Summer’s over

New Fredonia students arrive Thursday

Photo Courtesy of SUNY Fredonia The big move into the residence halls this year begins on Thursday for first-year and transfer students.

Special to the OBSERVER

The welcome mat at the State University of New York at Fredonia is being rolled out early for first-year and transfer students. They’ll arrive on Thursday — two days ahead of the traditional move-in day — as part of an expanded orientation initiative designed to help them transition to higher education.

Fredonia has restructured orientation programming to better prepare students to succeed in college as part of its Strategic Enrollment Management plan that’s designed to increase enrollment.

Orientation now consists of two components: Jumpstart, one-day pre-orientation sessions in June and July, and three consecutive days, Friday through Sunday, that will introduce students to the campus culture through various activities and events, explained Erin Mroczka, director of New Student and Transition Programs. The first day of classes for all students is Monday.

In prior years, all orientation activities were conducted during two-day sessions in June and July, and new and transfer students arrived on the Saturday before classes began.

“Part of the Strategic Enrollment Management plan was to re-imagine the orientation process and how to better help students understand the expectations of college life. We want them to recognize that they belong at Fredonia and that they can be academically successful here,” Mroczka explained.

The result is an extensive orientation process featuring many new elements.

During June and July, the campus hosted nearly 1,200 incoming students and their families across six day-long orientations. Sessions were devoted to finalizing a student’s enrollment, focusing on completing financial aid forms and course registration, obtaining identification cards and learning how to access instructional materials, among other items.

With its big-picture perspective, the second orientation phase figures to be a very busy three days for these new Fredonians. Beginning on Friday, sessions will introduce students to their respective academic department as well as resources at Reed Library. Students will also attend networking gatherings with students outside of their major as well as the traditional new student convocation. A “Go Blue” spirit night will introduce students to Blue Devil athletic teams, intramural program opportunities and Steele and Dods Hall athletic facilities.

With the exception of student convocation, all are new events.

Orientation activities are centered on campus, although students will be made aware of happenings in the surrounding areas, including the annual Fredonia Farm Festival held in Barker Commons.

“These changes to orientation are very exciting; I appreciate the campus and local community support in helping new students transition to Fredonia,” Mroczka said.