Program Description

Freshman Academy keeps the tradition but breaks it, too.

Like traditional undergraduate programs, students in Freshman Academy study in a regular semester. The semester schedule matches the standard university calendar, with the same start and end dates, the same holidays and reading breaks. Courses are taught by the top quality professors that earned TWU top grades in The Globe and Mail and Macleans rankings. Because TWU is a liberal arts university, we have what is called a "core:" courses from a wide range of subjects that help you establish a basic educational foundation. First year students generally focus on taking this "core," and this is the same for the Freshman Academy program. Outside of academics, students enjoy all the vitality of university life: sports and recreation, leadership opportunities, clubs and study groups, dormitories and student life, library and writing centre support, student lounges and collegiums.

So what makes it different? First, because improving academic grades and skills is the number one goal, students in the program have a carefully balanced workload each semester. Also, instead of going to classes with different people all the time, students in Freshman Academy have a cohort, a group of the same classmates studying all together. Another unique feature is a learning coach, who is available to help students with course-specific questions and assignments. Finally, students also have one faculty contact person to provide course advising and to answer questions on anything about university processes and administration. In other words, Freshman Academy encourages the growth of community, companionship, and confidence.

Are you a match?

If you have been out of school for a while and are nervous about coming back, Freshman Academy is a good choice. The supportive environment and extra academic help will help you gain confidence for completing your degree.

If you didn't perform at your best in high school or if academic work is more challenging for you, Freshman Academy will help you develop skills to pursue further post-secondary education.

It's all about exploring.

Perhaps you don't know what major to choose, or maybe you have too many ideas. In Freshman Academy, you don't have to deal with the stress of making an immediate decision. Enjoy the full year just exploring. You can experience courses from a range of disciplines, courses such as art, communication, religious studies, psychology, human kinetics, and literature. You will also benefit from a writing course to help you navigate through the different ways of writing and researching within the different disciplines. At the end of the year, you will probably have more understanding of your own interests and you may even discover a new passion. At the same time, you will get a lot of your core requirements taken care of so that in your second year, you will be ready to move into courses in your chosen field.

You can work on your degree and get help along the way.

If you already know what degree you want to pursue, your year in Freshman Academy will fill in the first year of your requirements. All first year students take a mixture of liberal arts core (required for all degrees) and courses in their major. It is exactly the same in Freshman Academy. While you are working on these courses, you'll have weekly help from your learning coach and additional support from your faculty advisor.