By Rene Thompson, Editor in Chief
New students anticipated to come in for the fall semester will have an added advantage to their educations and will get a leg up more so than other new students of the past, and will be that incoming students will get more comprehensive orientation sessions with current student mentor orientation leaders and on campus tours, said Katie Boyle, Student Orientation Manager in the Media and Communications office.
Not only will incoming students benefit from this new program initiative, but current students who have become mentor leaders for the program will qualify for up to $1000 in scholarships for the fall semester after completing orientations with the school this summer, Boyle said.
“It’s an exciting time for new students at CNM I feel because we’re really creating a program designed around what students feel like they need to be successful in their first year,” she said.
Boyle said that the school has been working with the presidential fellows for curriculum development since January to improve the curriculum for the orientation sessions, which includes developing learning outcomes and including what students really want to get out of the orientation.
The presidential fellows who made the curriculum for orientations are Josh Krause and Kelly Peters, who are both instructors in teacher education, she said.
“From that we’ve identified that we need some help, we needed a number of people who could be able to help with small group activities, and we did a bunch of focus groups with high school seniors, current CNM students, and staff and faculty to kind of figure out what our needs were for orientation and what people really wanted to see from it,” she said.
A couple of years ago the school did a pilot orientation program with in person orientations and Boyle said that students were more likely to be successful in their first year of attendance at CNM.
“What we’re doing differently this year with new student orientation is that we are working toward offering more in person orientations so students can actually come to campus and get to know the campus in person, and kind of get a better feel for what it will be like to be a student here,” she said.
When new students arrive at the orientations they will be split into small groups, then orientation leaders will lead them on a campus tour and will help with orientation set up and tear down, Boyle said.
Orientation mentor leaders will also be in charge leading some small group activities in helping students engage with the content of the orientation session, she said.
For students to qualify to be become orientation mentors they had to have at least a 2.5 GPA or higher, had to have completed at least one full term, which is 12 credit hours, and planned to come back in the fall term, as well as being available for all orientation sessions and training over the summer semester, she said.
“Our final team has just been chosen, and they’ll do a two day training next, and we’ll start the orientation sessions on June 6— it’s going to be awesome,” Boyle said.
The program had been granted the scholarship money from student services which are supporting this new initiative, and the scholarships will be applied in the beginning of the fall semester to students who volunteer as mentor orientation leaders, she said.
Students can earn up $1,000 each in scholarship money, which will be determined by a number of factors and will be assessed individually to decide the amount each student will get from these scholarships, she said.
“We had a very large pool of applicants— I was really pleased, and the final team that we’ve selected are really great enthusiastic students and I’m really looking forward to working with them— I think it’s going to be really fun,” Boyle said.
For more information on orientations go to CNM’s new online student orientation at cnm.edu.
Mentors making a difference
By Rene Thompson, Editor in Chief