Updated orientation helps newcomers hit the ground planning

Many aspects of new-student orientation were standard fare, including the ubiquitous icebreaker games, the über-cheerful student facilitators, and the delivery of basic survival tips, like where to eat and what to do if you lose your key.

But this year, the six-day program included some innovations, designed to help the newest Camels get the most out of their four years on campus – not to mention, the rest of their lives. Among them:

  • Career prep: For the first time, all new students attended a career and professional- development workshop during orientation. The session was designed to help them understand how the extracurricular activities they choose for fun can be used to develop skills and interests that will, later on, be applicable to jobs and careers. The students also got an overview of the school’s funded-internship program and the four-year Career Enhancing Life Skills (CELS) program, one of the most comprehensive career-prep programs offered by a liberal arts college.
  • Academic resources: On Day 5, the new students trooped over to the College’s new Academic Resource Center, created through an $11 million anonymous gift to the College. They were introduced to a wide array of academic assistance and support services, including tutoring, quantitative-skills training, a writing center, and sessions on study skills and time management. The Resource Center’s goal is to make sure that every student reaches his or her highest learning potential. Currently located in the Plex, just above Harris Refectory, it will move to Shain Library as part of the library’s renovation and expansion and may be by in its new home as early as the 2015-16 academic year.
  • Introduction to New London: The 490 members of the Class of 2017 and 14 transfer students spent their first full-day after drop-off  pitching in on community projects in New London, with assignments that included painting fences, removing trash, weeding overgrowth and helping run a community event that prepared local elementary students for the first day of classes. Facilitated by the Office of Volunteer and Community Service, the outing was designed to introduce the newbies to their new home city and give them a sense of the many opportunities available to them for community service and learning.
  • See the newest Camels in action: video of community service day.
  • Watch a video of move-in day.