First-Year Student Experience

What Will Your First Year Look Like?

Convocare. Ignite the Flame. The Harry S. Truman Distinguished Lecture. Late-Night Breakfasts. Homecoming. Your first year is going to be busy! And it actually starts in the summer as you’ll join in Avila’s Common Reading Program, which leads right into your First-Year Seminar.

During your time here at Avila, we offer many services to support your well-being.

These services include:

  • Avila Care Team–to help you with a crisis or if you have a concern about someone else.
  • Career Services–to help with your resume and job search.
  • Counseling Services–to assist if you ever feel a little homesick or simply need someone to talk to.
  • Disability Services –to encourage the development of your unique potential.
  • Health Services–to help keep you well.
  • Tutoring is FREE–it is offered both online and face-to-face for your convenience.

First-Year Seminar (FS 101) 

is a required course for all first-year students. FS 101 incorporates themes presented in the book you’ll read over the summer as part of The Common Reading Program. This course will be your introduction to the academic and social knowledge, skills, and resources within the Avila community. It is also designed to encourage your development through an exploration of personal values, Avila’s mission, and global issues. We achieve all of this through readings, written analysis, and discussions.

Toward the end of your first semester, you’ll participate in the Truman Lecture Series which typically features the author of the Common Reading book. At the end of the semester, your writings, thoughts, and observations will be included in a capstone publication. FS 1010 helps build community with your first-year classmates and is a rich way to start your college years. 

Past Common Reading Books

  • 2019 – “A Deadly Wandering” by Matt Richtel
  • 2018 – “The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind” by William Kamkwame and Bryan Mealer
  • 2017 – “The Distance Between Us” by Reyna Grande
  • 2016 – “While the World Watched” by Carolyn Maull McKinstry
  • 2015 – The Big Truck That Went By: How the World Came to Save Haiti and Left Behind a Disaster” by Jonathan M. Katz
  • 2014 – “They Poured Fire on Us From the Sky” by Benjamin Ajak, Bensen Deng, Alephonsian Deng, & Judy Bernstein
  • 2013 – “The International Bank of Bob” by Bob Harris
  • 2012 – “Unbroken” by Laura Hilenbrand

The Harry S. Truman Distinguished Lecture Series

Began in 1971, former President Harry S. Truman gave his stamp of approval for Avila University (then Avila College) to offer a lecture series in his name. Later that year, the first Truman lecture was delivered by David E. Bell, vice president of the Ford Foundation and Truman’s first administrative assistant. Click the slider to read about recent lectures.

Avila University Harry S. Truman Distinguished Lecture Series Logo

2019 Truman Lecturer Reggie Shaw

Subject of the book “Deadly Wandering”

2019 Truman Lecturer Reggie Shaw

2018 Truman Lecturer William Kamkwamba

Author of “The Boy Who Inherited the Wind”

2018 Truman Lecturer William Kamkwamba

2017 Truman Lecturer Reyna Grande

As part of the Truman Lecture Series students have an opportunity to interact with the author in small group settings.

2017 Truman Lecturer Reyna Grande

2016 Truman Lecturer Carolyn McKinstry

Author of the Common Reading Book, “While the World Watched”

2016 Truman Lecturer Carolyn McKinstry
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