BIG RAPIDS – Ferris State University’s campus has been re-energized as approximately 2,100 students participate in new-student orientation activities, which began June 14 and cover a 16-day span.
Ferris’ orientation program is a day filled with activities, including student ID card photos; confirmation of academic majors; meeting faculty, staff and educational counselors from the academic majors; learning course requirements; talking to financial aid representatives; registering for classes and more.
“Orientation brings new energy to our campus and we’re excited about the new students who are coming to Ferris and doing what we can to help them make the transition,” Ferris Dean of Student Life Leroy Wright said. “We’re also energized about helping parents. We’re trying to help students feel like Ferris is going to be the place for them and this is going to be their home away from home.”
A typical orientation day begins at 7 a.m. and continues until 1 p.m. While students are going through orientation, parents and friends can participate in the “Family and Friends” program that answers parents’ questions about Ferris. The Mecosta County Area Chamber of Commerce also participates in the program as local residents and businesses want to welcome new students and families to Ferris and the community.
“Parents want to make sure their child is going to be safe. By us answering their questions, they know their children are going to be in good hands,” said Wright, who emphasized that offices across campus such as Residential Life, Birkam Health Center and Office of Multicultural Student Services, among others, collaborate to make the experience as positive as possible for students, families and friends. “We want to help them remain engaged so they can become our partner throughout the year to support their son or daughter.”
Coordinator of Student Life Nick Campau said orientation is more than a job, it’s a way to help students get acclimated to Ferris.
“Our student staff members find orientation extremely rewarding because they get a lot of that positive energy right back and it feels good for them to help people who may be new to Ferris,” Campau said. “Even when our orientation staff is off of the clock our student orientation leaders are still sometimes doing whatever they can to help families and students. I think that is a big reason they keep coming back to participate in orientation.”
For more information about orientation programs at Ferris, visit www.ferris.edu/admissions/orientation. The first day of class for the fall 2010 semester is Aug. 30.