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Seton Hall University
Students on campus in the fall.

First Year Experience  

The Seton Hall University first year experience fosters a living and learning environment in Aquinas and Boland Halls guided by the COMPASS Philosophy (COMPASS - Collaborative Opportunities to Mature Personally, Academically, Spiritually, and Socially), and is structured by focused opportunities for students to connect what they learn in class to what happens outside the classroom.  Staff members work closely with Freshman Studies to provide a wide variety of programmatic opportunities to begin to explore the University's mission - what it means to be a servant leader in a global society.

Aquinas and Boland Halls are home to over 1000 first year students.  This is the first "on-your-own" living experience for most college students.  New college students everywhere experience a period of transition: adjusting and learning to live with roommates and/or suitemates, experiencing independence from family; and exploring personal beliefs and values. The COMPASS experience is one that nurtures and aids students in these transitions and provides focus for learning among the diverse students at Seton Hall.

Research shows that students who make connections to their institutions to their institution and to other students will succeed academically, and would be more satisfied with the overall college experience.  COMPASS exists to promote this connection and facilitate student involvement right from the start.

Goals and Objectives

  • To assist students in understanding their rights and responsibilities as conscientious citizens.
  • To engage students in the value of the intellectual life.
  • To provide an environment where students can explore and develop their spiritual selves.
  • To familiarize students with University resources and opportunities.
  • To expose students to diversity and create opportunities for celebration.
  • To foster involvement through leadership opportunities, campus activities, and volunteer efforts.
  • To integrate use of technology appropriately.

Support and Resources

HRL's First Year Experience staff consists of six full time professionals who live in the residence halls: an Assistant Director of HRL for the First Year Experience, Aquinas and Boland Residence Hall Directors, Aquinas Residence Coordinator and Boland Residence Coordinators. There are also six Tutors in Residence who live and hold lobby hours. Professional and Student Staff are available during business hours (with offices in both buildings) and on call in the evenings.

In addition to HRL's first year experience staff, first year students are also supported by the Freshman Studies and the Department of Student Life staffs.

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