My Years at Cal website helps new students make a home on campus

New Student Services at UC Berkeley has launched a website to help new undergraduates get off to a good start on campus and navigate their first year of college.

My Years at Cal features sections with “To Do Lists” for freshmen and transfer students, and includes information customized for first-generation college students. Sections for sophomores, juniors and seniors will be added next fall.

“My Years at Cal really helps you feel connected to the greater Cal community, and has some awesome tips!” says student Alexandria Wald.

My Years At Cal website screenshotThe website is intended to pick up where CalSO (Cal Student Orientation) leaves off. My Years at Cal is designed to provide students with information about what they need to do to get the most out of their first year on campus. Students browsing there will find video interviews with students, weekly polls, student quotes, worksheets and links to campus services.

Explained Roseanne Fong, who served as director of New Student Services and now is the director of undergraduate advising for the College of Letters and Science, explains the genesis of the website:

“My work in student services and orientation has always been about packaging what we have at the university to help students succeed. It includes academic orientation, easing the transition to college life, and identifying support resources throughout the college years.”

Since 2007, New Student Services, a unit of the Office of Student Development in Residential and Student Service Programs has been exploring and researching how campuses nationwide help students through the first year, including mandatory orientation and more complex programs.

Efforts to build support for new students beyond what My Years at Cal has to offer are ongoing. NSS is now part of a First-Year-Experience Task Force led by Harry Le Grande, vice chancellor of student affairs. The goal is to ensure a well-rounded and integrated first-year experience tailored to UC Berkeley’s campus culture, history and students.