First-Year Experience

What is Convocation? 
Convocation is the official university welcome for new students and has become a beloved USF St. Petersburg campus tradition. During this inspiring event, the USF St. Petersburg campus community comes together to kick off our students’ academic journey. All new students, family members, faculty, and staff are welcome to attend; first-year students are required to attend. Students who participate in the ceremony will receive a USF St. Petersburg campus memento symbolizing their commitment to graduate in four years. Make sure you use #USFSPConvocation to share your experience! 

The Peer Coaching program is a mentorship program that connects First Time in College students with a student leader on campus known as a Peer Coach.  Peer Coaches are experienced USF St. Petersburg campus students who serve on the staff of the Compass Student Experience Office. As student leaders, Peer Coaches work with a team of professional staff members to provide educational and leadership development opportunities for the USF St. Petersburg campus student body. Peer Coaches provide guidance for students to succeed at USF St. Petersburg campus through one-on-one coaching and the Network. 

Click here to meet the Peer Coaches!

The Network consists of a variety of interest groups that you can join to make connections with other students who share that interest, hobby, or passion of yours. Each Network is led by Peer Coaches who will help you connect in group activities as well as one-on-one with other new students. Through regular meetings throughout the semester, the Network provides flexible opportunities for you to develop meaningful connections and successfully transition to college and to life as a Bull by the Bay. 

  • Meet People: The Network is a great way to meet students who share a similar interest, passion, or common experience. 
  • Make USF Your Home: By attending events, you can make USF St. Petersburg campus feel like home in no time. It is our hope that you feel like you truly belong here starting during your very first week at USF St. Petersburg campus. 
  • Get Involved: If you aren’t quite sure which of the many student organizations are right for you, the Network is a great place to start! You can start to experience what USF St. Petersburg campus has to offer by getting involved with a variety of campus activities and making connections with both new and returning students. 
  • Join the Network

Signature Programs: Throughout your first year at the USF St. Petersburg campus, our office will be offering a variety of programming options that promote student success and help with navigating the transition to college.  

Compass Adventures: Compass Adventures are peer-led activities off-campus that help new students build connections with their peers and develop an understanding of the St. Petersburg campus community. The events are planned throughout the academic year. 
Go for the Gold Workshop Series: The COMPASS Go for the Gold workshop series will provide Bulls with all the tools they need to succeed. With specific tracks for first-year, second-year, and transfer students, Bulls will have personalized support in a workshop format. Through this series, we will cover topics that support students' academic, professional, and personal growth. Be a Bull. Take Charge. Go for the Gold! 
Stay Connected 



Because of the geographic distribution of our campuses, USF supports our new students from three offices.

St. Petersburg campus: Visit the COMPASS Student Experience Office.
Tampa campus: Visit the Office of New Student Connections.
Sarasota-Manatee campus: Visit the Office of Student Engagement.