May 28, 2024  
2021-2022 Undergraduate Catalog 
2021-2022 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

First-Year Success Programs

Designed to build a foundation for student achievement, first-year success programs at West Texas A&M University welcome and introduce all prospective and entering students and their families to the University’s student-centered learning community. These programs help students new to WTAMU make the transition from their previous environments to the academic, intellectual and social cultures of the University.

Discover WT

Students considering attending West Texas A&M University participate in these energy-filled events where the quality educational, social and cultural experiences available at WTAMU are showcased. The event is often the first exposure prospective students have to academic programs and campus organizations offered by the University.

Buff Bridge

Buff Bridge is designed for students who may need additional support on their college journey. It especially benefits first-generation students, students from under-represented populations, and those who may or may not quite meet admission requirements for acceptance into WTAMU. Occurring during the Fall Semester, students accepted into the program will enroll in 12 hours of predetermined course work that is designed to enhance their initial experience by immersing them into college culture and identifying college course work expectations. Course work will include IDS 1071 (3 hours credit), which is designed to help students develop the skills necessary to succeed in college, enhance leadership skills, and explore the various pathways to career development, as well as three required core or developmental classes (to be determined as a result of TSI scores). If chosen to participate in the program, students will work closely with faculty, staff, and peer mentors to create academic and personal goals to meet the challenges of university life and be better prepared for the fall semester.

New Student Orientation

New Student Orientation (NSO), part I of the orientation experience, is an academic orientation program offered during the summer and beginning of each long semester for students new to West Texas A&M University. During the event, entering freshman and transfer students begin to learn skills to be successful at WTAMU, as well as register for classes. Students will develop a network of support and understand the differences between high school and college so that they may make a successful transition into university life.

First-year students unable to attend one of the summer orientations must attend the NSO offered the beginning of the long semester of entry. Any student registering during a NSO held after the priority registration deadline will be charged a late fee.

Transfer Student Orientation

Transfer Student Orientation is an academic orientation program offered in both a 1-day (TSO) and an online format for transfer students new to West Texas A&M University. By participating in either of the two formats that are designed specifically for those students that have previous college experience, new transfer students will learn the skills necessary for a smooth and successful transition to WTAMU.

Buff Branding

Buff Branding, part two of our new student orientation experience, is a first-year success program designed to help first-year students get the most out of their college experience by learning about the West Texas A&M University campus culture and traditions. This student-planned event is hosted and implemented by Rogers LEAD WT, and has been a campus tradition for more than 35 years. It takes place the weekend prior to the first class day.

BUFF Mentoring

The BUFF (Building Up a Future Foundation) Mentoring program is designed to help ease the transition to college life through offering a positive support network for first year students with highly trained student mentors. During the freshman year, students are building a foundation for their college career. Just as a house needs a strong foundation to last for years, the Buff Mentoring program builds a strong foundation for success in both college and future career. Interested freshman students may apply during the summer and at the beginning of the fall semester.

Readership WT

Readership WT is a program that provides new students with a shared connective educational experience that sets the expectation for a culture of learning through the reading of a common book.


The convocation ceremony is the traditional culminating orientation event tied to the Readership WT initiative that inspires first-year students to embrace the culture of learning. All new students, as well as the WTAMU community, will be invited to participate in this academic tradition. The ceremony is a special event where faculty dress in their academic regalia in order to welcome new students, reinforce traditions of the University, encourage students to become engaged members of the student body and provide suggestions for academic success.

IDS 1071

This First Year Seminar teaches new students the skills necessary for academic, personal and professional success. The course is taught by engaging instructors who have been hand selected to inspire and motivate students.

Student Success Center

The Student Success Center is a one-stop, student-centered support community located on the first floor of the Classroom Center, just down the hall from the University Bookstore. Services and programs within the Student Success Center include:

  • Advising Services, CC Room 110
  • Buff $mart (money management), CC Room 115D
  • Career Services, CC Room 113
  • Educational Services (testing, tutoring, supplemental instruction, study skills), CC Room 108
  • Financial Aid Satellite Office, CC Room 115 C
  • First-Year Experience, JBK Room 133 B
  • Nationally Competitive Scholarships, CC Room 115 B
  • Student Disability Services, CC Room 106
  • Student Counseling Services, CC Room 116
  • Study Abroad, CC Room 115 A
  • Transfer Services, CC Room 108 K
  • Veterans Services, CC Room 106 K
  • Writing Center, CC Room 107

For more information, call 806-651-CARE (2273) or come by the “Hub” (front counter of the Student Success Center).