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College is a time of transition for many students
Posted by Kim Hardy Tue, August 14, 2012 2:28 pm EDT
College is a time of transition for many students; it’s a move toward independence and self-sufficiency. New student orientation helps students “crack” the college code and provides them with the resources and tools they need to navigate their experience successfully. Students will learn how to register for courses, meet with an adviser to ensure they stay on track, and use resources including those available at the Career Development Center to provide them with job and internship opportunities. Also important are co-curricular programs available through Student Life and Leadership Development such as volunteering and service learning to ensure students have a well-rounded college experience.
You can help your student make the most of their orientation by following these simple tips:
- Come prepared! Florida State College has an extensive website with oodles of great information. Students should review the website prior to attending their orientation to help them get a feel for the college and generate ideas on questions they may have. Encourage them to bring unanswered questions with them!
- Take notes during orientation, even if it is something they think they do not need now or may never need. For instance, a student may not feel they need tutoring services with their first few classes. However, as they take higher-level courses, they may find that they are struggling with math or writing. This is when they may need more information about the many tutoring and academics skills centers available at the college. Keep in mind that though they may not see an immediate need for a resource, it may be something that could assist them down the road.
- Ask, ask, ask! They shouldn’t be afraid to ask questions. This is how they learn and orientation leaders are there to help guide and answer their concerns. Remember, if they have a question, more than likely others do too and everyone can benefit from asking it for the group.
- Encourage them to meet their peers! Most orientation sessions begin with an icebreaker activity so they can introduce themselves and meet other students. Your son or daughter may be the only person from their high school attending the college – orientation is a great way for them to meet other students and form those important relationships and study groups. Even if they do have a “network” of peers, it is always helpful to expand their circle and make friends with others who may be different. Learning about diverse cultures and creating new experiences is part of growing as an individual.
Hopefully, these tips have provided you with a sense of the importance of new student orientation and the resources it provides. Students who become engaged immediately with the college have much better success in retention and completion. Additionally, the positive connections students make during their orientation experience often remain with them throughout their college career and beyond.