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Dahlonega Campus welcomes incoming freshmen, parents

Incoming freshmen file through the smaller "freshman" arch as is the tradition at the University of North Georgia's Dahlonega Campus. Throughout the summer, new students will be attending orientation sessions on all four UNG campuses.

INTRO, the new freshmen orientation program for the University of North Georgia's Dahlonega Campus, has begun with the excitement of an expected 1,000 incoming freshmen from all over the country and their parents.

INTRO is a two-day event that includes an overnight stay for students in the North Georgia Suites residence hall, meals in the dining facility. Parents also can attend an INTRO session.

"INTRO provides a relaxed setting for students and their parents to feel at ease with the transition from high school to college and become better acquainted with UNG and our mission and values," said Darcy Hayes, director of the First Year Experience program that oversees the orientation sessions. "Students get to meet their peers, especially those in their chosen major, and meet with their faculty advisers so they can learn about UNG's academic expectations."

Parents INTRO
Parents listen to an explanation of how university courses are taught during one
of the Parent INTRO sessions held recently at the University of North Georgia.

Students and parents attend informative seminars in which they 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.

SOAR (Student Orientation, Advisement, and Registration), the orientation program for UNG's non-residential campuses in Cumming, Gainesville and Oconee, also is holding several sessions this summer. Orientation is mandatory for incoming freshmen who are recent high school graduates or have earned fewer than 20 hours of college credit after high school graduation.

"I feel more at peace with my decision to come here now that I'm at INTRO," said Austin Whitehouse, an incoming freshman from Thomson, Ga. "Originally, I planned on going to UGA and had been ready to send in my acceptance form, but a friend asked me to come up here and visit UNG with him. Once we toured the school and talked with the professors, who are awesome and seemed helpful, I knew UNG was where I wanted to go to college."

For some students, INTRO is their first time to visit campus or learn about many of the topics covered in seminars. Drew Doyle of Milledgeville, Ga., based his decision to attend UNG on what he learned online.

"This is my first time ever being here. Now that I'm learning more about the university I feel a lot better about my decision," Doyle said. "Everyone is helpful, and the campus is small. I'm glad I am here."

Selecting UNG over other military colleges was an easy choice for Austin Hart of Hayesville, N.C.

"I had heard really great things about UNG," Hart said. "I passed up The Citadel to join UNG's military program and officer program. I have been here several times, and I've fallen in love with the environment, the helpfulness of people around campus, and the social aspect of UNG."

Many parents said they felt relieved and more comfortable with the transition after listening to speakers like Commandant of Cadets Col. Tom Palmer, who talked to ROTC parents, and Rachel Baker from the Office of Residence Life, who discussed living on campus.

"INTRO is informing us parents of so much, and knowledge is power. I feel more at ease about the decision of sending my daughter here," said Jill Craddock, a parent from Chickamauga, Ga.

Larry Frazer, a parent from Fairburn, Ga., whose son attended UNG's National Leadership Challenge earlier this year, was impressed with what he learned about UNG.

"My wife and I are really impressed with the programs offered here," he said. "I feel much more comfortable with my son being here and in the ROTC program after talking with other parents and attending these meetings."

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