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First-Year Orientation Reduced to Two Days

First-Year Orientation Reduced to Two Days

Posted: April 18, 2014

Two days. That’s all.

“Orientation for first-year students has been shortened,” said Robert Mead-Colegrove, director of orientation and new student programs. “For students starting in fall 2014, we have reduced orientation programing from three days to two days.” Faculty and staff who participate in first-year orientation generally agreed with students who said, in a survey, that they preferred a two-day model.

Lisa Rafferty, associate professor and associate chair of Exceptional Education, participates in orientation activities regularly. She said, “Students get a lot out of the first-year orientation, but by day three, they seem overloaded. Limiting orientation to two days will give them time to process everything they learn."

First-year orientation will begin on Wednesday, August 20 and conclude on Thursday, August 21. “We want to make use of the feedback we got,” said Mead-Colegrove, who noted that many students hold jobs. “By cutting orientation to two days, those students can earn another day’s pay.”

The goal of orientation for first-year students is two-fold: to introduce them to Buffalo State and, perhaps more importantly, to introduce them to college itself. “Many of our students, especially first-generation college students, don’t really have any idea of what college is like,” said Mead-Colegrove.

The first day is dedicated to introducing students to the academic aspect of college, beginning with First Year Convocation at 9:00 a.m. in the Sports Arena. “We invite faculty to take part in this,” said Mead-Colgrove. “We know that faculty are at the heart of student success.” 

Rafferty said, “Students who attend first-year orientation seem to be involved in more activities in our department and throughout the college, and more likely to have productive first semesters. That initial faculty-student interaction is so important.”

The rest of the day emphasizes academics through two programs: a faculty-student get-together organized by each school, and a mock first day of class.

During the mock class, groups of first-year students will attend a “class” at which a faculty or staff member will cover topics such as how to read a syllabus and how to use Blackboard. “Some faculty also talk about considerate classroom behavior and how to get the most out of attending classes,” said Mead-Colgrove. He invites any faculty member interested in helping with the first day of class presentations to contact him.

On the second day, students will become acquainted with the campus. “We also tell students about all the resources available to help them succeed academically, meet other students, and make the most of their college experience,” he said. For the parents and family members who choose to take part in the optional parent/family member orientation program, a wine reception will be held in the Social Hall of the Campbell Student Union on Wednesday afternoon—an event to which faculty and staff are cordially invited.

The orientation staff is already in touch with students who plan to attend Buffalo State in the fall. “We reach out and connect with students as early as we can to help them become familiar and comfortable here,” said Mead-Colegrove.

Transfer orientation will take place on Friday, August 22. Its primary objective is to familiarize transfer students with Buffalo State.

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