students to engage with their new environment, Georgia Tech offers freshmen housing. All students that take part in the Freshman Experience Program can choose to live in dorms where they are surrounded by only other freshmen and peer leaders. Peer leaders are upper-class students who live among the new students to assist and help in anyway. As part of the program, peer leaders are in charge of planning activities for their respective floors/dorms to help the new freshmen get to know one another.[2] These activities can include movies, dinners, sports games, and much more.

Campus Layout and Housing

Georgia Tech has a number of residence halls located all around the campus. They are split up into two sections: East Campus and West Campus.

East Campus

East Campus residence halls are the original and oldest halls on the Georgia Tech Campus. Many of these dorms date back to the late 1930s and early 1940s. Two of the oldest residence halls on east campus are Brown Residence Hall and Harris Residence Hall both created in 1925-1926. The most recently created dorms include Field, Matheson, Perry, Hanson, and Hopkins Residence Hall all of which were created in 1961.[3] Despite being earlier dorms, Smith, Brown, and Howell (created 1939) were not added until they had been renovated in 1994, around the time the West Campus dorms were added as well.[4]

East Campus provides the income Freshman Experience students with many activities and landmarks. This side of campus has Technology Square, which home to not only classes, but many restaurants and other facilities. Many of the peer leaders' planned activities take place in the Glenn-Towers Residence Hall quad. The quad is a open area between the dorms with an open field of grass making it easy to hold outdoor activities. East campus is, also, closer to a majority of the classes, the library, the MARTA station, and the famous Bobby Dodd Stadium.[5]

West Campus

West Campus residence halls are among the newer halls on campus, most of which were constructed around the 1969 to 1972 time period. Many of these were renovated last 1990s or early 2000s with the except of Hefner and Armstrong.[3] These two have been renovated more recently than the others and are the only two dorms that contain elevators. Many people agree that they maybe considered the nicest freshmen experience dorms on campus. These dorms were added to the program soon following Smith, Brown, and Howell in 1994.[4]

West Campus, as opposed to East Campus, provides students with a quiet and peaceful learning environment. The constant noise from the downtown area and cars on I-85/75 can't be heard all the way on the West side. This doesn't mean that no activities can be held here. Across from Woodruff there is an area where many groups or TAs hold events such as barbeques or picnics for students to just hang out and eat. West Campus, also, hosts 3 major sporting areas. The SAC Field is an extremely long field where many students and inter-mural teams go to play outdoor sports such as soccer, football, or even ultimate frisbee. Next to the SAC field is the Burger Bowl. Many students go here to just hang out or play football or baseball. Sometimes the Georgia Tech baseball team holds their practice in the Burger Bowl because it is vaguely shaped like a baseball diamond. On the other side of the SAC field is the Campus Recreational Center (CRC), also known as the gym. The CRC has basketball courts, an indoor track, many swimming pools, and even a workout gym. The basketball courts can also be used for ping-pong, badminton, fencing, and other extracurricular activities. Many times there are yoga lessons or karate lessons that go on in the CRC as well.[6] Like East Campus, West Campus has many places to eat aside from Woodruff dining hall. A small complex of many restaurants such as Firehouse or City Cafe is located at the intersection of 10th and Hemphill. Many students walk there to enjoy non-dining hall food.[7]

Meal Plan

Students in the Freshman Experience Program not only live together, but eat together as well. Freshman Experience students are assigned a meal plan which they can use at the campus dinning halls. Georgia Tech has two dinning halls open to all students who have a meal plan. On the east side of campus there is Brittain and on the west there is Woodruff.[8] Both have a cafeteria like atmosphere where the students can pick up as much food as they want from the kitchen and sit at tables and socialize while they eat.

The Program

Interacting Opportunities

The Freshman Experience program was created to get freshmen to become more involved around the campus. The program offers many opportunities to do that through many different curricular activities and clubs.

Emerging Leaders

Students who have an interest in leadership roles are meant to join Emerging Leaders. Emerging Leaders is not just for students who have had many past leadership experience but for those who haven't had any as well. This program works with many students to help find each students individual leading style. Students come together and meet to develop their leadership skills, communication, and other skills that will help them succeed even after college.[9]

Freshman Activity Board

Freshman Activity Board (FBA) is a group of 15 boys and 15 girls chosen during the fall semester. These students are given a budget of $10,000 to use for the whole year. These select 30 freshmen plan events and activities through out the year for other freshmen at Georgia Tech. Once again, this program requires no previous experience and is open to all freshmen who wish to apply. The purpose is to teach leadership and to allow students to come together to make their fellow freshman's college experience better.[10]

Hall Council

The Hall Council consists of freshmen elected during the first couple weeks of school. They are the major governing body of each residence area. Each hall has a Hall Council President and many officers. Hall Council is a great way to get to meet new people and interact with other people to make import decisions about your community and living area. Like the Freshman Experience Program, it promotes involvement. [11]

Networks: Freshman Partners

New freshmen are encouraged to participate in the Freshman Partners program. This program allows the students to interact with teachers, faculty, staff, and alumni for another source of information and support. Freshmen partners can provide further insight that PLs may not be able to assist with. Because most partners are faculty and Georgia Tech alumni, they have more experience with Georgia Tech culture and can be very informative. Also, they can provide students with great research opportunities and potential future job leads or interviews. In today's highly competitive world, a strong reference is necessary to start a successful career. A Freshman partner can provide such a reference if a student chooses to make the best of their relationship. The Freshman Partners Program is a way to make the transition into college a more pleasant one for newly arriving freshmen.[12]

Academic Resources

Many freshman find the difficulty of college highly unbearable at the beginning. The Freshman Experience program provides free tutoring sessions to make sure that students remain on top of their academics during their transition. From Sunday to Thursday tutoring in calculus, physics, and chemistry can be available at each students own residence hall. Also, Georgia Tech has a phone-in tutoring service. A student simply calls in their question and watches as someone works the problem on the TV.[13]. Freshman students should, also, feel free to use the resources provided by the Georgia Tech library including the archives and any computer resources. Georgia Tech's Freshman Experience Program offers a class known as GT1000 to develop skills that will allow you to succeed at Georgia Tech. According to statistics, 95% of students who take GT1000 carry on to their second year.[14]. Overall, the Freshman Experience Program offers the students a great way to transition into the college life and continue on with success even after graduating.


  1. "Welcome to the Freshman Experience Program... It's where you live!" Georgia Tech Housing,
  2. "Make Upper-class Connections: Peer Leaders" Georgia Tech Housing,
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Georgia Tech Building List" Georgia Institute of Technology: Capital Planning and Building Management,
  4. 4.0 4.1 "Freshman Experience expands to meet demands", The Technique, Feb. 14th, 1994, Print.
  5. "Campus Map" Georgia Institute of Technology,
  6. "Campus Recreation", Georgia Institute of Technology: Campus Recreation,
  7. "Campus Map" Georgia Institute of Technology,
  8. "The Freshmen Meal Plan" Georgia Tech Housing,
  9. "About Us" Georgia Institute of Technology: Emerging Leaders,
  10. "About FBA" Georgia Institute of Technology: Freshman Activities Board,
  11. "Provide Leadership and Involvement Opportunities: Hall Council" Georgia Institute of Technology: Housing,
  12. "Establishing Your Network with Faculty and Staff: Freshman Partners" Georgia Institute of Technology: Housing,
  13. "Utilizing Academic Resources" Georgia Institute of Technology: Housing,
  14. "Developing Best Practice for Success" Georgia Institute of Technology: Housing,
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