Last week’s article was all about Parent Orientation and what is important for parents to know. This week, it’s all the information about what your first-year student(s) needs to know and what key events are planned for them during Orientation week. Trust me, this year is going to be great! There are so many great events planned to help your students easily transition into college life.
Once you and your student have arrived on campus, make your way to the Rozsa Center to check-in and pick up your check-in packet that contains all the pertinent information for the week ahead, as well as some other details including your room assignment and key. Next, your student can move in to their Residence Hall with the help of some student and staff volunteers, our “stage crew”. At this time, your students’ Residence Assistant (RA) within your students hallway will be floating around, so be sure to introduce yourselves and get to know them.
Same as before, we break down students into Orientation teams (“bands”) based on their major. These “bands” will be lead by an Orientation Team Leader (OTL), also known as “agent”. These “agents” will be leading your students through the week’s activities, including facilitating the “band” meetings, having dinner together and in general having some fun. Within the Orientation packet there will be the “band” number that your son/daughter will be a part of and all corresponding information.
“What’s new this year?” you might ask, well there are a few new events that have been changed for this year’s incoming class. A First-year class photo will be taken during Orientation week as a way of bringing everyone together and establishing a bond between the students. Also, there is going to be an in-general Safety session, a newer version of the scavenger hunt that is put on every year for a little friendly competition, and the Office of Information Technology is sponsoring C. L. Lindsay to present information about Safety On-line. C. L. Lindsay is the founder of the Coalition for Student and Academic Rights (CO-STAR), which has become a national student rights organization that aids thousands of college students with their legal problems (free of charge) every year. He’ll be presenting mostly on on-line problems and has come to Michigan Tech before to discus the similar issues in a talk titled “Trouble On-line: Campus Computing and the Law”.
Summer reading as mentioned last week is required by all First-year students to read before coming to Michigan Tech’s campus. The book for this year: “Lay That Trumpet in Our Hands” by Susan Carol McCarthy is a very interesting story that will make for great discussions. Each “band” will have the opportunity to discuss this novel with their “band-mates”, “agents” and a staff member during their Orientation discussions. Also, the author along with a special guest will be making a visit and giving a Public Address the night before the First-year Orientation Discussions take place to give students an opportunity to learn a little more about the book. Your student should have received a brochure in the mail highlighting the summer reading and general information about the book.
Placement tests will also be offered during the week, and this includes:
- Spatial Visualization – required of all engineering majors to take
- Computer Science – for computer science, computer systems science, software engineering, computer engineering, and electrical engineering majors with programming experience
- Modern Language (German, French, Spanish) – test to place students at the respective course level if they have had previous classes in the modern languages
- Mathematics Diagnostic – used for students to challenge their math placement; required for those students who do not have ACT or SAT scores to be placed
This is all basic information about these tests. More information including times and locations will be including in your student’s check-in packet. The online Orientation website has more information about Academics which also lists information about the various placements available.
Your students will have an extraordinary week filled with lots of fun events, such as team meetings, presentations, and social events. An example of some of the evening activities include: WMTU Concert, Movie on the Lawn (Iron Man), film: The Great Debaters, Vegas Night, Banana Split Ice-cream desert, Bowling and Billiards, Capture the Flag, Scholastic Bowl, McNair Hall Association (MHA) Dance, comedians: Rob Little and Iliza Shlesinger, Craig Karges illusionist, Greek Life Luau, and Fall Nighter. Most of these fun events take place during the evening hours to help the students relax and enjoy some free time. In addition to having these fun events during the weekdays, on the weekends there are several fun trips/excursions planned. These include a Geological Excursion, Sylvania Wilderness Area Canoe Trip (overnight), Copper Harbor Trip (overnight), Porkies Trip, Little Huskies Community Service, and many more. One fun trip to highlight for your students is the Keweenaw Waterway Tour on Saturday August 29. Students will have the opportunity to ride aboard the Keweenaw Star for a couple of hours and enjoy the gorgeous Portage Canal, while stopping at several landmark sties. For those students that are looking for a fun trip to participate in while still being close to campus to enjoy other fun events, this is the trip for them to experience. It is possible and recommended to sign up for these trips early, and you can do so by visiting the Orientation Trips. Keep in mind that there is limited room for some of the trips, so if any of your students are interested in these excursions they should be signing up now.
There is so much more that will be taking place during Orientation week, but I don’t want to give it all away. You and your student can learn all about them when your student checks in and receives their Orientation packet. Also, the Orientation staff is available to answer any of your questions as well, by email: firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone: (906) 487-3558.