FYE Offers Students a Personalized College Support System

Eduardo MoralesCompton resident Eduardo Morales went from attending a continuation high school to earning a 3.6 GPA at El Camino College Compton Center with the help of the First Year Experience (FYE) program. He now has his sights set on transferring to a four-year university in fall 2016.

Morales started out at Compton High School, but his lack of motivation and interest in school led him to Cesar Chavez Continuation High School where he earned his diploma. After high school, he spent a year working as a cook and shift supervisor at a pizza restaurant before he decided to enroll at ECC Compton Center in fall 2013.

Morales was referred to the FYE program by a Compton Center counselor and even though he was skeptical at first, it ended up being the perfect motivator for him. He joined the first ever all-male FYE learning community and was able to make new friends, receive one-on-one counseling, and have access to important resources designed to help first-time college students succeed.

FYE was just what Morales needed to jump-start his college education. “At first it felt like high school all over again,” he said. “Then, as the semester went on, everyone in the program helped each other and became good friends.”

Because of Morales' low assessment test results, FYE counselors also suggested that he and his peers take part in the ECC Compton Center Summer Math Academy, which helped him advance in math and enabled him to skip a whole semester of math classes.

After taking part in FYE, Morales realized all of the program’s benefits and decided to become an FYE peer-to-peer ambassador. As an ambassador, Morales says he wants to ensure that every student has the same positive experience he did. “We explain all the resources available here, and help FYE students feel comfortable on campus,” said Morales.

Morales is a sociology major who hopes to one day become a high school or college counselor. He plans to graduate with an associate degree from ECC Compton Center in spring 2016. He credits FYE for helping him become motivated in pursing higher education. He is currently researching four-year universities to determine his transfer plans.

Morales recommends that high school graduates, as well as students wanting to transfer, enroll in FYE during his or her first year at ECC Compton Center.“FYE provides new opportunities to gain experience and resources that help individuals succeed in college,” said Morales. “Overall, it is a great experience.”

The First Year Experience program at El Camino College Compton Center is currently accepting applications for the 2015-2016 academic year. All interested applicants may submit an application online or pick one up at the Transfer Center, Room D-29.

FYE information sessions are currently being held at ECC Compton Center every Thursday from 5:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. in the Transfer Center, Room D-29. Students must RSVP at the Transfer Center or by calling 310-900-1600, Ext. 2505.

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