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New Student Orientation redesigned

2018-06-04-OrientationPrograms1
The New Student Orientation (NSO) and Transfer Student Orientation (TSO) programs were established to help students maneuver through the first year on campus. Both programs provide an infinite amount of information. Freshman UNG students will encounter a revamped NSO following the successful redesign of the TSO last year.

Before new and transfer students start attending classes at any of the University of North Georgia's (UNG) five campuses, they are required to attend an orientation program to connect, prepare and navigate their collegiate career.

"If a student doesn't engage and connect to the university within the first six weeks, they are more likely to dropout or withdraw," said Vincent Prior, coordinator of Transfer and Transition Programs at UNG.

The New Student Orientation (NSO) and Transfer Student Orientation (TSO) programs were established to help students maneuver through the first year on campus. Both programs provide an infinite amount of information.

This summer, those programs have been streamlined. Freshman UNG students will encounter a revamped NSO following the successful redesign of the TSO last year.

The idea to renovate the TSO program came from UNG's staff and knowledge of best practices. The change allowed transfer students to select the sessions in which they were interested. The addition to TSO this year was a redesigned transfer experience reflection session that was created in collaboration with National Institute for the Study of Transfer Students (NISTS), which is based at UNG's Dahlonega Campus. It worked.

"We got positive feedback," Prior said. "After its success, Orientation and Transition Programs turned their attention to revamping NSO sessions this year."

The new model features four redesigned sessions: Cost of College, Tech Talk, Mindset Matters, and Connecting on Campus. New students attend all four of them as well as completing an online pre-orientation module.

Students taking classes solely online complete an extended online pre-orientation module version, which is geared toward their track.

2018-06-04-OrientationPrograms2

New Student Orientation (NSO) and Transfer Student Orientation (TSO) programs were established to help students maneuver through the first year on campus. All new and transfer students are required to attend an orientation program before attending classes at any of the University of North Georgia's (UNG) five campuses.

Developed by the Student Money Management Center, the Cost of College requires students to calculate financial scenarios and pick the best one for them, Prior said. For example, students see overall cost of living alone, with a roommate, in the residence halls on the Dahlonega Campus, or off campus. Another example is determining the cost of eating at restaurants or buying a meal plan.

"It's based on the Student Money Management Center's 'Game of Life' content, and on first-year experiences," Prior said. "These scenarios are more effective than just hearing presentations about financial aid, the Student Money Management Center, Auxiliary Services, and the Business Office."

In Tech Talk, students visit a computer lab and go through the steps of logging into the system and working through the computer checklist. Prior said previously the session was a PowerPoint presentation.

"Now, it's hands-on and the students do tasks in the lab," he said.

In Mindset Matters, students learn about the campus services that can help them solve any issue while focusing on the benefits of having a growth mindset when faced with challengers. For example, a student who originally chose to major in nursing but is no longer sure can visit Career Services to find a different career in the healthcare field. A student who is feeling anxious about a future career choice can also visit Student Counseling.

Finally, students will have a session called Connecting on Campus. When it was previously called the Resource Fair, the program allowed students to visit and learn about different campus organizations and departments.

"But students were overwhelmed, engaged at only one table or didn't see something they were interested in," Prior said.

Now, a smaller number of departments deliver a 30-second elevator speech to the students. Then students may visit the tables of those departments and organizations that interest them and allows them time for more in-depth discussions about the importance of getting involved on campus.

These key changes to the program seem to be benefitting the students. Based on trial runs during the May orientation programs for summer semester, the feedback is positive, Prior said.

"The presenters are finding students are coming to their tables with specific questions," he said.

For more information, visit the Orientation and Transition Programs webpage.

Orientation dates

 

New Student Orientation dates

  • Blue Ridge: July 12, Aug. 2-3, and 7
  • Cumming: June 5, June 13, June 20, July 11, July 18, and Aug. 8
  • Dahlonega: June 11-12, June 14-15, June 18-19, July 9-10, July 16-17, July 19-20 and Aug. 11
  • Gainesville: June 9, June 22, June 25, July 13, July 23, Aug. 6, and Aug. 9
  • Oconee: June 8, June 23, July 14, Aug. 3 and Aug. 7

 

Transfer Student Orientation

  • Blue Ridge: July 12 and Aug. 7
  • Cumming: June 5 and Aug. 8
  • Dahlonega: June 15, July 10 and Aug. 11
  • Gainesville: June 9, July 13, Aug. 6, and Aug. 9
  • Oconee: June 8, June 23, July 14 and Aug. 7

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