Post Comments on Orientation 2018

New student orientation for the Fall semester now has two extra days. Instead of SaSuM we have SaSuMTW. Faculty reaction to this new feature of the academic calendar is extremely important.

Please post your orientation-related insights below so that we can learn from one another and successfully plan for 2019. Some things to consider include

  1. Orientation programming has several levels: University, College/Grad School, Department/Field, Housing/Dorm etc. Did you spot coordination issues among these levels?
  2. Did the extra two days solve problems? Did the extra two days create problems?
  3. Did the Thursday class-start make it easier for you to get ready for your fall-semester teaching responsibilities?

Comments are totally anonymous, but it helps if in your posting  you identify yourself, e.g.,  “DGS” or “DUS” or “Masters Program Director” or “Chair” or “New Faculty Member” or “Long-time Faculty Member” etc.

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34 thoughts on “Post Comments on Orientation 2018

  1. Even though we had extra days, it did not seem like the A&S advising office used that time effectively. I think better planning in the future, particularly by advising office & deans, needs to be implemented to better take advantage of that time.

  2. Like someone else noted, it would really make more sense to just begin classes after Labor Day, like most universities do. Next year, we’ll start on a Thursday after the extended orientation, and then immediately run into the extended Day weekend.

  3. The two extra days were very helpful. We also have an UG advisor meeting and we had to hold them both on Monday, but having the extra two days, it was nice to hold our graduate orientation on Wednesday this year. It also gave us room to not have any conflicts as we have always had in the past.

  4. The calendar change was positive for our field.

    I organize an orientation program for our incoming students and a teaching assistant training program for our field. This training involves PhD students from outside fields (as well as our own), and having more time before classes start was wonderful. Our orientation activities take place over three full days, so we frequently conflict with other events on campus.

    In previous years, our graduate orientation activities conflicted with our undergraduate advising appointments, which was very stressful for our faculty advisors that are meeting with both undergraduate and provisional graduate advisees.


  5. The five days of orientation seemed too long. I have a freshman entering this year and he was ready to start on Wed. The Thursday start also disrupts the MWF schedule., you seem to lose more classes in the semester with this schedule. 4 orientation days and a Wed start would be optimal.

  6. I have a story to tell. It does not reflect on the orientation process, but it does hint at a new and growing problem with freshmen’s preparation.

    I noticed an alarming degree of reliance, on the part of the freshmen, on the online tools to make decisions for them. They think it is like placing on order on or playing a video game. These are snippets of actual conversations with my new advisees this fall.

    I: Three of your courses are in social sciences. Don’t you think this is not a good balance?
    Freshman: Yeah, I thought about that. But the computer let me enroll in all three.

    I: You enrolled in this intermediate foreign language course. Did you take a placementbtest to determine your level?
    Freshman: No. But the computer let me enroll regardless.

    I: Your seminar here ends exactly when this section begins. How are you going to get to class on time?
    Freshman: I dunno. But the computer let me enroll anyway.


    Starting classes on a Thursday worked very well, but revising all syllabi to adjust for that was a lot of work. Let’s not change it again, please!

    Program Director

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