Welcome to the First-Year Advisory Counselor (FAC) Program home page from Valentine Esposito and Derek Lindsey, FAC Board Co-Chairs on behalf of the FAC Board. As student leaders of the FAC Program, we oversee the training, organization, and activities of the 30 executive FAC Board members as well as 240 sophomores, juniors, and seniors dedicated to promoting a seamless transition to Duke University and Durham communities.
The following contains information for incoming first-year students, current FACs and FAC Board Members, as well as information for potential FAC applicants.
- Who are we
- What we do
- Current FACs
- How to apply
The purpose of the First-Year Advisory Counselor (FAC) Program is to transition incoming first-year students to college life in order to maximize their experience as a Duke University student and community member.
- Welcome new students to Duke University
- Establish connections both within the incoming class and with their upperclassman peers
- Make incoming students aware of the resources available to them, including but not limited to, (1) academic resources, (2) opportunities for student involvement, and (3) opportunities to establish a relationship between the Duke and Durham communities
- Empower incoming students to make responsible decisions as a Duke community member
- Foster pride and enthusiasm in the Duke community
What We Do
New Student Programs (NSP) in conjunction with a group of nearly 300 student volunteers in the FAC Program work together to successfully support and acclimate each incoming first-year student to collegiate life and, most importantly, their new home at Duke University and the Durham community.
Our program’s success rests in the FACs. While these 240 students have the least extensive time commitment in the program, they are the most important participants. Each FAC becomes the peer leader and mentor of a group of 6 to 8 incoming first-year students, vested with important responsibilities.
FACs contact each of their first-year student for the first time during the summer before they arrive, offering themselves and their experience as a resource for any questions the students might have before setting foot on campus. At the end of the summer, the FACs return to campus a week early to be trained in their position. This training is intended to teach FACs leadership skills, increase each FACs knowledge of university resources, and finally build their confidence in facilitating group discussions.
On Move-In Day, the FACs of each residence hall are present as each of the first-years arrive and, as a way of welcoming them, physically move in all of the luggage that each family brings for their student. This is a most concrete means by which the university and students illustrate strong community values in welcoming their newest members.
Finally, FACs are responsible for leading their first-years through the rest of Orientation Week. As previously mentioned, one of the major tasks of the FACs is to facilitate a discussion of the summer reading book among their first-years, which of paramount importance to the FAC Program. The FACs are entrusted as student leaders to initiate and lead the first intellectual experience for the first-year students at Duke University. This activity stresses the fact that their academic experience at Duke extends beyond the classroom to their interactions with peers over the course of their academic career. FACs also lead follow-up discussions to “True Blue,” which is a presentation that describes how to healthily navigate your first couple of weeks at college with an emphasis on social decision making. This places the FACs in the position of acting as a resource and a support system to help their first-year students with some of the most difficult aspects of the transition to the college academic and social scene.
The FACs are expected and encouraged to serve as a resource and friend to their first-years throughout the Fall semester.
The Head FAC
The FAC Board, composed of 30 junior and seniors students serve as Head FACs in an extended leadership role for the Program. Head FACs select their incoming teams through the FAC application process in the beginning of the Spring semester. Concurrently, the FAC Board seeks to build group cohesion through biweekly meetings and regular communication, as well as group activities to develop this tier of leaders. In the late summer, this dedicated crew returns to campus early to participate in training in preparation for the return of their FAC group to campus.
The Head FACs become capable and dedicated student leaders, vested with the responsibility to build group cohesion and a sense of purpose among their respective groups of approximately 20 FACs. We see it as invaluable that our Head FACs train their respective FAC groups, as this student-to-student communication builds personal relationships and mentorship skills. Lastly, Head FACs collaborate with Undergraduate Admissions to support Blue Devil Days, via student hosting and student-to-student conversations.
The FAC Board Co-Chairs
The FAC Board’s two chairs provide leadership for the program at the student level. Despite the “titles,” the co-chairs function as members of the FAC Board who work with an eye towards the facilitation of multi-level program integration.
The Chairs function as a direct line of communication between the Housing, Dining & Residence Life (HDRL) office and the rest of the FAC Program. Currently, the Co-Chairs perceive two main responsibilities – first, the Chairs logistically ensure that the FAC Board and the program perform all of its major functions.
These functions include:
- FAC Board recruitment and selection in late fall
- FAC recruitment and selection in early spring
- Spring preparations – Head FACs begin team building with their residence hall FAC groups
- Blue Devil Days
- Summer planning and preparation for FAC Board training and orientation week activities
- FAC Board training in mid-August
- Orientation Week supervision the week before school starts
- Co-Chair selection and program transition in mid-fall
Secondly, and in addition to these organizational concerns, the Chairs are also responsible, along with the support of the FAC Board, for maintaining a more encompassing perspective on the mission of our program and constantly looking for ways in which we can do our job better.
The New Student Programs office (NSP)
Finally, our NSP professionals are pivotal in providing a nexus between an organization with a student foundation and administrative-level responsibilities. As a source of financial support and accountability, provider of infrastructure and logistical support, and as a liaison between the FAC Program and University administrators across campus, this connection places the FAC Program in a unique position. Even the FAC volunteer becomes not only accountable to the highest level of the University administration, but also reaps the benefits of this direct connection.
Currently, Assistant Dean for New Student Programs Clay Adams oversees New Student Programs for the Housing, Dining & Residence Life (HDRL) office. Additionally, he serves as the primary advisor of the FAC Program, with additional support from Sharon Logan as Staff Assistant, and Jesse Huddleston as the Graduate Assistant.
Please see our organizational chart, visit Sakai.
How to apply!
Prospective FAC Board Member?
Enjoy the beginning of the 2013-2014 academic year, but be sure to pay attention in the late fall to this website and campus postings for the beginning of the FAC Board recruitment process. The FAC Board is always on the lookout for energetic upperclass students who demonstrate the following qualities throughout our application and interview process:
- Peer Leadership Ability
- Year-long Commitment
- Duke Love and Enthusiasm
Information for the 2013-2014 FAC Year will be posted in early 2013!
Thanks for your interest. The FAC program is no longer accepting applications for the Class of 2017 positions.