Friday, July 18, 2008

Summer Orientation for New Students

Fort Valley State University held its new student orientation today in the C.W. Pettigrew Center and it was packed: more than 217 students attended Friday’s event that introduced new students to professors, faculty and administrators at the university. It’s the fourth in a series of summer orientations for students. So far, all of the event contained overflow crowds.

During orientation, I talked to many parents who were sincerely happy about the summer information sessions. One mother told me that she felt as if her child was in good hands at FVSU, “I have another daughter in school in Atlanta,” she said. “They didn’t hold summer orientation sessions like this one. Fort Valley State University’s customer service makes me feel as if my daughter will be safe.”

I remember when I was a skinny, eighteen year old entering college as a freshman. Leaving parents for the first time is scary and exciting: for the first time, you’re free of the restrictions that adults impose. But, it’s nice to know how to navigate the waters of a college campus before you get there. The universities and colleges I attended – like University of Missouri, Columbia -- never had summer sessions like the ones at FVSU that ease the process of transitioning from high school. There were no administrators there to hold students’ hands or to walk them through the process. When a student arrived on campus – they had to sink or swim. You were given a campus map, a printed copy of your class schedule and told “good luck.”

Many schools I attended lacked the personal touch that an institution like FVSU has. There wasn’t electronic registration for financial aid, nor were there professors or administrators willing to meet you to advise you. You navigated the process of financial aid, advising and finding your classes on your own. This isn’t the case at FVSU, whose administrators truly seem to care about students’ lives, welfare and future.

-Christina Milton


Anonymous said...

The orientation I attended with my daughter on July 11 was a disaster. I left with only questions.

Fort Valley State University said...

How can we help? We can definitely answer your questions if we know what they are.