Open your eyes to the ultimate college experience: FEX 101

In the sometimes chaotic world of college life, it’s important to develop the skills needed to sustain a student’s academic and social education throughout the next four years. The transition from high school to college brings up many issues for all new students. But they can breathe easier knowing that UM has support services in place to make this transition as smooth as possible.
FEX101 is a course developed to blend academics, leadership, learning, networking and community building skills to enrich freshman year. Building a solid foundation during the first year is key to a successful college career.
“This course helped me learn the strategies and techniques to be a successful college student,” Chris Igtiben, a former FEX student, said.
In small class settings, with prominent faculty and administration members as mentors, new freshmen receive one-on-one instruction that helps them develop academic skills and learn how to best utilize university resources. Students are exposed to campus leadership opportunities, academic/career planning, UM traditions, study abroad opportunities, personal wellness programs and a bus tour of the surrounding community.
Sebastian the Ibis, the UM mascot, has also been known to drop by unexpectedly.
Academically, students develop college-level research techniques, improve active reading, reduce test anxiety, refine note-taking methods and establish strong study habits.
“High school is a teaching environment in which you acquire facts and skills, whereas college is a learning environment in which you take responsibility for thinking through and applying what you have learned,” Dr. Christie Rinck, director of freshman programs, said.
Dr. Rinck also emphasized that college life is a “great balancing act” and that there are many resources at UM to help students succeed.
However, perhaps the most important perspective on FEX101 comes from the students who have participated in it first hand.
“I know so much more about the programs and resources available to me than other students who did not take the FEX101 course,” Ashley Miguel, who took FEX101 during Fall 2001, said.

For more information on FEX101 or on how to enroll, visit , or e-mail Dr. Rinck at