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The 1839 Experience

Where Old Traditions Meet New Beginnings!

The 1839 Experience is an opportunity for incoming students and their Peer Mentor to communicate during the summer prior to their first semester at Longwood. Students use Canvas, an online learning tool, to discuss important topics about college life, and to form relationships with other students in their Longwood Seminar (LSEM) class.  This program aids new students by providing them with information about the university and having discussions on a number of topics including academics, involvement, residential housing, the Farmville community, services & resources, and the First Year Reading Experience. 


Peer Mentors, who are a big resource for new students, play a vital role in 1839 and in Longwood Seminar.  Each Peer Mentor will manage the Blackboard site linked to LSEM and correspond to their students over the summer.  This 10-week program leads up to August move-in day and New Lancer Days.  When students arrive on campus, they will already have established communication with their classmates and Peer Mentor which will help new students get acclimated to college more quickly.


Weekly Themes

Each week of the 1839 Experience program is broken down into themes or topics that are pre-determined, and created by the Office of First Year Experience & Family Programs in partnership with campus resources.  The themes are designed to give new students important information about Longwood and to have their questions answered before coming in August. The Peer Mentors will post discussion topics throughout the summer to engage their students, encourage consistent communication between students, and provide guidance that will benefit new students in their transition.


The Office of First Year Experience & Family Programs will monitor usage by the Peer Mentors to ensure that they are satisfying their role and responsibilities.  In addition, the office will also be able to track each new student’s participation and determine which topics they are most interested in learning about and which areas are challenging.  This will allow us to shape future programs to better cover needs that are not currently being met.


*The following 1839 themes were used during the Summer of 2014:

1839: Theme 1-Week June 10th

Get to know Your Peer Mentor

1839: Theme 2-Week June 17th

Technology @ Longwood

1839: Theme 3-Week June 24th

Academics & Academic Support

1839: Theme 4-Week July 1st

The First Year Reading Experience

1839: Theme 5-Week July 8th

Involvement & Opportunities

1839: Theme 6-Week July 15th

Transitioning to Life in the Farmville

1839: Theme 7-Week July 22nd

Living & Dining/Commuting

1839: Theme 8-Week July 29th

What to Expect When You Arrive

1839: Theme 9-Week Aug 5th

Packing & Prepping

1839: Theme 10-Week Aug 12th

Move In & NLD Reminders


Follow this link to access Canvas. Students can view their LSEM course and The 1839 Experience.


New students will be assigned an Longwood Seminar during their course registration at Orientation, and will be contacted by their Peer Mentor via live mail on June 11th to jump start The 1839 Experience!


See you in August!