Ferris State University is set to welcome about 2,000 new students to campus this summer for orientation sessions designed to boost their success.
First-time and transfer students, many accompanied by their parents, will participate in one of 16 sessions that begin Monday, June 17. Ferris’ one-day orientation program helps students become familiar with the university and learn more about their major, graduation requirements and support services. It’s also an opportunity to meet classmates and check out ways to get involved.
Attendance is “critical” for students new to Ferris, said Kevin Bunce, a senior from Big Rapids who will serve as an orientation leader. Even though he already was familiar with the university, Bunce said he benefited from attending and hopes to help new students have a positive experience.
“It is a really good way to get the students’ perspective,” said Bunce, a Business Administration and Ornamental Horticulture major. “It is the first opportunity for students to see who they will go to school with, their living arrangements and to register for classes they will be taking.”
Bunce, who called his job “the best way to get involved on campus,” recommends students participate in campus activities and get involved in a registered student organization to meet people with similar interests. There are about 250 academic, Greek, social, political, faith-based or athletic RSOs on campus.
In addition to introducing students to leadership, volunteer and social opportunities, orientation focuses on providing students with a smooth transition to college at Ferris.
“Orientation is important, because it is the final check-point for students to ensure they are ready to start classes during their upcoming semester of enrollment,” said Eric Simone, coordinator of Admissions Event Programming.
Check-in begins at 7:30 a.m., and orientation wraps up about 1 p.m. Students will get their student ID card photo taken, have the opportunity to meet with faculty, staff and academic advisers, talk to financial aid representatives and register for classes.
Parents and friends can attend a “Family and Friends” session while their student is attending various orientation activities to learn about financial aid, business services, housing options, health services and more.
Campus tours also will be available beginning at 1 p.m. Visitors will find themselves in the midst of the $34 million University Center project that includes demolition of two residence halls and renovation of the Rankin Student Center. Signs will direct visitors around construction areas.
“The new University Center for students will contain a variety of amenities, including a new food court, bookstore, conference rooms for student groups and more,” Simone said of the project, slated for completion in December 2014.
The first day of classes for the Fall 2013 semester is Monday, Aug. 26.