Beginning on your first day at Nova Southeastern University (NSU), you’ll learn how to take charge of your education and your future. NSU’s First-Year Experience course helps you develop the foundation that serves as a pathway to graduation and a thriving professional career. You’ll get access to tools that will help you motivate yourself, manage your time, and work efficiently with others.

Experiential Education and Learning (ExEL) is an important part of the NSU Edge and one of the very first things you’ll participate in. ExEL encourages you to take advantage of real-world learning opportunities that will help you stand out when you pursue a career or graduate school. By the time you graduate, your portfolio will highlight all the ways you’ve gained practical experience—whether you’ve focused on coursework for your major, participated in research projects, or even traveled abroad.

It starts with coursework. In your very first semester, you’ll earn one of the six required ExEL units by taking First-Year Experience (UNIV 1000). You’ll explore cultural activities on campus and collaborate with your classmates. Most importantly, you’ll learn life skills from instructors and peer leaders, which will help you be successful academically and professionally.

Services and Resources

Once you earn your first ExEL unit through UNIV 1000, you’re free to explore. Choose from six areas (we call them pillars) to earn ExEL units. Conduct research with a faculty mentor. Enroll in interesting coursework. Test-drive your future career with an internship. Volunteer in the community. Study abroad. The options are limitless.

You’ll learn about all these opportunities during the First-Year Experience course. Peer leaders and advisers will help you find ways to get involved with activities that interest you—many of which can earn you ExEL units. Throughout the semester, your class will explore cultural activities on campus, discover support resources, and become a tight-knit community. By the end, you’ll have even earned your first ExEL unit.

From here, you can explore the six pillars of experiential learning to learn more about how you can tailor your experience to your interests and career plans.

Learn More About the Pillars

Meet Your Support System

It takes a network of peers, mentors, and cheerleaders to become the best version of yourself. As a first-year student at NSU, you’ll get the following support:

  • A First-Year Experience Instructor: Your First-Year Experience instructor will help you adjust to college life. He or she will share a variety of resources that will help you succeed.
  • A Peer Mentor: Your peer mentor will serve as a resource for comparing notes, asking advice, and figuring out campus life.
  • An Edge Adviser: Your dedicated academic and career adviser will help you choose courses for your major, apply for internships, polish your résumé, and introduce you to other academic and career development opportunities.

"The First Year Experience (FYE) program at NSU is really unmatched. As a professor, I thoroughly enjoyed working with my students. They were engaged, and they taught me just as much as I taught them. I loved being able to share the information that I wish I had known when I was their age.”

Kelli M. Carroll, M.Ed. | FYE Professor
First-year students at NSU

Get to Know Your Fellow Sharks

While taking UNIV 1000, you’ll attend events and take field trips with your classmates, giving you ample time to find your tribe. You’re all in the same boat, and you’ll learn how to navigate your undergraduate experience together. Turn these memories into content for Instagram and TikTok while you’re at it.

Contact Information

If you have any questions about the experiential learning program, email or call (954) 262-2047.