Ringing in the New
Published in Inside - Volume XI, No.2
10/11/2005 1:25:00 PM
This year you may notice fewer first-year students wandering the hallways in bewilderment, trying to discern the difference between Thorndike and Thompson, or talking nervously about how they accidentally took the subway to 168th St. when they were trying to get to Columbus Circle.
If so, you can thank the offices of Admissions, Enrollment and Student Services and others for coming together to create a new, comprehensive five-day student orientation program.
The New Student Experience Orientation program, as it was called, replaced a system where new students were rushed through a series of speeches and seminars in one day. Don Martin, Associate Dean of Enrollment and Student Services, feels the new program sets a much better pace. "There was a more relaxed progression," he says, "lines in our offices were not nearly as long at any given time as they were last year, and incoming students have a lot more opportunity to interact with current students."
The program featured a wide array of activities, ranging from informational seminars taught by current Teachers College students to a day-long street fair on 120th Street.
Martin believes the huge number of attendees shows the new format's success: "There were overwhelming numbers every single day. More than 1,100 participated on the first day, and more than 1,200 on the last. Hundreds even showed up for programming over Labor Day weekend. It showed us that this is something that our students do want and will come for."
The office plans not just to stick with the larger format, but to build on it. "It's fairly evident that a five-day program is ideal for us," Martin said. His office will soon conduct a survey of the student body to gauge reactions and will make changes for next year's program based on that feedback.