September 10th, 2015
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Engage Alumni to Make College Life Easier for New Students
Loneliness and helplessness are really common feelings for students who have just joined a new school/college. We remember the first few days in the institution, of how reluctant we were to attend classes or to interact with people without knowing them. Also, we were unaware of the culture, tradition and community of the college. It took a lot more time to adapt to them than it should have. How can we not let an individual feel like a foreigner in his/her own school or college? How can we help them settle in this environment without making them feel surrounded by strangers?
Many institutions around the globe (including Columbia University in New York and Indian School of Business in Mohali and Hyderabad) have found a solution for this common problem; to change the first week of new students from worst to the very best! Instead of having a one day orientation, colleges have moved a step ahead in giving freshmen their first hand guide to the university for a complete week! Orientation Week or ‘O – Week’ as it is called, is a great way to introduce students to college life about how to live and learn in their new community.
Who seems fit to organize such a week? Faculty members? Senior students? What if we find someone who is close to being a student and has experience of the world outside? Yes we are talking about Alumni. Who have worn the same shoes as these new students and know the journey of college life very well.
In the O-Week, there are series of mandatory events, programs and meetings which provide new students with an in-depth overview of how the college works. Important parts of the week include registration for classes, overviews of the various academic disciplines and meetings with faculty, academic advisers and fellow students.
However, Orientation Week is not all business; students have a lot of fun as well. During the week, students explore the city that the college is in, get to know the other students, attend social events, competitions, parties, games and make some friends by socializing.
There are numerous success stories of comprehensive orientation. This week is essential in creating a seamless educational experience for students. Using the power of alumni, the institute can help new students in more ways than we can imagine. They not only guide them on how to live their college life but also advise them on the life after graduating.
But how can we be sure that alumni will invest their time and energy into giving back to their institution in such a way? The alumni of the institute should be engaged properly in order to have such a unique connection. We at FuturEd help schools and colleges build such lifelong relationships with their alumni. Check out our programs to know more.