- Campus Life
Summer usually a time for relaxing, travel or the beach. But, for about 175 teenagers it is also a time for beginning their college experience. The students arrived at American International College on Monday, June 25 for a two-day Summer Orientation Program.
Carol Sitterly, director of the AIC Center for Academic Success, said the program is designed to introduce new students to the AIC community - the faculty, staff, students and services that will support them in their undergraduate experience. "Orientation provides students with an understanding of the academic expectations, the co-curricular opportunities and the resources that will prepare them for the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.
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 participate 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.
But Orientation is not just for the students. Parents go through their own orientation where they meet the president, deans and faculty, as well as learn about the counseling services available and campus safety.
"AIC's Family Orientation provides the families of students entering AIC in fall 2012 with a number of experiences that will help them to understand the experience of a college freshman," according to Sitterly. "Families have the opportunity to attend sessions on advising for the first year, student life, academics, and they meet with the financial aid and student accounts staff. Each family also receives a copy of The Naked Roommate: For Parents Only a Parent's Guide to the New College Experience by Harlan Cohen," she said.
This year the theme of Summer Orientation is reading, as students discussed the book, "The Third Wave: A Volunteer Story," by Allison Thompson. The Third Wave tells the inspiring story of how volunteering changed Thompson's life. It begins with her first real introduction to disaster relief after 9/11 and ends with her more recent efforts in Haiti, where she has helped create and run, together with Sean Penn, an internally displaced person camp and field hospital for over 65,000 Haitians who lost their homes in the 2010 earthquake.
Since colleges are increasingly moving to online and electronic resources, Sitterly said the new students will be introduced to the student portal, the Career Services database, Smarthinking, the online tutoring program, and other online/electronic resources available to AIC students.
Some of the new responsibilities facing first year students include understanding how to use the menu of services available to AIC students. Students will be introduced to Financial Aid, Business Office, Registrar's Office, Counseling Services and Health Services.