Archives—August 2011

Outdoor Adventure Program

Outdoor Adventure Program

With  school  beginning soon and all the students  back to Houghton, it’s a great time of the year to take advantage of Michigan Tech’s Outdoor Adventure Program (OAP). The goal of OAP is to help connect your student to the outdoors through guided trips, leadership training, information sessions, and equipment rental and by working closely with student organizations to help advertise and run events.


Ruth Eischer, a student at Tech, was able to enjoy a nice kayaking trip thanks to OAP!

OAP offers a huge list of items that can be rented at a low cost for Tech students. Is your student interested in going camping? For a one night camping trip your student can rent a:

30 Degree sleeping bag for $4.00

2 person tent from $8.00-10.00

Stove and Fuel $7.00

Large Cooler $ 2.00

Above is only a few of the options OAP offers to rent. They have a list of more things your student could rent to take with them such as: backpacks, kayaking packages, canoeing packages, snowshoes, Trek Mountain Bikes, and much more. OAP helps provide many great opportunities allowing students to explore the Keweenaw at a very low cost.

Challenge Course

OAP offers an outdoor challenge course. The course is normally open from mid May until the end of October. This course consists of two main elements: Low Elements and High Elements.

Low Elements: The low elements course consists of  11 overall activities, however most groups focus on four to five elements. These elements/activities tend to involve a lot of team-building, leadership development, and improvement of communication skills. I have done this course and it really is a lot of fun!

High Elements: The high course, which was built in 2009, contains 5 elements. One of the 5 elements is a 250’ + zip line exit. This course is a dynamic course, which means the students only need to climb one time to be able to complete all activities. Although the high elements focus more on individual challenges, up to 10 people can participate at a time.

Activities in the Keweenaw


AJ Donati, a student at Tech, biking in the 2011 Chain Drive.

OAP offers information and trips focused on many great and fun things to do in the Keweenaw. If your student has any interest in biking, the Keweenaw has a lot of great trails! The Upper Peninsula is one of the more predominant places for biking in the Midwest. Some of the trails that your student could check out are: Black Creek, Maasto Hiihto/Churning Rapids, Tech Bike Trails, Swedetown, and Copper Harbor. Visit the OAP biking website to see the list of maps. Not only are there maps for the trails, Tech also has three student organizations that your student could join that are involved in biking. They are: Copper Country Cycling Club , Red Jacket Cycling, and the Keweenaw Trekkers.


Michigan Tech offers a Student Organization called Ridge Roamers which is a rock climbing organization.  There is a rock wall at the Student Development Complex in the Multi-Purpose room and the Ridge Roamers meet there every Wednesday. To get some real outdoor experience, the Ridge Roamers maintain rock climbing routes up at the cliffs north of Mohawk.


Hungarian Falls

OAP offers trips to go and view waterfalls in the local area. I recently was able to go on my first real waterfall experience here in the Keweenaw and it was amazing. The Hungarian Falls, pictured to the right, are the falls I was lucky enough to see and they truly were beautiful. Visit the Waterfall website to use an interactive map that allows you to pin point where many of the local falls are.


As a student at Michigan Tech, it is almost imperative to embrace the snow. In order to do this, it helps to be able to go outside and enjoy the snow. Some of the many things  you can do are cross country skiing, downhill skiing, snowboarding, sledding, and snowshoeing.

One great thing about our University is that even if you don’t know how to ski, you can take a skiing course with a student instructor who can teach you! When I moved to Michigan Tech I knew how to cross country ski, but never had been downhill skiing. I did take the downhill skiing course and loved every second of it! It was great to spend time outside, learn something new, and take advantage of the awesome snow.

I hope this will help you provide some ideas to your student when they need a break from school. Encourage your child to stop in and meet the OAP staff, they are always looking to get more students involved with nature.

Please email if you have any questions, concerns, or suggestions.

Samantha Allen

Parent and Family Orientation

Parent and Family Orientation

Michigan Tech’s Parent and Family Orientation beings on Saturday, August 20 to Monday, August 22. There are many different events included in this schedule ranging from campus tours, information sessions, a reading discussion, the family picnic, and the University Expo.  The events and activities are both fun and informative for parents. Please visit to get a detailed schedule.

Saturday, August 20

When you arrive on Saturday, you and you students will check in at the Rosza Center. After checking into the Rosza Center, you your first-year student can then continue to the Resident Halls where you can begin moving in.

11:00 a.m – 4:00 p.m. Dining Services will be offering  Parent and Family R&R in the Memorial Union Building room 109. This will be a great place for you to take a break from moving and unpacking to rest, relax, and enjoy some great refreshments!

4:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. Join some of our very knowledgeable Orientation Team Leaders who will guide you through Michigan Tech’s campus. The tours begin at 4:00 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. rain or shine.

Sunday, August 21

10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Parent & Family Orientation Welcome and Opening Session

Our Vice President of Student Affairs and Assistant Director of COMPASS welcome you to Michigan Tech for this session, entitled Parents as Partners: Together in Transition!  Parents and family members will learn more about common first-year transitional issues, the many resources available on campus, how to help their student from a distance, and will get some insight about the changing relationship with their college student. You will also get a feel for some real life scenarios that might happen in your family, portrayed by our Orientation Team Leaders (OTLs).

10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Across campus many of the student services office will be open. This is a great time to get any brief questions that you may have answered!

11:00 a.m.– 12:30 p.m. Join some of our very knowledgeable Orientation Team Leaders who will guide you through Michigan Tech’s campus. The tours begin at 11:00 p.m. and 11:30 p.m. rain or shine.

Family Picnic 2010

1:00 p.m. – 3:45 p.m. Many Parent and Family Orientation Sessions will be offered. These sessions will help answer nearly any questions you may have about Michigan Tech and life for your student here on campus. Each session runs for 45 minutes and the Parent and Family Orientation website has the list of each session that will be taking place!

4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. Take a break and enjoy the Family Picnic for new students and their families. Tickets are required for family members. Several Michigan Tech staff members will also be present at the picnic and will be happy to answer any questions you may have.

6:30 p.m.– 7:30 p.m. Join your student and many others at the University Welcome. Here, you will meet the people who will help your student discover their journey to success. This will be the official kick off of Orientation Week and hear an awesome welcome from University President Dr. Glenn Mroz and President of Student Affairs Dr. Les Cook.

7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. After the University Welcome, you may join fellow Michigan Tech Parents, local alumni, and University faculty and staff for an information gathering and light refreshments at the Keweenaw Brewing Company.

Monday, August 22

On Monday, August 22, Parent and Family Orientation concludes with the Academic Department Introductions and University Expo. The Academic Department Introductions, which take place from 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., will allow you and your student to learn more about the department and the faculty. Parents may also attend the University Expo from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. where they can learn helpful information about the various resources and services that the university and local community provide.

Above is only a short overview of what is being offered for Parents and  Families! Please be sure to check out the website for a complete schedule.

Please feel free to email me with any questions, comments, or suggestions you may have! I hope you and your student enjoy Orientation!

First-year Student Orientation

Upon Arrival

In less than two weeks first-year students will be arriving on campus and begin moving into the residence halls in preparation for Orientation! As some of you may remember from my introduction to ParentNet, I am  also working for the Orientation Executive Staff as the Publications Coordinator. Myself, and many other employees of COMPASS, have been working to plan the first year student Orientation since last September. SO,  I am super SUPER excited for the first-year students to arrive.

New Student Check-in Orientation 2010

When you and your student arrive to campus the first location you will want to stop at will be the Rozsa Center. The Rozsa Center will be open for new student check-in on Saturday, August 20 from 9:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. and on Sunday, August 21 from 9:00 a.m.- 4:00 p.m. Once you arrive at the Rozsa Center you will obtain a packet with your student’s room key and parking decal (if they registered their vehicle). Inside this packet, will also be information regarding Orientation. Your student will receive their Orientation team assignment and Orientation schedule. Once you and your student have checked in and received your packet, you may then continue on to check into your student’s residence hall room. The Michigan Tech Welcome Team, composed of Michigan Tech students, staff, and faculty wearing gold shirts, will be at the entrances of the residence halls to direct you to the unloading areas and to assist you in moving. While you are moving your student in, your student’s resident assistant will be floating around the “house”, or area your student will be living, so please introduce yourself!

Throughout your student’s first weekend at Michigan Tech they can take some time to explore the campus, get to know their roommate, and introduce themselves to the student’s they will be living near in the residence halls. On Sunday, you and your family can join your student at the family picnic from 4:00 p.m.-6:00 p.m. on the lawn in front of  the Walker building. Michigan Tech first-year students eat for free. Family members and guests may purchase tickets in advance.  Please visit the Parents and Family Orientation web page for more information on this.

Orientation Week

500 foot banana split!

Orientation officially begins on Sunday, August 21 with the University Welcome which will take place in the Student Development Complex. Family members and guests are invited to attend. After the University Welcome all the first-year students will gather together to have a first-year class photo taken. This photo will be taken on Sherman Field around the Michigan Tech logo. On Monday, August 22, first-year students will meet their Orientation team and their Orientation Team Leader. An Orientation team consists of about 20 students who are primarily all in the same degree program. This is a great opportunity for your student to get to know others in their degree program and to build relationships because it is very likely that your student will have at least a couple of courses with the students from their Orientation team. Your student’s Orientation Team Leader (OTL) will lead the Orientation team through the week’s activities which include getting to know the academic department, learning about campus resources, understanding campus policies, and having fun! I am still great friends with many of the students who were on my Orientation team. Your student is going to have a great time during orientation. Whether they are partaking in a 500 foot banana split, watching a hilarious skit put on by the Orientation Team Leaders, or attending the end of the week McNair Hall Association Dance, your student is going to have a blast. For a complete listing of orientation activities see the First-Year Orientation Schedule.

Don’t forget..

Prior to arriving to campus students should have completed part one of AlcoholEdu for College and read the Summer Reading as Inquiry book . This year’s book is, The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls. The purpose of Reading as Inquiry is to prepare first-year students for college-level reading and discussion. All first-year students are expected to read the book prior to arriving to Michigan Tech. During Orientation week, each Orientation team will discuss the book along with their Orientation Team Leader, a member of the Residence Life student staff, and a faculty or staff member.

There will also be a Summer Reading as Inquiry session for parents and family members on Sunday, August 21. The book is great, so I would encourage reading it!

If you have not already, I would recommend you and your student watching the Summer Reading as Inquiry summer reading video filmed and created by Michigan Tech students. In the short video, students share with you why they enjoyed reading The Glass Caste and what they were able to take from this piece.

Please contact me if you have any questions or concerns. I should be able to answer most any questions that you may have about Orientation.  Have a great week!

Need to start shopping for Textbooks and Computers?


Photo Courtesy of:

Many students and parents may be starting to wonder where and how you purchase textbooks? For most Michigan Tech students their class schedule is already set up. First-year students will find that much of their schedule is finalized, however during Orientation week there may be a few adjustments made to your schedule.  One of the adjustments may consist of a course called Perspective on Inquiry. This is a course that all students at Michigan Tech are required to take. If at this point your student feels they are fairly certain that their schedule will not change, they may choose to begin purchasing their textbooks now. To do this, your student will want to visit the Campus Bookstore and select Express Text. Express Text allows students to sign into their account using their User ID and Password (this is the same information students use to login to their Michigan Tech email account) to access a complete listing of the books they will need. Once your student is logged in, they may pre-order textbooks online and the books will be waiting for them when they get to campus. Another option would be that your students  wait to purchase your books until they arrive on campus during Orientation at the Campus Bookstore located inside the Memorial Union Building.

Students may also find textbooks at the College Bookshelf located in the Pearl Street Mall just off College Avenue or online at the BarkBoard Forum.


At Michigan Tech each student will have access to computer labs. The computer labs on campus are all equipped with all the necessary equipment and software that your student will need to successfully complete their degree at Michigan Tech. Most of the computer labs also have unlimited printing for students as long as it is class related. Occasionally there are classes held in some of the computer labs throughout the day, but I have never personally had trouble finding access to a lab to use.  One great thing about our labs on campus are that, not only are they great for using the computers and printers, but they are great locations to study! There is a high chance that you will also meet others in your lab who may be studying the same or close to the same material as you are. Working in the computer lab provides students with a quiet place to study and also helps students build relationships with others who have similar interest to their own.

Since the computer labs have all the necessary program information your students will need for their courses, your student can purchase a computer that truly suits their individual needs. Some students want a laptop, netbook, desktop…and that is really up to them!! Laptops are nice because they are portable. Your student can take it from their room, to class, to the library, and to study lounges in the Residence Halls. Professor’s policies on laptops differ from class to class. Some professors don’t mind your student having their laptop in class and encourage it, while others have very strong and strict policies about no laptops.  Although, I really do enjoy my laptop I find that it is too heavy to carry so I rarely actually take it on campus with me. I have been recently really considering purchasing a netbook. Netbooks are smaller and more lightweight than laptops but they have a lot of the same features. The biggest thing that most netbooks lack is a cd drive. Desktops are also an option. They are however not portable, but can have a lot of storage space.

All types of computers have benefits and drawback and finding the right computer really depends on what exactly your student prefers. Although Michigan Tech does not recommend any particular type or brand of computer, Dell and Toshiba offer special discounts to Michigan Tech students.  For more information about these special discounts and the computer specifications that Michigan Tech suggests check out the Personal Computer Specification page.

I hope you’re enjoying your summer and  this information will be helpful for you and your students as you begin this process. Please let me know if you have any questions, comments, or concerns.