Building a foundation for successful college careers

On NC State’s campus, it’s that wonderful time of year when we begin to see soaring temperatures and an abundance of available parking spaces. June also marks the start of orientation, and New Student Programs will again be among the first to offer our newest students an introduction to the university.

Orientation is a requirement for first year students brand new to college life, for international students, and for those transferring to NC State from other institutions. Sessions are structured by college or program, giving students a head start on getting to know others from their intended majors. They will spend two days here on campus, outlining course schedules for the fall semester and participating in group activities. They’ll also have the opportunity to experience residence hall life, should they choose to spend the night on campus (in Sullivan Hall). Discussion panels are hosted during this time, and provide an excellent platform for new students to ask questions and gain insight into the experiences of returning students.

The college going process isn’t only an experience that impacts students; it’s also a major life change for the families who will be remaining at home. For this reason, New Student Programs ensures that parents are active participants in orientation activities. Parents gain a deeper understanding of what will be expected of their students, and become familiar with the range of on-campus resources that are available. They’ll also learn what to expect during this transition from high school to college, which often takes students away from home for the first time.


Student Coordinator Profile: Rachel Coffman

Orientation Leader Profile: Kendrick Cobb

During Orientation, and in the weeks leading up to it, the staff of New Student Programs dedicates long hours to ensuring a smooth and enjoyable time for students. Arriving on campus for a 7 a.m. staff meeting and remaining here until after 11 p.m. is not uncommon. But staff members good-naturedly embrace their busy schedules, recognizing that it’s all part of creating an impactful experience for students. Perhaps this is why there’s such a noticeably close knit, family-like feel to their office.

Despite the long days, New Student Programs Director Michael Coombes eagerly anticipates orientation. “I enjoy seeing the students arrive on campus, and seeing their excitement about traditions, watching them make connections and start to realize they can feel comfortable and at home here. It’s fun to be a part of that. It’s an exciting time of year.”

In addition to orientation, New Student Programs is home to Wolfpack Welcome Week and the Common Reading Program. Plans are also in place for the program to expand its impact, by providing programs which will support students throughout the entire first year and ultimately result in their successful return to campus for year two.

Integral to the success of New Student Programs’ offerings are strong relationships with campus partners. Coombes stresses that programs like Orientation and Wolfpack Welcome Week encompass the entire campus community. Staff members from across campus share the messages of their programs with incoming students, and there is frequent collaboration between New Student Programs and campus partners. Coombes is grateful for these strong relationships; for all involved, the priority is to create positive, meaningful experiences for the students of NC State.

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