First-Year Programs

First-Year Programs consists of a team of academic advisors, peer mentors, and student ambassadors who are all dedicated to helping new students at Embry-Riddle. We work together with faculty, staff, and parents, focusing on student success: academically, professionally, and socially

We are conveniently located on the east side of the College of Business where there is a small computer lab and plenty of room for students to meet. Through various programs and activities, we guide students through their transition to University life. First-Year Programs helps students find what they need to be successful at Embry-Riddle and in life.

What Can We Do For You? 

  • We provide academic advising for first-year students.
  • We organize the UNIV 101 course (College Success) required for most students. All advisors teach three sections per year.
  • We sponsor the First Generation Club and its activities.
  • We orient students to the University campus, including services and activities.
  • We coordinate social events.
  • We monitor grades and promote intervention strategies.

University 101 (College Success) is a one-credit course required for most new students on campus. It is taught in groups of 20-25 by academic advisors, faculty, and staff throughout the campus, who have a special interest in first-year students. First-Year Programs monitors the course and trains the instructors and peer mentors. A peer mentor assists the instructor in each classroom instruction and serves as a point of contact for each student in the class.

Students learn from modules on study skills, academic integrity, degree completion plans, time management, budgeting, financial aid, applying for scholarships, professional behavior, Embry-Riddle’s history, campus resources, ethical issues in diversity, and social responsibility.

Freshman academic advisors help students with class selection and graduation (four-year) plans. In addition, advisors monitor grades, refer students to campus-based resources (including tutoring), offer intervention strategies, and communicate with faculty and parents.

Advisors like to meet with students during their first weeks on campus to make sure things are going smoothly. Students must visit their advisors before each new semester's registration to obtain approval of course selection. The advisor will release a registration hold, giving the student access to web-based registration.

Jessica McDermott
Director, First Year Programs
Phone: 386-226-2957

Linda Arce Henriquez
Advises first-year COA students with last names A-L
Phone: 386-226-4985

Nevada Wagoner
Advises first-year COA students with last names M-Z
Phone: 386-226-7661

Mary Chilson
Advises first-year COAS and Still Exploring Engineering students
Phone: 386-226-4964

Amy Bumbaco
Advises first-year COE students with last names A-L
Phone: 386-281-6734


Jennifer Cummings
Advises first-year COE students with last names M-Z
Phone: 386-226-6169

The First Generation program is focused on first-in-the-family college students. The program provides transitional skills into college life, holds special events, and sponsors the First Generation Club. 

Frequent activities include Dress for Success, trips to Kennedy Space Center, faculty-student gatherings, and motivational programming. Events are open to all students.

Limited scholarships are offered to members of the club, based on academic achievement and club participation. 

Member Feedback

"The First Generation Program has not only helped me succeed as a student, but also as a professional. The program opens all college students up to the world, and not just to books, which is what most students think college is all about. It has given me valuable information that I will carry throughout my college career and life. With free tutoring, scholarship opportunities, and awesome information seminars, First Gen is the all-in-one college experience everyone should be opened up to."

- Anthony Alvarado

"Being in the First Generation Club has inspired me to tackle things in college I normally wouldn't take the time to achieve: from learning the intricacies of financing and doing my taxes, to utilizing all of our campus' available resources as an opportunity to prepare myself for post-college life. Not to mention the people I have met, who all come from a similar background, in that we're first-generation students and heading toward a similar goal in leading successful lives."

- Roland Nunez

"The First Generation Club has meant a lot to me, especially this year being my first year as a college student. The First Gen Club helped me with the transition from high school to college and from being watched over all the time to being responsible and on my own. The club even sponsored different presentations and conferences that were very helpful."

- Joel Johnson

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Contact Us

Daytona Beach Campus
1 Aerospace Boulevard
Daytona Beach, Florida 32114