Bear Cub Connection Program

Transitions can be hard, but the Bear Cub Connection Program is here to help at KU!

Through the support of Cub Coaches and a graduate student overseeing the program, first-year students receive help with their transition from high school and their acclimation to college.

All first-year students will be enrolled in the program. Students will be informed they will be enrolled in the program and assigned a Cub Coach unless they decide to opt out of the program. Instructions on how to opt out are provided via email in June.

  • Program Highlights
    • Access to a Cub Coach, who is an experienced, returning KU student working within the Office of Residence Life, Housing, and Dining. Cub Coaches are assigned a cohort of first-year students to connect with individually and provide social and academic support to help new students feel part of the KU Community.
    • Invitation to Bear Tracks, a program series covering topics that will help first-year students be successful. Bear Tracks connects students with a conglomeration of campus offices who will facilitate these programs both in and out of the residence halls.
    • MORE Social Opportunities! Social programs for the entire first-year class, as well as the individual cohorts, will be offered, including cohort dinners and shared participation in campus traditions.
    • Dedicated Study Hall Times: Study Halls for students in the Bear Cub Connection program will be offered Sunday through Thursday for 2 hours. The sessions will be held in the residence halls and proctored by at least one Cub Coach. Tutors will be scheduled each night for added convenience.
    • Closer access to faculty through the Faculty Series, a series of exclusive opportunities for students and faculty to interact outside of classroom hours through social programming, meals, discussions, and receptions.
    • Meaningful connections with an assigned Staff Mentor to guide, advise, and uplift the first-year student during their transition to campus life.
    • Through a Service-Learning experience, Cub Cohorts have the opportunity to come together to give back to the campus and surrounding communities
  • Program Completion Incentives for First-Year Students

    Participation in all the above components is incentivized by giveaways, Flex Dollars, and more!

    If first-year students complete the following, their Housing Application fee is waived for the following academic year and they will be entered into a drawing for FREE housing for a semester, or a FREE meal plan!

    • One study hall session per week
    • One social program that is planned for the first-year students per semester
    • One Bear Tracks Program per month
    • One cohort interaction per semester
    • One cohort dinner per semester
    • One Residence Life-planned faculty initiative per semester
    • One approved Campus Tradition per semester
    • One Hall Council meeting per semester
    • One faculty office hour per semester
    • One Interaction with Cohort Professional Staff Mentor per semester
    • Participation in at least two of the following:
      • 1:1 meeting with your Cub Coach per semester
      • CA-planned program per semester