Transition Programs

First 5 Logo
Connecting Points


People: Students, Faculty, and Staff

Connection to the SMU people begins during Mustang StartUp as students (virtually) meet and interact with SMU students, faculty, and staff. Students are also introduced to social issues they may face as they interact with people at SMU. During Orientation, new students are placed in small groups with upper-division student leaders to foster the development of relationships between students.

Academy: Curriculum, Course Work, and Experiential Learning

Connection to the SMU Academy includes understanding the Common Curriculum, appreciating the value of in-class learning and faculty interaction, as well as discovering the diversity of learning opportunities that exist in and outside the classroom. In the SMU Academy, students join the intellectual life of the University, understanding how the Common Curriculum creates a foundation for advanced learning though classroom interactions with peers and an engaged faculty. Further opportunities for learning beyond the classroom include study abroad, engaged learning, undergraduate research, and more. Students first connect to the concept of the Academy through Mustang StartUp. These experiences provide a practical and concrete guide to the path of education. During Stampede, students participate in the intellectual community through, Rotunda Processional, and Convocation. Each of these experiences represents a different aspect of the SMU Academy.

Spirit: Values, History, and Traditions

Connection to the SMU Spirit includes knowledge of and identification with the SMU values, history, and traditions. During Mustang StartUp, students connect to the SMU Spirit by gaining information from the Chaplain’s office and Office of Student Conduct & Community Standards. The SMU Values Statement is introduced, an overview of SMU history and traditions is presented, and students are taught the SMU school song and chants. Stampede – itself a longstanding tradition – encompasses many beloved traditions including Candlelight.

Campus Involvement, Resources, and Services

Connection to the SMU Campus includes developing an awareness of the opportunities for campus involvement, the resources available to students, and the services in place to support students. Students cannot take advantage of opportunities they are unaware of. Aspects of the SMU Campus include academic resources (ALEC & the Libraries) and health and safety services (SMU Police, Dr. Bob Smith Health Center). Throughout Mustang StartUp students learn about the abundance of benefits associated with life as a Mustang. The connection to the SMU Campus continues during Stampede and the first few weeks of school as students participate in events in various campus facilities, identify where classes are located, and begin learning about SMU student organizations.

Community: Opportunities, Service, and Entertainment in Dallas

Connection to the SMU Community of Dallas includes a recognition of the opportunities Dallas has to offer, awareness of ways to contribute to the city, and knowledge of the many venues for fun and entertainment.