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Hullabaloo U Certification Process

Hullabaloo U, Texas A&M's common first-year experience (FYE), was launched in 2019 in an effort to retain more students, increase four- and six-year graduation rates, and decrease achievement disparities. The Office for Student Success is now beginnning the certification process for courses to be included as Hullabaloo U certified courses for Fall 2023.
Certified courses must include the following minimum requirements:
  • Weekly group meetings throughout the fall semester
  • Four required content lessons (Healthy Relationships, Respect and Inclusion, Well-Being, and Success Strategies)
  • Two required social activities (in or out of the classroom)
  • A cap of 25 students per section
  • 1 peer mentor per section of 25 students
  • 1 instructor (faculty or staff) per section of 25 students
  • 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, including but not limited to the inclusion of Hullabaloo U items on Student Course Evaluations.

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 certified College seminar or pre-identified learning community will be expected to enroll in the interdisciplinary first-year seminar, FYEX 101, coordinated by the Office for Student Success.
The deadline for certification submissions for Fall 2023 is January 20, 2023. To ensure that college/unit leadership are aware of programs submitted, each college/school/unit must submit only one certification form for all of their programs. Non-academic departments should also coordinate submissions (ex. LAUNCH, Student Affairs, etc.).
Each submission requires:
  • Completion of Certification Submission Spreadsheet to provide basic logistical information about the program(s)
  • Proposed syllabus/course outline to review for adherence to the overarching Hullabaloo U outcomes (sample syllabus provided for reference) and inclusion of the required content lessons and social component. The Office for Student Success will use the Hullabaloo U Certification Form and Rubric to evaluate each submission. 
  • Materials must be submitted for all new AND previously certified programs; previously certified programs will have an expedited review process. 

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.

Student Outcomes

  • 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.
  • $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.
  • Instructors are also able to request additional "Course Funds" to support miscellaneous expenses such as classroom materials, snacks, supplies, community building activities, etc.
  • January 20, 2023: Certification submissions due.
  • February 17, 2023: Certification Decisions communicated.
  • April 7, 2023: 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. Interdisciplinary programs without their own course designation may request a section of FYEX 101 to be created for them. All certified sections will be “tagged” using a First Year Experience course attribute.
Colleges/departments are free to put forth any courses for certification and manage enrollment as they see fit. FYEX 101 sections managed 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 
  • Respect and Inclusion
  • Well-Being
  • Success Strategies
Outside of the 4 required themes each semester, instructors are free to customize their course to best match their experience and expertise, as well as meet the unique needs of the students in their section. The Office for Student Success provides a repository of developed curriculum and facilitation guides that instructors can “plug and play” as desired or instructors can generate their 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.
The Office for Student Success chairs a Hullabaloo U Logistics Committee which has developed comprehensive flow charts for each academic college based on their specific requirements and offerings. These flow charts are distributed to academic advisors and provide direction for assisting individual students with selecting and registering for the most appropriate HU experience.
  • Each college/school/unit will certify its first year experience course through the Office for Student Success in order to receive the FYE attribute in Howdy.
  • Academic Advisors will facilitate enrollment in either the college or university-level FYE during the normal New Student Conference registration.
  • Hullabaloo U enrollment is tracked through the New Student Conference Roster. Rosters can be pulled in near "real-time" throughout the summer NSC season to track HU enrollment.
  • 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 New Instructor Training (only those who did not complete a New Instructor Workshop previously).
  • All instructors must attend the Hullabaloo U All Instructor Symposium scheduled tentatively for Tuesday, May 16, 2023, 8:00 AM - 12:00 PM
  • NEW instructors (those who did not complete a New Instructor Workshop previously) must also complete New Instructor Training. New Instructor Training will be offered as online modules to complete at one's own pace OR as a 5-hour in-person workshop to be offered on several dates in May.
  • Required training must be completed by all Instructors before the first day of classes. Instructors must complete training in order to receive their bursary.
  • All instructors are also encouraged to complete the online "Train the Trainer" modules for each of the four required lessons.
  • All Peer Mentors will complete online training (less modules required for returning peer mentors). 
    • Training must be completed by all Peer Mentors before the first day of classes. Peer Mentors must complete training in order to receive their stipend.
  • If your program or college would like to host additional training that provides program specific details, feel free to create that training on your own.