Freshmen in for changes at Duck Camp, orientation

By Chelsea Sepolio – 

First year students at Tarleton State University will be offered more direct attention, more camps and a week to adjust to college life in the new Summer Transition Programs.

The program, designed to increase retention rate is the new name of the reconstructed First Year Experience that encapsulated Duck Camp and Freshman Orientation.

The new orientation programs begin April 28.

The programs are designed to help students transition from high school to college, register for classes and connect with other incoming freshmen, said program director, Mike Barnette.

Students say the camps and programs helped prepare them for life on campus, instilled school spirit and introduced them to new activities. “The level of excitement and passion of the leaders made me more ready for the weekend and life at TSU,” said Katie Griffiths, the 20 year-old Junior from Katy, Texas. Ashley Gibson 19 year-old freshman from Santa Anna, Texas said the program is a great place to make new friends.

“Yell Contest was a lot of fun and preparing for it allowed you to get out of your comfort zone and bond with your group,” she said.

This year, there will be three Duck Camps instead of two.

Additionally, Freshman Orientation sessions will also change. In summer 2011, there were a total of eight orientation sessions – six, two-day sessions and two, one-day sessions. This year, there are seven one-day sessions, starting April 28, said Barnette.

The shift from summer to spring was made on the recommendation of a university consultant,

“Noel-Levitz. The firm said data show “that the higher achieving students want to start early,” Barnette explained. Moving from the two-day sessions to one-day sessions will help students focus on registration, he said.

Additionally, a new Transition Week August 20- 26th will use Texan 2 Texan to merge Convocation with , events, seminars, activities and a mock class day. Summer Transition Programs will work with multiple departments of Student Life during this week to acclimate the students to college life and be the first stepping stone to developing a better Tarleton State community.

“This week will join RL&L with Summer Transition Programs to work together in hopes to give the first year students a grasp of their new environment a week before classes start,” says RL&Ls Facilities Coordinator Gary Stout.


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