What is Broncos FIRST?
Broncos FIRST is a student success program designed to help first year students transition successfully to WMU. The program has two parts: a year-long first year experience class and a mentoring experience. Students receive mentoring from a professional on campus (professor or staff member) or a professional from the community. The program is not just a class—it is an experience! The mentoring experiences are set up as group mentoring experiences to increase your exposure to numerous professionals. The mentors will remain the same throughout the year to allow students the opportunity to forge deep connections to each other and the professional members in their groups.

Why was I selected?
Any student who received a Pell Grant award in their financial aid package is eligible for Broncos FIRST. Only 70 students will be selected to participate in the Broncos FIRST Student program. Eligible students will be randomly selected to participate in the Broncos FIRST Student program. You have a higher chance of being selected for the program than you do of not being selected.

Do I have to participate in the Broncos FIRST program?
Participating in the Broncos FIRST program is option and up to the student. We hope that you see the benefits of the program and want to participate.

What makes Broncos FIRST different from other first-year programs?
Western Michigan University offers several amazing first year and multi-year student success programs such as Alpha, TRiO Student Success Program, CAMP, Martin Luther King Scholars Academy, Seita Scholars program, First Year Seminar (FYS), and many more. Broncos FIRST is similar to many of these programs in offer a first year experience class, but Broncos FIRST is unique in offering that class for the entire year and offering the mentoring community. The mentoring experience will allow students the opportunity to connect to WMU faculty/staff or successful local businesspeople in a comfortable setting—right here on campus. The class is facilitated by a course facilitator and a student co-facilitator, who recently participated in the Broncos FIRST program, meaning that when we say they’ve been where you are, we mean it!

How would a mentor help me? What if they work in a field I’m not interested in?
The people who have been in your life so far—your family, teachers, co-workers, and peers—have all had a role in shaping who you are today. A mentor does the same thing. They’re like a coach for your professional career path. Whether they are in the field that interests you or they’re in something completely different, they can help you to start making connections in Kalamazoo and the campus community. 

Mentors will also help you learn more about professionalism, how to find a job or internship, how to interview, and how to navigate the expectations of your first big job. They are also a great ally to have when it comes to asking or answering tough questions, like how to negotiate salary or whether your resume would get the job.

Why should I be a part of Broncos FIRST?
WMU has a lot to offer. Broncos FIRST is designed to help you make it through your first year and into your second by connecting you to peers, faculty, and programs offered by your school to help you succeed. We are here to help shrink the campus for you, so you are confident in navigating it and accessing what you need along the way.

Can I receive mentoring without taking the course?
No, to participate in Broncos FIRST you must participate in both parts of the program (the class and the mentoring).

Can I take the First Year Seminar and the Broncos FIRST Course?
It is recommended that students do not take a First Year Seminar (FYS) and the Broncos FIRST class. The course content is similar but offered in different ways. (see our question above about the differences in our program than others being offered on campus).

Will I be charged for taking this course?
WMU charges a flat tuition rate to undergraduate students enrolled in 12-15 credits. The Broncos FIRST courses will count towards those credits each semester. 

Will the Broncos FIRST class count towards my degree?
The Broncos FIRST class will count as an elective for your degree completion requirements.

Where do I get more information?
For more info, you can check out the rest of our website, or email: Monica.Abrams@wmich.edu with any questions you may have.

If you’re coming to orientation, feel free to stop by our booth in the dining hall. We are the ones with the gold tablecloth!