Going off to college can be a life changing experience, not just for the student, but for the parents, as well. That's why American International College offered special sessions for both students and parents at Summer Orientation 2013. The two-day sessions, were held in June and July, and included interactive and informative sessions for both student and parent.

As an added attraction this year, parents were able to experience campus life by sleeping overnight in one of the campus residence halls.

Carol Sitterly, Ed.D., director of the AIC Center for Academic Success, said the program was designed to introduce new students to the AIC community - the faculty, staff, students and services that will support them in their undergraduate experience. "Orientation is a chance for students to get a jumpstart into their freshman year. Through a series of fun and engaging activities, the class of 2017 had the opportunity to meet their classmates, meet faculty members, be introduced to co-curricular and social life on campus and get their fall class schedule so that they can begin planning their time," she said.

Dr. Sitterly said it is important that students have a positive first year college experience. "Research on retention of first year college students is consistent. The quality of the orientation experience introducing new students to college expectations, people and services sets the tone for success, satisfaction and retention in the first year of college," she said.

During the two-day program the new students participated in a variety of activities, including attending their first class, meeting an academic advisor, learning about Campus Services, meeting the Student Affairs Staff and participating in an interactive team building exercise.

Parents went through their own orientation, including a session called, "Parent 101, College Success Is...," and another, "Family Guide to Letting Go."

"Families got a peek into the first semester experience for the class of 2017. They will had the opportunity to meet some of the administrators, faculty and staff that work closely with first year students. Families had the opportunity to ask questions of AIC upperclassmen involved in campus life. They also had the chance to talk with financial aid staff and staff from the business office to get their financial questions answered," according to Dr. Sitterly.