Student orientation programme plays an important role in a students transition to a university life. Orientation programmes are aimed at familiarizing the students to an unknown campus environment, its faculties and infrastructure. It enables them to make essential connection with studies and develop network among other peers.
“Where will be my classroom? What will be my majors, What is the course structure?” Umpteen numbers of questions looms in the minds of students, when they start their college life.
In the beginning of the first year, students need to be made acquainted to their surroundings in the campus. This includes introductory sessions, giving them an overview of the university life; the rules and regulations mandated for each student in a particular college/ faculty.It is an essential period at the beginning of the college session, which allows the students to get settled in their new environment.
Teacher coordinator of every stream sets a model of introductory orientation programme that includes academic as well as social activities.
The three basic goals of any university/college when organizing an orientation week/month are:
- Introducing students to their college life.
- Incorporating them in the university environment.
- Giving opportunity to the university members and faculties to get connected to the new batch.
Introducing Students to a college life
This is the most essential aspect of an orientation programme in any university, irrespective of the nature of the course. Students need to be made aware of the social environment of their university/college. This social factor most definitely includes the extracurricular activities, social clubs, events, workshops and other special training programmes available in the college course. This encourages them and helps them in getting socially integrated with the college culture. In the early few weeks of the college itself, a student should be able to discover his interest in any of the college activities other than the mainstream course. Social involvement will make sure that students don’t lose interest in the college life and hence are regular with their attendance.
Introductory sessions most importantly aims at giving an overview about the academic course, pursued by the students. By giving a rough idea of academic expectations, students are prepared for the challenges they might face during their graduation/post graduation programmes.
Often in the orientation programmes, eminent lecturers and experts in various fields are introduced to the new students, to mentally prepare them for awaited professional life they have set out to achieve.
Orientation programmes in colleges also give opportunities to students where they can self evaluate their aptitude level, by participating in the workshops and discussion sessions. Attending Orientation enables students to make important connections with the collegiate environment, academic studies, peers and network with the campus community.
Incorporating students in the university environment
The second most important aspect of an orientation programme is to make students accustomed to the campus surrounding. For many students going to college may be their first experience away from home, so orientation programme gives them the required aid in getting acquainted with their new neighbourhood.
Answering all their queries and doubts, counseling, guiding them in the choice of their social clubs are some of the activities involved in these orientation sessions.
In this manner, orientation helps students get their attitude right as best suited for the new place.Campus maps, guided tours in the campus allow them to physically get apprised of the college interiors so that they do not find themselves lost. Orientation programmes are the best platform for the new students to get a total overview of what all a university has to offer.
Giving opportunity to the university members and faculty to get connected with the new batch.
Involving the entire university community in the orientation programme is the most effective aspect as it gives the students and teachers an equal opportunity to interact with each other. The entire campus community including the faculty, dining services, housing, facilities management, and student activities groups gets involved in this programme of welcoming new students.
The interaction among the students and the college community strengthens student’s persistence in the college. A feeling of belongingness is inculcated in student’s mind during the orientation, which makes them feel a part of the university community. Institutions appoint old students as the orientation leaders who can also share their own experience with the newcomers and make them aware of the awaited experience.
Orientation programmes serve as a foundation for college/university success. It sets a lasting impression for new students and their families.The main purpose of a good orientation session in a college is to bridge the gap between the professors and the students, ensuring a smooth communication between the two. A good orientation programme should be designed in a manner that it can answer all the queries of the students, before they are asked.
A structured orientation model can aid all the participants including students, faculty members, administration, parents and current students. Orientation marks a successful beginning of a college session as it assures to the new students that they made a good decision in their college choice. It also helps students prepare for a successful career with clear vision about what lies ahead and what can be achieved at the end of their courses.
Student Orientation is a warm up session for students before they are ready to hit the ground for their final performance, for a successful career.