New students introduced to college environment at campus event


Jared Lee

New students visit the cafeteria to obtain information on various student services, like financial aid and the campus tutoring lab.

Between workshops, campus tours and a cafeteria full of information tables, new students at Cosumnes River College were given the opportunity to get on-campus preparation for the spring semester. On Jan. 11, the school hosted its fourth New Student Welcome event.

The event’s purpose was to give brand new students a sense of familiarity and comfort when they come to school, said Outreach Specialist Tiffany Clark.

“The plan is to welcome new students – students that are first-time-to-college students – and provide them with an opportunity to get information and tools that will help them start the semester successfully,” Clark said.

The event has been held each semester since fall 2015, said Student Success and Support Specialist Julie Olson, who coordinated the event.

“We feel that there really wasn’t anything in place to welcome new students. The expectations were that students who are brand new to the college would just show up on the first day and not have any idea or be oriented to the campus,” Olson said. “We felt it caused a lot of students unfair anxiety, so we looked into putting a welcome day before school starts into our student success plan for this campus.”

The spring semester welcome event usually averages between 100 and 120 attendees, said Olson. This semester’s event had 98 students attend.

The campus-wide event included campus tours given by student ambassadors, and workshops covering topics like time management and study habits, campus technology, financial aid and career paths offered at CRC. There was also a faculty panel, where a group of professors talked about the expectations professors have for students.

“I’m hoping that [students] will feel a little bit calmer about starting a semester on the first day,” said Sociology Professor Donnisha Lugo, who was a member of the faculty panel. “I’m hoping that they will feel encouraged to go to their classes and participate, and I’m hoping that they were able to get information that was beneficial to them.”

During the faculty panel, professors talked to the new students about specific resources that are available, such as faculty office hours, research databases, and tutoring and student success services at the college.

Tables were set up in the campus cafeteria to give new students information about the services and majors that CRC offers. It’s very important for new students to be aware of all the services that are offered to them, said Farishta Abdulshukur, who hosted a table for the tutoring center.

“If you know all these good programs, you get more motivated to come to school because you’re like, ‘Oh, it’s going to be easier.’ It’s not as hard because of their support,” Abdulshukur said.

“Everybody is giving good information, details and making students feel like they’re not alone or lost, that they can always get help,” she said.

Many of the new students, like 20-year-old Calvin Chao, an undeclared major, said that the event was extremely beneficial.

“I don’t really have much direction going to school,” said Chao. “I was thinking that [the event] would be able to help me out, figure out what I want to do, how I would prepare myself for when I start.”

Pre-nursing major Christian Olvera, 23, was happy that the event allowed him to meet faculty and staff whom he will see this semester.

“[The event] gave me a lot of administrative faces that I could see, so I could put names to faces basically and see them first hand,” Olvera said. “I got to check out where some of my classes are and stuff like that, see what the environment is like. I think this was very beneficial, as far as coming here.”

All attendees were given evaluation forms to give feedback about the event. The hope is that the event will get better over time, said Olson.

“I really hope that [students] feel comfortable once they step foot on the campus,” said Olson. “College is scary at first, especially coming into a new environment, so wanting them to feel comfortable is the biggest outcome.”