Table of Contents


Information for specific audiences:


Overview of the Program

What is the First-Year Reading Experience?
The University of South Carolina initiated the First-Year Reading Experience in 1993 to provide incoming freshmen with a common academic experience - a book to read during the summer followed by a first-year class gathering and discussion groups before fall classes begin.
The First-Year Reading Experience at the University of South Carolina is a half-day event held each fall before the start of classes. The event is planned for the Monday before classes begin, during the university’s Welcome Week. Sponsored by the Office of the Provost, the program introduces students to academic life at the University of South Carolina. By bringing students together, before the first day of classes, to discuss a common reading, the university demonstrates that academics are the top priority at the University of South Carolina.

How can I recommend a book?
We welcome nominations for the review of the book selection committee. If you are interested in recommending a text, please complete the recommendation form.

How can I be involved in the Summer Reading Program?
If you are interested in serving as a volunteer for the First-Year Reading Experience, please contact us at

How do I get the book?
All first-year students should receive a copy of the book at orientation. If you are a first-year student and did not receive a book, please contact us at

If you are a discussion leader, you should receive a book from the Provost Office during the summer. If you are serving as a discussion leader and have not received a book, please contact us at 

How do I find out my discussion group assignment?
All first-year students will receive an e-mail in July from their discussion leader. Students will also receive an e-ticket that contains detailed information about discussion leader, group number, and discussion location. Students may also receive this information at check-in.

Discussion leaders will receive their group assignment information in July.

When will the discussion groups be held?
Discussion groups are held immediately after the conclusion of the First-Year Reading Experience.


Do I have to read the book? Do I have to attend?
It is the expectation of the Office of the Provost that you read the book and attend FYRE. FYRE is your first college-level academic exercise. FYRE is designed to give you a glimpse into the academic discourse expected in college-level courses, and the chance to practice engaging in such discourse. This is also the only time you will see your entire freshman class together in one place!

What do I need to bring to the discussion group?
Bring your copy of the first-year reading text, Where’d You Go, Bernadette. Be prepared to discuss the text with your group. The Reflections After Reading Guide found at the back of the book should serve as a good place to reference and prompt discussion

Faculty, Staff, & Discussion leaders

What does the role of Discussion Leader entail?
Discussion leaders play a very important role in FYRE. Discussion leaders welcome students as well as guide and facilitate a rich discussion around the first-year read. Check in begins at 8:00 am so we encourage leaders to come early to greet students and colleagues as they arrive. The program officially begins at 9:00 a.m. with the author serving as our keynote speaker this year.  At approximately 10:00 a.m. we will dismiss the small groups and you will have a chance to meet with students and talk about the book and the speaker.

What do I need to bring to the discussion group?
Bring your copy of the first-year reading text, Where’d You Go, Bernadette, as well as a copy of your roster from We also suggest printing out the Discussion Leader Tip Sheet.


Other important links:

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