Our Program

The Second Year Experience (SYE) is a newly designed community experience that seeks to expand support services and guidance beyond the first year. The community is located in our newly designed St. Helens residence hall.  The goals for this community are built around four pillars that seek to support and empower second year students to become more involved and engaged with the PSU campus community, enhance their academic and professional success, engage with faculty, and continue to develop their personal identity and purpose.  

Take a Peek

The Second Year Experience (SYE) is a newly designed community created specifically for second year students.  These students get to live in a beautifully restored historic building.  Watch our video to take a peek inside.  

Second Year Students Face Unique Challenges

The challenges of the second year are what we are here to help address, to support and encourage second year students to persist onward. During the second year, students are faced with taking classes they may have missed freshman year, selecting a major that aligns with their interests and talents, and starting to chart a course that will help define their futures. Our role is to help them navigate through these challenges and uncertainties.

Our Role in Helping Second Year Students Succeed

One of the largest contributing factors to graduating from college is having the confidence to do so. As students transition from first year students to second year students, their needs change. Most college resources are front-loaded to first year students to help them persist to the second year. Our expectation is to deliver resources and support through the second year, so our second year students can develop and maintain the confidence they need to transition to upper division coursework and ultimately to graduation. 

3D Floor Plan St. Helens Furnished Studio

Furnished Studio

Double occupancy only
Kitchen with full-size appliances
Bathroom (bathtub/shower combo)
380-450 sq. ft.

Enlarge 3D Floor Plan

3D Floor Plan of St. Helens Furnished One Bedroom

Furnished 1-Bedroom

Double occupancy only
Kitchen with full-size appliances
Bathroom (bathtub/shower combo)
550-600 sq. ft.

Enlarge 3D Floor Plan

Program Pillars


Students will be able to identify and utilize academic and enriching educational resources

  • Meeting with their academic advisor (classes to schedule, develop an academic plan, etc.)
  • Communicate with a faculty member
  • Attend at least one educational presentation outside of class that applies to their academic goals
  • Explore internships and student abroad opportunities
  • Seek support for test anxiety

Students will be able to understand and apply effective study skills with coursework

  • Join or create a student group
  • Attend a Study Skills Workshop
  • Attend a supplemental instruction session or meet with a tutor
  • Utilize University Success and the Learning Center
  • Practice academic engagement through regular attendance and participation in classes


Students will be able to name, select, and participate in hall, campus, and off-campus events

  • Participate in campus traditions and programming
  • Participate in hall-sponsored volunteer programs
  • Attend a meeting or event sponsored by a club or organization within their major or an area of interest

Students will be familiar and acquainted with other residents and feel valued and supported as a residence hall community member

  • Introduce themselves to at least five other residents on their floor
  • Attend a student organization or hall council meeting or event
  • Attend a floor or hall event or activity
  • Take the opportunity to get to know hall staff and student leaders


Students will be able to have or create meaningful interactions, connections, and relationships with people different from themselves

  • Attend an event or presentation about an identity or culture other than their own
  • Engage with others in a respectful manner, regardless of agreement of values or identity
  • Visit an identity focused resource center

Students will be able to recognize differences among others and understand that values and beliefs other than their own are not wrong, just different

  • Attend or volunteer at events related to diversity
  • Self-reflect upon their personal values and perceptions and how they interact with those different from themselves
  • Attend an event or presentation that challenges their values
  • Educate themselves on current news and events, including multiple perspectives on issues


Students will take ownership of personal decisions and consequences

  • Demonstrate community pride by confronting negative behavior that directly impacts the community such as vandalism, bullying, littering or pranking
  • Practice healthy behaviors such as nutritional health and physical health
  • Maintain a positive online presence with social media

Students will develop skills in time management, personal financial management and problem solving

  • Crafting resumes
  • Exhibit effective time management skills by balancing academic responsibilities with co-curricular activities, friends/family, work
  • Pay bills and/or create a personal budget
  • Establish a support group (friends, family, peers) at PSU
  • Navigate complex personal conflicts
St. Helens exterior of building

    St. Helens

    • 1131 SW Montgomery St
    • Population: Second Year Experience
    • Room Types: Studio and 1-bedroom
    • Furniture: XL twin bed, dresser, desk, chair, barstools
    • Floors: 5
    • Elevator: No
    • Built: 1928; Renovated: 2018 
    • Floor Plan (PDF)
    • Floor Plan (TXT)