Orientation sets the stage for a successful transition into postsecondary education
As the start of the fall term in September quickly approaches, Sheridan is gearing up to welcome over 9,000 first-year students to its campuses in Oakville, Brampton and Mississauga. To assist with their transition to postsecondary studies, the college offers a comprehensive orientation program that runs from August 28 through the beginning of September.
“New Student Orientation is a vital step in preparing students for a positive academic and social first year experience,” says Maria Lucido-Bezely, Dean of Students. “At Sheridan, orientation introduces students to the people that will assist them navigate through their first weeks of school, the many on-campus supports available to them, from academic advisement to counselling, as well as the many activities and organizations that round out and enrich the college experience.”
Orientation activities at Sheridan begin well before August, and continue throughout the first term, beginning with peer-to-peer contact by current Sheridan students with incoming students to have a conversation and help them prepare for start-of-term. Over the summer and beyond, social media campaigns and regular emails focus on topics relevant to the first year experience. “We build our programs and supports around what we learn works best for students, year over year,” says Bezely.
Official orientation begins at the end of August and includes a one-day event specific to a student’s Faculty and program that provides a balance of academic and social activities as well as support service information. Beyond the presentations and activities, the program is meant to foster and promote relationship building. Orientation connects students with their faculty, their peers, upper-year student leaders, staff and the greater community, and helps set the stage for a positive first year experience.
Janet Morrison, Sheridan’s Provost and Vice President, Academic, has three simple tips for new students: “Go to class, get involved and ask for help. The first one is simple, but all of the research affirms that going to class is fundamental to academic success. Secondly, students who engage in the school community through extracurricular activities enjoy a richer, more positive academic experience. Finally, the faculty and staff at Sheridan are ready to help – don’t be afraid to ask when you need it.”
With over 25% of this fall’s intake of new students being international in origin, special steps are being taken to make them feel welcome. On September 9, Sheridan will host its inaugural International Welcome Festival at the Davis Campus in Brampton. The event will feature an official welcome from Brampton’s Mayor, Linda Jeffrey, along with a variety of cultural performances, fun activities and food. “Over 2,000 international students from more than 50 countries will join Sheridan this fall,” says Dr. Mike Allcott, Dean of International. “Our Brampton home is one of the most vibrant and diverse communities in Canada, and we want them to experience the inclusiveness of the Canadian mosaic as they begin their studies.”
Sheridan College is one of Canada’s leading postsecondary institutions, serving over 23,000 full time students at three campuses in Oakville, Brampton and Mississauga, Ontario. An award-winning institution, Sheridan attracts students from across Canada and around the world. Sheridan’s 170,000 alumni play a critical role in shaping the future of our society in the fields of arts, business, community service, health, technology, and the skilled trades.
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