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Hullabaloo U Certification Process

The Student Success Initiative (SSI) aspires to retain more students, increase four- and six-year graduation rates, and decrease achievement disparities. A university-wide taskforce recommended the implementation of a common First Year Experience (FYE) for first time in college (FTIC) students as one component of the SSI.  A First Year Experience Advisory Committee further developed these recommendations, and launched a pilot implementation of Hullabaloo U during Fall 2019. On October 2, 2019, Provost Fierke announced plans to the Council of Deans to scale up this initiative for Fall 2020. Programs to be included in the Fall 2020 implementation must be certified through the Office for Student Success.
Certified programs must include the following minimum requirements:
  • Weekly group meetings throughout the fall semester
  • Four required content lessons (Healthy Relationships & Bystander Intervention, Respect and Inclusion, Well-Being, and Success Strategies)
  • Two required social activities (in or out of the classroom)
  • A cap of 25 students per seminar
  • 1 peer mentor per section
  • 1 instructor (faculty or staff) per section
  • Instructor participation in the All Instructor Symposium and New Instructor Workshop (new instructors only) in the spring
  • Peer mentor participation in common training in the spring
  • Participation in Hullabaloo U assessment

The common components of the first-year seminar will only take place in the fall semester. However, programs are encouraged to continue the connection with their students during the second semester. Any students who are not able to be accommodated in a certfied College seminar or pre-identified learning community will be encouraged to enroll in an interdisciplinary first-year seminar coordinated by the Office for Student Success.
We would like certification submissions for Fall 2020 implementation by December 20, 2019. To ensure that college/unit leadership are aware of programs submitted, we have designed the certification process so that each college/unit need only submit one certification form for all of their programs. Non-academic departments should also coordinate submissions (ex. LAUNCH, Student Affairs, etc.).
Each submission requires:

Questions? Contact Meredith Malnar at or see FAQs below.

Frequently Asked Questions

The purpose of the Hullabaloo U Aggie First Year Experience is to create a welcoming and affirming environment for each new student. Students will develop self-efficacy, self-awareness, and a sense of purpose; become actively engaged in the learning environment inside and outside of the classroom; and become socially integrated within the university community.


  • Community formation and sense of belonging
  • Increased awareness of campus resources
  • Development of skills to achieve personal and academic goals
  • Equipped to contribute to a respectful and inclusive environment
  • $500 professional development bursary will be provided for each faculty or staff member who leads the group of 25 (This does not apply if using an existing course to which the individual would normally be assigned to teach for the semester).
  • $100 for miscellaneous expenses such as classroom materials, snacks, supplies, etc.
  • $500 per section will be allocated for a peer mentor; the $500 will be processed through the Office for Student Success and posted mid-Fall semester to the peer mentor's student account.
  • December 20, 2019: Certification submissions due.
  • January 17, 2020: Certification Decisions made and communicated.
  • April 3, 2020: Course/section listing, names and contact information for all instructors & peer mentors due.
No. The minimum requirement for certification is 0 credits. Programs with their own course designation may choose to certify a credit-bearing course.
Existing courses that are certified as a Hullabaloo U course may continue to use their own course designation. Certified sections will be “tagged” using a Hullabaloo U course attribute. Programs without their own course designation may request a section of FYEX 101 (formerly UGST 181) to be created for them.
Colleges/departments are free to put forth any courses for certification and manage enrollment as they see fit. Courses maintained by OSS will be interdisciplinary.
There are four required Hullabaloo U major themes with associated curriculum modules that will take 4 of the 10-14 class periods. These include:
  • Healthy Relationships & Bystander Intervention
  • Respect and Inclusion
  • Well-Being
  • Success Strategies
Outside of the 4 required themes each semester, you are free to customize your course to best match your experience and expertise, as well as meet the unique needs of the students in your section. The Office for Student Success will provide a repository of developed curriculum and facilitation guides that you can “plug and play” as desired or you can generate your own lesson plans that fit within the overall purpose and outcomes of the experience. More information related to course development will be provided at the spring training workshop.
We plan to convene a key group of individuals from colleges and cohorted programs to aid in the planning of session offerings and establishment of recommendations for students with multiple program identities. 
  • Each college/program will certify its first year experience course through the Office for Student Succes in order to receive the FYE attribute in Howdy.
  • Academic Advisors will faciliate enrollment in either the college or university-level FYE during the normal New Student Conference registration.
  • After each NSC, OSS will run a report indicating which students are not enrolled in an FYE. The colleges will be made aware and those students will be contacted and encouraged to enroll. 
  • Faculty and full-time staff who hold at least a Bachelor’s degree and have worked at Texas A&M for a minimum of one year OR graduate students who have completed at least 18 hours of graduate coursework at Texas A&M
  • Attendance at the All Instructor Symposium and a New Instructor Workshop (only those who did not complete a New Instructor Workshop in 2019).
  • All instructors must attend the First Year Experience Instructor Symposium scheduled for May 11, 2020, 8:00 AM - 12:00 PM
  • NEW instructors (those who did not complete a New Instructor Workshop in 2019) must also attend one of the following New Instructor Workshops:
    • Friday, May 1, 9:00 AM - 1:00 PM
    • Wednesday, May 6, 9:00 AM - 1:00 PM
    • Tuesday, May 12, 9:00 AM - 1:00 PM
  • Peer Mentors must attend one of the following training dates:
    • Saturday, April 25, 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM 
    • Saturday, May 2, 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM 
    • Thursday, May 7, 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM