This paper reports on a research project investigating student transition into university life. The population comes from two undergraduate programs in art and design education at UNSW, College of Fine Arts. The method entailed strategic intervention and intrusion into traditional course content, assessment and delivery responding to issues of student engagement with the discipline of visual arts and design. It addressed novice perceptions of a lack of relevant tertiary skills. A diverse range of strategies crossing academic, technological and social conversations have fostered inclusiveness, increased retention and promoted settlement. Student feedback and website innovations will vivify the reported outcomes of the project.