An analysis of the entering FTIC first generation STEM students was undertaken. The result of this analyses demanded a “prelude” of events be established for the purposes of 1) maintaining contact with the accepted FTIC through the months of June, July and August prior to the start of school (Prelude Activities) through a variety of activities; 2) establishing a friendly environment in which to contact the FTIC parents to encourage a know what we will ask of your student and trust level for the parents; and 3) build a device / mechanism to connect the entering FTIC to each other – the Freshmen START program was established. Research supportive of these initiatives will be shared thereby supporting the rationale for the Prelude Activities. Lessons learned to include data from past 5 years of implementation of the Prelude Activities. Retention rates and graduation rates will be highlighted.