By Michael Torres
For many incoming freshmen and transfer students, entering a new campus community can be an overwhelming experience. From navigating through unfamiliar buildings to finding parking on campus, the experience can turn optimism into anxiety.
As a result, Cal Poly Pomona created Orientation Services to help integrate new students into the academic, cultural and social components of the campus community.
Prior to the start of fall quarter, incoming freshmen and transfer students are required to attend an orientation workshop offered on select dates in June, July or August.
The workshop’s goals are to help transition new students into the campus community and introduce them to educational opportunities offered on campus. In addition, students are introduced to educational software — BroncoDirect and Blackboard ” used by most CPP courses.
An orientation leader guides incoming students. These leaders are students from different majors and year standings
For Taylor Broome, a second-year political science student, being a student-leader has been a rewarding experience.
“Student orientation provides a safe place for [new] students,” said Broome. “The [freshmen] program helps them to create friendships and connections, which allows them to feel welcomed to campus.”
Orientation Services provides two programs designed to meet the needs of freshmen and transfer students.
The freshmen program is a three-day, two-night orientation, which includes boarding and meals for the duration of the event. The orientation costs $185, and it includes Poly Nights: a nocturnal festival held the final evening of the orientation.
Unlike freshmen orientation, transfer students are offered two options. The first option is a one-day orientation, and the second is a one and one-half day orientation. Both options cost $83.
While there is a difference in program duration between freshmen and transfer students, there are students who believe it is justified.
Orientation Leader Jessica Gavin, a fourth-year hospitality management student, believes the programs are ideal.
“Transfer orientation is a lot more business because a lot of those students have already made connections,” said Gavin. “Freshmen orientation is built to build those connections and teach them how to use our facilities, websites and anything else we offer on campus.”
However, a concern commonly shared among freshmen was the lack of flexibility with orientation.
Jorge Lopez, a first-year psychology student, enjoyed all aspects of the program but disagreed with the length of the event.
“Freshmen should have the option to choose between a three-day and one-day for their orientation because there are some people that are really busy with work,” said Lopez. “I normally have work, and this orientation happened to fall on a period where I didn’t have work, but if it did I would have had to take days off.”
For third-year English transfer student Karen Ortegon, orientation was very insightful but lacked some valuable information.
“At orientation they didn’t emphasize the importance of starting with lower-level coursework, which made my first quarter tough because I started with a 400-level class,” said Ortegon. “Another thing that can be improved on for both programs is teaching students how to accurately read their advisement reports.”
Despite mixed emotions, Orientation Services’ goal remains to facilitate student success.
Michael Torres / The Poly Post
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