By: CARTER DEJONG
Students and parents attending new student orientation will now arrive more prepared than they have in past years, if the new changes implemented are successful. Students now have the option to meet with their academic advisors to see what classes will be best for them before orientation.
Rick Dennie, director of student support and coordinator of new student orientation at IU South Bend, oversees and is involved in all planning that goes into each orientation session. After hearing from professors and other faculty members, Dennie implemented new changes for incoming students this fall.
“When they [students] come to orientation the focus is more on the university itself, the services and not about having to worry about the registration because they already have that done,” Dennie said.
Students can now spend more time getting to know campus. Being able to schedule classes before orientation is also intended to be beneficial to students that live farther away from campus. Under this new format, students will be able to register for classes in a way that works best for them.
“For students who live a distance away advisors can register them via the phone or email,” Dennie said.
Another major change to the format is that new students will now attend orientation sessions that are more specific to the field of study they are majoring in. For example, business and education students will attend one day’s session while fine arts students will attend a session on another day. Each college selects three days to host their orientations. Students were often welcomed by their respective college’s dean when they arrived over the summer. This is intended for a more valuable experience as new students are surrounded by people with similar interests and passions.
Vice Chancellor of Student Engagement and Success, Monica Porter, was also involved in the decision to make these changes.
“I think it’s too early to tell,” Porter said of the success of the new format. “Our goals were to expose new students to critical campus resources, share valuable information about majors and welcome new students to the IUSB campus community. We are all committed to providing the best experience for all students at IUSB.”
Steven Krcelich is an incoming freshman for the Fall 2018 semester at the Judd Leighton School of Business and Economics. He was very happy to be able to work with his academic advisor on registering for classes.
“I like being able to go to orientation and not have to worry about whether I will be able to balance my work and school schedules,” Krcelich said.
Feedback gathered through the use of surveys and conversations with students, parents, orientation leaders and faculty is what guided the decision to make the changes. According to Dennie and Porter, feedback on what does and does not work will continue to be integral to improving the orientation process.