At CU Denver, you might not even recognize a first-time freshman when you see one. That’s because, from day one, they’re already part of the diverse campus community—thanks, in large part, to New Student Orientation.
“On the first day of classes, students are ready to learn,” said Sam Kim, director of New Student Orientation. “They shouldn’t be worried about financial aid, getting into a course they wanted or locating a campus resource office.”
Through Orientation, they’ve done all of that months before—and they’ve probably made a whole bunch of friends already, too. For the roughly 150 students who attend each Orientation session, other perks include free breakfast, lunch, student planner and a Milo the CU Denver Lynx T-shirt.
“Students leave Orientation very happy,” Kim said. “Most importantly, first-time freshmen leave with a course schedule.”
An Official Welcome
Being the new kid at school can be tough, but CU Denver Orientation takes some of the pain out of the experience. For each of the 10-15 sessions throughout the year, approximately 70 students, faculty and staff members pitch in to give new students this official welcome.
“It’s interactive from the get-go,” Kim said.
Part of the welcome comes directly from other students during the peer-to-peer interactions that take place when new students pair up with Peer Advocate Leaders (PALs). New students can ask all their questions—from where to find the registrar’s office to where to find the best burger in LoDo. New students and PALs often exchange contact info or connect on Facebook after Orientation.
And Kim hopes this very first CU Denver experience will start students immediately on the path to a successful college experience. Though it may sound surprising coming from an Orientation director, Kim’s overarching goals align with every faculty and staff member at CU Denver.
“We’re here to graduate students,” he said.
A One-stop Shop
Many college orientations span two days, requiring an overnight stay, but CU Denver Orientation gives students everything they need in a single day.