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News: Roane State summer orientations helped students get ready for college experience

News: Roane State summer orientations helped students get ready for college experience

Roane State’s summer orientation sessions drew large crowds of excited students.

Aug. 9, 2017

By Bob Fowler
Staff writer

It’s a late summer tradition at Roane State and a convenient way to ease new students through the transition from high school to college.

When fall semester looms, new students are asked to attend New Student Orientation sessions at three of the college’s nine campuses – in Oak Ridge, Harriman and Crossville.

Students, most dressed in casual summertime attire, some accompanied by friends and parents, crowded into the large lecture room last month in the Goff Health Sciences and Technology Building on the Oak Ridge campus for orientation.

They received broad overviews of what to expect during their college experiences as well as tips for success.

It was the sixth of eight well-attended orientation get-togethers, all with the same format.

New student Kadana Gumm’s reaction was typical: “I’m excitedly nervous,” she admitted. A graduate of Heritage High School in Blount County, Kadana said she selected Roane State because “I like the nursing program here better than other community colleges.”

Another incoming freshman, Lenoir City High School graduate Ashtyn Sparks, said she picked Roane State because she didn’t want to go at first into a larger university setting.

“We want you to be completers,” Roane State President Dr. Chris Whaley told the students. “We want you to be graduates.”

Whaley offered a couple of tips for success: Don’t hesitate to ask for help, he said, and get involved in the college’s extracurricular activities. “You will be invested more in the college and you will do better academically,” he said.

Upon registering, students received the new edition of the college’s student planner. That handbook is packed with phone numbers for the college and community resources, and important dates throughout the academic year.

It premiered last year and received an enthusiastic reception, said Corey Reed, Roane State’s student engagement coordinator.

New during this summer’s orientation sessions: advice from recent Roane State graduates. Shelley Edwards told incoming freshmen their lives are about to get “a lot busier,” and they’ll need to adopt good study skills.

“Get involved in things,” she urged. “Make it the experience you want it to be.”

Breakout sessions included tips on using Momentum, Roane State’s online guide for scheduling, classroom assignments and study guides. “It’s a huge, huge piece of knowledge that students need to learn,” Reed said.

Other sessions covered financial aid, attendance guidelines and advice to students on making what Reed called “responsible decisions.”

Watching as the soon-to-be freshmen ventured to breakout sessions was Oneida resident April Jeffers, herself a graduate of Roane State’s Occupational Therapy Assistant program. She drove her daughter, Ciara Rhode, to orientation.

“I think it’s a good thing for the students,” she said of the half-day program.

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