The Sophomore Surge is a program at MSU where peer mentors and faculty and staff will guide and support incoming students throughout their first year of college and engage them with an active community of support.

The purpose of the Sophomore Surge is to apply individually tailored support to the social, academic, and personal needs of first-year students throughout the crucial first year of college.  The Surge will support first-year students in their transition to college through exploration, examination, and development of their identity, interests, strengths, values, and goals. The Sophomore Surge will connect first-year students with a Peer Mentor and with faculty and advising professionals at MSU who are committed to student success.

The Sophomore Surge will combine support with a state of the art engagement and developmental curriculum designed to surge students into their Sophomore year.

The Surge will partner with designated sections of a University Seminar (US) 3-credit Core course consisting of 15-18 first-year students to involve them in a combination of curricular and co-curricular engagement activities, and maintain a personal academic and social relationship with each participant. This program will integrate students into a community of learning and support that assists and guides their work to design and pursue a signature educational experience. A signature educational experience can be defined as that blend of curricular and co-curricular opportunities that enables our students to craft and pursue a path to degree and post-graduation life that meaningfully develops and aligns their strengths, values, and goals with their learning choices both inside and outside the classroom.

The Sophomore Surge first-year students will engage in activities and events to be supported in their:

  • Transition to college
  • Effective study habits
  • Academic decision making
  • Self-identity
  • Values and strengths
  • Exploration of campus resources
  • Preparation for advising
  • Career development
  • And more….

Sophomore Surge social and academic activities include:

  • Individual check-in with Surge Mentor during regular intervals throughout the academic year
  • Meals together in MSU Dining Halls
  • Weekly email and social media check-ins
  • Encouraged involvement in clubs, organizations, and activities that broaden the academic experience.
  • Referrals to key services (library, counseling, academic advising, tutoring, career development, learning strategies, etc)
  • Assistance with review of syllabi from all courses and how to use professor’s office hours.

The Sophomore Surge is a joint effort between the Office of Academic Affairs and the Division of Student Success and is shaped and supported by MSU faculty and staff. Participating faculty and staff will guide and support the Surge Mentors in their work with the Surge first-year students by serving as mentors and resources to these student leaders. These faculty and staff will supplement and leverage the work of the mentors by themselves providing relational advising on an as-needed basis to the Surge first-years. 

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