First-Year Summer Enrichment Program

The First-Year Summer Enrichment Program (FYSEP) empowers first-generation students to thrive academically and in the greater college community.

Who We Are

FYSEP was launched in the fall of 2009 as a student-led year-long mentorship program that connected first-year students with trained upper-level mentors and campus resources. Today we are students, mentors and mentees, friends and peers, staff, faculty, and even alumni, who come together to enrich each other's Dartmouth experience. We all work to ease first-year students' transition to Dartmouth academically and personally, and we enjoy many social events together. These allow students to unwind and see each other in a positive, supportive atmosphere.

Quick Statistics: 

  • 89 Participants for FYSEP 2022
  • 300+ Current Upperclass Students Participated
  • Approximately 40 Upperclass Mentors each Year
  • 2:1 Mentee to Mentor Ratio
  • 10 Teaching Faculty Members (from 8 Departments)
  • 50+ Staff and Faculty Workshop Facilitators
  • 14 Staff, Faculty, and Aministrators on the FYSEP Steering Committee

Program Details

FYSEP provides a rigorous, dynamic and transformative experience that puts participants in a position to thrive at Dartmouth both academically and socially. The program offers sample classes with Dartmouth faculty, workshops, activities, and seminars designed to simulate life at Dartmouth and to prepare participants to handle some of the challenges they may face during the course of their first year. Through a four week pre-orientation program and ongoing support throughout their first year, FYSEP students gain a broad array of understandings and skills designed to help them make the most of their experiences both inside and outside of the classroom.

First-generation and low-income students receive invitations in the spring to participate at the end of the summer. We encourage students who are not invited to the program to utilize the Undergraduate Deans' Office, the Office of Pluralism and Leadership, the Academic Skills Center, and Dartmouth's many peer-mentoring programs.

Students Learn: 

  • To thrive in Dartmouth's academic landscape.
  • To use campus resources to support them in their personal lives.
  • To utilize their unique support network of their FYSEP cohort and mentors.
  • To better understand their own inner-strengths, affinities, and areas for growth.

FYSEP Expansion

In 2020, we were excited to announce a dramatically expanded program supported by $13 million gift in alumni donations. Historically, FYSEP was a five-day pre-orientation session combined with ongoing programming, advising, and peer-to-peer mentoring for first-generation students who came from a low-income background. Students have valued the strong connection to community,  establishment of healthy habits, and helpful exposure to a range of campus resources designed to help them thrive. 

FYSEP was able to expand to four weeks, allowing participating students to more fully experience Dartmouth before the start of the fall term. Students take three sample academic courses, attend workshops and seminars with a range of Dartmouth offices and resources, and enjoy activities designed for entertainment, enrichment, and increased connection with their peers. FYSEP students transition into their undergraduate careers better prepared for Dartmouth's academics and more solidly grounded in a nurturing and supportive community.