By Jennifer Hannigan/TVCC Public Information
Freshman orientation has been a tradition at Trinity Valley Community College for decades. But this year, the organizers are stepping out of the box and revamping the event.
“We have had successful orientations for years, but we wanted to offer students an improved experience and a more in-depth look at the great things available at TVCC,” said Shelia Jones, the college’s assistant registrar.
Freshman orientation allows students who are taking a full schedule of classes for the first time to have help during their first registration. Students attending the event are walked through the registration process, are given a campus tour and get to meet key campus personnel before the school year begins.
In September 2012, said Jones, the college put together a group to revamp the orientation process that was held on the Athens campus. The first step the orientation committee took toward making changes was to move the sessions to Saturdays.
“We felt it was important to give parents the chance to come,” said Jones. “Not all students will bring a parent, but we wanted to give our incoming freshman that option.”
The college will host three orientation days, on June 29, July 20 and Aug 10.
During the orientation, students and parents will spend only part of the day together. When students are learning about key pieces of college life such as financial aid and campus police, parents will be given a chance to tour the campus and meet key city and college personnel.
After a joint lunch, students will be walked through the registration process while parents will be presented much of the information given to the students before lunch. Parents will have the chance not only to hear about the basics of navigating life at TVCC, but to also ask questions of TVCC personnel from a variety of areas.
“We wanted to show students how to go through the registration process online, a process they will complete in future semesters on their own” said Jones. “Students register using our Cardinal Connection. Cardinal Connection is a big part of our students’ lives because it’s involved in online classes, finding out grades at the end of each semester, and even applying for graduation. So they use that portal from beginning to end.
“We thought that while students were learning that process, it would be great for parents to have a chance to gather more in-depth information about important areas such as financial aid, campus safety and tutoring services.”
Then, after students are registered and parents are informed, the college will host a “big top” style event in the college pavilion.
College organizations and departments will have booths, games and refreshments, giving students the chance to see the different aspects of life at TVCC.
“This is an opportunity for departments to showcase what they have to offer and to allow students and parents to find out more about life here at TVCC,” said Jones.
Cost for orientation on the Athens campus is $35 per student and $5 for each additional family member.
The TVCC Palestine and Terrell campuses host their own orientation sessions each summer. On the Palestine campus, orientation is set for Tuesday, Aug. 6. On the Terrell campus, orientation will be held Aug. 6 and Tuesday, Aug. 13.
Students must register in advance for orientation and provide proof that they have completed all tests necessary to enter college in Texas.
To register for orientation on any campus, call 903-675-6200 and ask for Jones, Becca Garner or Heather Hutchison.
Students in Palestine can also call 903-729-0256 and students in Terrell can call 972-563-9573 to register for orientation.