Framingham State University is dedicated to their First-Year students, both freshman and transfer students. We welcome them to FSU with an invitation to attend a one-day, major specific orientation. We begin their transition with a focus on academics and an overview of campus life. Our orientation program is full of information and ‘getting to know you’ activities.
However, it is just the beginning.
All new students move in the Saturday before returning students, to participate in orientation’s second phase, Black & Gold Beginnings. BGB, as we like to call it, adds the fun to orientation. It begins with move-in and floor meetings with the Residence Life staff. The new students begin to meet their peers who they will be living with.
The first night we offer two main events, typically a large-scale novelty event and a performer. We believe these two programs give the students an understanding of the types of events offered on nights and weekends throughout the year. A kick-off event with an outside vendor, surrounding social justice and other important topics, such as sexual assault, are discussed in an open forum. The kick-off truly opens their minds to college life – the good and the bad. The rest of the four day event, includes affinity group receptions, off-campus trips, bystander intervention training, and social gatherings. BGB forces the new students to dive head first into their new and exciting college journey.
Black & Gold Beginnings sets the new students on the right path to be successful college learners. We treat them like adults, making none of the events mandatory, but of course offering incentives to attend. The many events included in BGB introduce them to new and exciting people. They continue and sometimes begin to see the world as it really is: diverse, real, and fun!
All the events are extremely well received because we are meeting them where they are at. FSU understands their first-year students, whether they came from high school or another institution of higher education. Our goal is to help them feel and become a part of our campus community. We share with them our culture and mission, to “prepare students for a productive life, enhanced by learning and leadership.”
Orientation is not just our one-day summer program, but continues from the first day they move onto campus through the end of the first semester with their Foundations Seminar. On average, most of our new students immediately feel a part of our campus community and feel they have made the right choice in Framingham State University. We prepare them for the next four years here and the years to come after their college tenure. They understand and enjoy the fact that they will be challenged, accepted and motivated in and out of the classroom.
Orientation may begin in the summer but it doesn’t end when the leaves begin to change.
This post is part of our #AfterOrientation series, which focuses on what various institutions do when the buzz and bustle of orientation dies down. We will learn about programs, events, and initiatives that continue the support and excitement for the new students as they start their higher education adventure. For more information, check out the intro post by Juhi Bhatt. Be sure to read the other posts in this series too!