Each UNG campus hosts orientation events for students who will be attending those locations, and the number of engaged students continues to grow. For example, UNG's Gainesville Campus has seen a 40 percent increase over the previous year's sign-ups, from 1,026 to 1,434. Similarly, the university's Cumming Campus rose nearly 25 percent, from 204 to 249.
During orientation events, students and parents attend informative seminars and are introduced to university faculty, staff and student leaders. Seminar topics range from academic life, facilities, traditions, and social aspects to services offered on campus. They also learn about what makes UNG unique, such as its designation as a State Leadership Institution and The Military College of Georgia, and its classification as a Carnegie Community Engaged Institution.
"We've enjoyed seeing the university's nurturing atmosphere, and learning positive statistics such as smaller class sizes," said parents Mike and Bridget Raines, whose son will be attending UNG's Dahlonega Campus. "It really feels like the faculty and staff here care about the students."
To help them hit the ground running, students learn about the university's mission, culture, and values and discover what it means to be a Nighthawk while becoming familiar with important campus resources and policies.
"The campus is really nice and seems more updated than some others I've seen. It was good to meet and interact with orientation leaders and career services, and I'm already interested in some of the intramural programs and rec sports opportunities," said James Brantley, a transfer student on UNG's Gainesville Campus.
The events also serve to help students form a social network before beginning classes, which can help with the normal stresses of the first semester in a new environment. For Emma Doherty, a pre-nursing freshman who moved from Connecticut two years ago, that opportunity was a "lifesaver."
"It's been great to already meet people and start getting an idea of the opportunities I'm interested in, such as Greek life," Doherty said.