Momentum building for 2013-2014 school year
Monday, July 8, 2013
MANHATTAN -- If a great college experience starts with a great first year, members of Kansas State University's 2013-2014 first-year class can't wait to get started.
Continuing a trend from the last five years, attendance at the university's recently completed summer orientation and enrollment increased, setting a participation record for both students and parents. The university offered 13 sessions in June, allowing first-year and transfer students to enroll in fall classes and learn more about the campus.
"K-State's summer orientation and enrollment program is thriving because students want to be a part of a great student experience. That experience includes their academic endeavors and their student life experiences," said Emily Lehning, assistant vice president for student life. "The increase of parents attending with their student is very exciting and is critical in establishing a strong support network for students. We view parents and family members as important partners in student success."
The increased participation also included Wildcat Warm-up, a two-day orientation and enrollment session that gave incoming freshman students an in-depth look at what it is like to be a student at K-State. The program celebrated its 10th year at this summer's orientation and enrollment.
"A third session of Wildcat Warm-up was added this year to meet the demand for the program," said Kiley Moody, coordinator of new student services. "At Wildcat Warm-up, students learn our traditions, get comfortable with campus as they participate in activities in several different buildings on campus, meet faculty and current students in a more one-to-one setting, and stay in our residence halls."
More importantly, Moody said, is that students who participate in Wildcat Warm-up get to connect with other incoming students, forming long-lasting friendships and making connections with faculty and staff who will help them be successful while at Kansas State.
Orientation and enrollment also is vital for the university's first-year programs, according to Lehning, who is an adviser to K-State First, the special programs offered to first-year students to help them get off to the right start at the university and to increase student retention.
"Orientation and enrollment is the time when students officially enroll in First-Year Seminars, CAT Communities, University Experiences, the Honors Program and other first-year specific academic programs," Lehning said. "Additionally, students begin to establish their community and support network -- both important aspects in student success."
And just like orientation and enrollment, K-State's first-year programs also are continuing to grow.
"We have filled most of our spots in our K-State First CAT Communities and First-Year Seminars, but have a few places remaining for students who enroll in August," Lehning said. "There also has been an increase in the number of our faculty and staff who signed up to serve as GPS -- Guide to Personal Success -- mentors and an increase in the number of students seeking to be matched with a mentor."
Orientation and enrollment also is the time first-year students receive their copy of this year's K-State Book Network selection, "Ready Player One" by Ernest Cline. The common book will be part of class discussions and activities across campus.
Students who missed the June orientation and enrollment dates can attend sessions in August, Moody said. A session for transfer students will be Aug. 22 and a session for incoming freshmen will be Aug. 23. Registration for both sessions, http://www.k-state.edu/admissions/transferaug.html and http://www.k-state.edu/admissions/orientationaug.html, begins July 8.
When it comes to where current and incoming students will live in the next school year, John Lantz, coordinator at new student services, said the university's residence halls remain a popular option.
"Our residence hall staff continues to provide activities that students enjoy being a part of, support that helps them get connected to campus and resources that help them be academically successful," Lantz said. "Because of that, there is a lot of excitement about the new residence hall plans, as construction will begin later this academic year."
The new $70 million residence hall and dining center will be on the west side of campus.
Opportunities for Greek affiliation also will increase at the university in the 2013-2014 school year as both a fraternity and a sorority will be returning to campus. Pi Kappa Phi fraternity will colonize in the fall, and Sigma Sigma Sigma sorority will colonize in the spring. Both intend to have a living facility in the future and are working to identify property locations.
Lantz also encourages new students to continue orienting to K-State by attending a local Catbacker or K-State Alumni Association club event in their area; browsing the university's One Stop website, to learn more about on-campus resources; contacting and visiting with their new roommate prior to the fall; and visiting the Week of Welcome website for the schedule of all of the fun and informational activities happening the first week of class.