Summer orientation prepares new students for fall

This month, the first of an expected 4,000 new students will begin arriving on campus for summer orientation.

The day-long sessions, comprised of presentations and campus tours, start June 20 and go until August 15. The idea is to inform students and their parents about what to expect come September, and to cover topics like registering for classes and the academic support services available on campus.

“This is their official welcome to the Carleton community,” says Jeremy Brzozowski, who is the student development and first-year experience program co-ordinator at the Student Experience Office.

“We put together a day that will represent what they can expect come the fall,” he adds. All the information that parents and students need is bundled into the session.

The students are given tours of the campus tailored to their faculty so that they are familiar with the labs and lecture halls they will be using in the fall. In addition to the faculty-specific orientations, there general purpose “open” tours that are geared to students entering any academic program.

“The concept is to remove some anxiety, make them more confident, so that when they enter Carleton they are more comfortable,” explains Brzozowski.

The transition to university can be particularly challenging for students who are the first in their family to ever attend university, he says.

“This year, we are offering sessions for first-in-the-family students so that on day one they can focus on academics,” he adds. Targeted sessions will also be offered for mature, transfer and special students.

Although many students will travel from other provinces and countries to attend, those who cannot make it to a session can receive online support—for the first time, the program has a presence on the social networking tool Facebook.

While the orientation program has been around for some time, this is only the fourth time summer orientation has been an all-day event. Throughout the day, both students and faculty give talks to the new arrivals. Brzozowski says that the students’ presentations, in which they explain available services and also share their own experiences at Carleton, highlight “that it’s possible to succeed.”

Ten students are trained by the Student Experience Office and the Student Academic Success Centre trains another 10 to provide academic support during orientation.

Summer orientation also gives incoming students a chance to meet the people who will be their classmates next year, says Natalie Adomait, a third-year international business student who is working for the program for the second time.

“It provides the students with an overview of academic support services, gives them a chance to see different buildings and they get to hear from profs with tips on what they should do,” says Adomait, who is still friends with some of the people she met during her summer orientation.

“It gives them a lot of confidence. They have seen the campus before, so it’s easier for them to navigate and also they have a network of people when they come in. There is a lot of information that students generally don’t know because it’s very different from high school.”

This entry was written by Anja Karadeglija and posted in the issue. Tags applied to this article are: , . Leave a comment, bookmark the permalink or share the following short URL for this article via social media: http://carletonnow.carleton.ca/?p=556

Anja Karadeglija

By Anja Karadeglija

Anja Karadeglija completed two undergraduate degrees at Carleton: a Bachelor of Journalism and a B.A. in Political Science. She currently works as a freelance journalist.

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