Changes lead to better experience for freshmen during orientation

Most Wichita State students are familiar with freshman orientation. It is the day that all freshmen are required to go and learn about the new school they will soon attend. Perhaps what students don’t know is that the freshman orientation program has made some changes in the past couple of years.

Freshman orientation is now two days long, and for the past two years it has formed a new collaboration between the Office of Admissions and the Office for Faculty Development and Student Success, said Kim Sandlin, assistant director of Student Success.

Orientation Faculty Fellows were new to the program last year, said Sandlin.

“Those folks are faculty from campus who take time in the summer to meet with the new students and talk to them about academic expectations,” Sandlin said, “And also how to approach and talk to faculty.”

This year academic advising was added to the extra day in the orientation to “appropriately prepare the students for enrolling for the first time,” she said.

One important factor was wanting the new students to capture was that academics, faculty and the students’ activities outside of the classroom all truly build upon each other,’ Sandlin said.

Co-lead Orientation Leader Chelsea Dey has been a part of the program for two years and said she finds benefits from the additional day.

“Last year students had to make up [advising] appointments on their own and now it is all consolidated into this two-day program which allows us, as orientation leaders, to make a better connection,” Dey said.

Dey said that looking back to her freshman orientation she wished she would have had the advising preparation and the advising appointment, as it is now being offered together in the two-day program, compared to just the advising preparation she received.

“We couldn’t do orientation without all of the academic advisers from all of the colleges helping us and so it’s really been a campuswide effort, this summer, in making sure that this new format is really effective,” Sandlin said.