Students Start Successfully at MCC
Orientation has a new look – one that is drawing rave reviews from students. New students are in groups of about 20; they learn about the College and are able to register on the same day. Middlesex conducted 81 sessions from April to September and saw approximately 2500 students.
"I think it has been very successful," said Alice Picardo, director of the First Year Experience Initiative. "First, the students have received a consistent message on how to be successful; second, they have gotten an early introduction to technology; and third, it has allowed them to make connections with student leaders and with each other."
Each session is divided into two parts. The first is conducted by student development professionals and student orientation leaders, in which they talk about adjusting to college, success strategies, time management, understanding basic academic language, faculty expectations, and College resources and support services.
The second part is dedicated to academic advising and registering for classes. Technical Services Center 100 was transformed into a wireless environment that allows students to use Campus Cruiser and Web Advisor to register for their first semester classes.
"The success of orientation is because of the collaborative efforts of professionals from Enrollment and Student Support Services, Information Technology and teaching faculty, plus the dedication and enthusiasm of student leaders," Ms. Picardo said.
Parent and family information sessions are also offered to provide important information to acquaint them with the College's policies, resources and support regarding counseling, financial aid, tuition and campus safety.
Presenters included the Campus Police, Financial Aid, the Bursar's Office and the Bookstore, and counselors and staff of the Department of Counseling and Career Services.
Parents also learned about the page on the College website dedicated to parents and families. Current students talked about how their families supported them and the sacrifices they made. Counselors discussed ways that parents and families can support student success balanced with the newfound independence that students experience.
"Helping parents and families understand the challenges of going to college while living at home and how it is an adjustment for both was an important part of the discussion," said Dr. John Herrling, director of Counseling and Career Services. "The program was very successful in helping parents learn how to help their student succe