GREENVILLE, Pa.—Students, faculty and staff at Thiel College, a leading liberal arts college in northwest Pennsylvania, are kicking off a new campus-wide first-year student orientation program titled the “First-Year Experience for Student Success.”
The First-Year Experience for Student Success prepares students to choose a major or explore a minor if they have not already committed to a program, and ensures they reach their goal of earning a bachelor’s degree.
The new program includes a seminar-style class for all incoming first-year students. The courses are designed to serve as an introduction to college-level learning while exploring compelling issues and topics. Faculty members teaching the courses will serve as academic advisers to the students enrolled and engage the students in various texts, experiential activities and co-curricular events throughout the semester. Students will be able to select from a slate of courses designed to hone critical thinking skills. Topics include “Literary Mashups—Zombies, Star Wars, and Shakespeare,” “Photography—the Allure of Images,” and “Activism and Civil Rights in Modern America.”
President Susan Traverso, Ph.D., will teach the first-year seminar course, “‘Coming-of-Age’ Stories.” Traverso helped develop the program, part of the recently-adopted strategic plan, Thiel 2021: Student Success.
“The First-Year Experience for Student Success gets at the heart of the strategic goals for Thiel College,” Traverso said. “It is a new and creative way for us to envelop students in the Thiel community, even before they move into their dorms. We want them to be a part of our incredible community early, so that they have the confidence and resources to succeed during their time here.”
Under the First-Year Experience for Student Success, students will attend one of the first-year orientation days held in June and July. These events will provide students and parents opportunities to meet classmates, professors and advisers, as well as learn about campus services and resources.
Students will also interact with peer mentors—Thiel students who can answer questions and discuss the transition from high school to college.
“The First-Year Experience for Student Success is all about acclimating to college life and helping students make new connections—connections between courses and campus activities, and connections to lifelong mentors and friends,” Associate Dean of Core Curriculum, Director of First-Year Seminar Program and Professor of History David Buck, Ph.D., said. “It’s a proven fact, the foundation for success in college is formed in the first year, and engagement in the full experience can be the most important investment students make in themselves.”
The experience continues with Welcome Weekend, during which incoming students move into dorms, get ready for the start of classes and participate in the College’s Opening Convocation exercises.
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