Incoming Chippewas prepare for new opportunities as Freshman Academic Orientation concludes


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Future Central Michigan University students visit various tables showcasing services that CMU offers, after orientation on May 31 in the Bovee University Center Rotunda.

Despite its small community appeal, Central Michigan University gave Alex Cooper a new appreciation for maps.

As the four-week-long freshman program of Academic Orientation came to a close on Thursday, the Macomb native was one of the 3,000 incoming freshmen who visited campus between May 23 and June 15.

"It's a little overwhelming," Cooper said. "The thing that put me at ease today was the way everyone here is so welcoming and willing to answer my questions, which I have a lot of still. I'm sure I'll figure it out as I go."

Orientation sessions help first-year and transfer students register for Fall 2017 classes, meet with advisors, get photographed for their campus identification cards and learn university procedures. 

As they compared their class schedules for the fall, Cooper and freshman Maddy Goss traced out what seemed to be the fastest routes from building to building.

"It seems big right now, but I'm sure I'll get accustomed to it," Goss said. "It's hard to cover everything to such large groups of people who know literally nothing about finding their way around a university, but I definitely felt like our tour guides were welcoming to us being there and answering our questions. I'm excited to get used to this place and call it home."

Transfer Academic Orientation, which began May 5, runs separately from Freshman Academic Orientation. While the freshman program sees the largest number of new students at roughly 300 per date, the transfer program and other additional orientation dates bring in as many as 80-120 incoming students on each date, said executive director for academic advising and assistance Michelle Howard.

Planning orientation is a year-round endeavor from January until May. Participating staff reviews previous orientations, attends orientation conferences and hosts planning discussions. Each student pays $175 in enrollment registration fees, which covers orientation expenses. The fee goes toward hospitality, lunch, coffee and the employment of the student mentors and informational documents.

Though the freshman program runs over a four-week span at the end of May through early June, Howard said the university continues offering dates until the end of August. 

"We've had 472 transfer students who attended (academic orientation) so far," Howard said. "We continue offering orientation dates through the summer for those who can't attend the larger sessions. We also work with students individually to make sure they get everything they need set up before their first semester."

Additional dates for Academic Orientation are:

  • Wednesday, June 21
  • Thursday, June 22
  • Thursday, July 27
  • Friday, August 11
  • Thursday, August 24
  • Friday, August 25

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About McKenzie Sanderson

McKenzie Sanderson is the Sports Editor at Central Michigan Life. She is a senior at Central ...

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