Change in freshmen orientation ends Explore programs


Photo Courtesy of Sophia Schlager

Students in the class of 2021 participated in the Ignite Explore program.

Every year, incoming Tulane freshmen come to campus over the summer to get a feel for college life. Starting with the Class of 2022, the New Student Orientation program will undergo substantial structural changes.

New Student Orientation, which is usually held in May and June, is a program that assists students with registering for classes, helps them learn about campus life and provides an opportunity to have their splash card photo taken.

The new model will be a mandatory five-day program beginning on Move-In Day in August. During the program, incoming freshmen will learn how to succeed on Tulane’s campus. Registration for the program will not be required.

Brad Romig, director of New Student and Leadership Programs, said the new student programming team discovered that students were not having enough time to adjust before the start of classes.

“Students were moving in for many years on Saturday, and classes were starting on Monday, so it gave students really 48 hours to get settled,” Romig said. “And then we moved Move-In Day to a Friday which provided 72 hours, but still we were finding that a lot of new students were saying, ‘we wish we had more time.'”

Though there will no longer be orientation in the summer, Enrollment Management will be holding a one-day experience called Cultivating Academic Success at Tulane. This program will provide an opportunity to come to campus, meet with an advisor and register for classes.

For those who prefer not to or are unable to attend, a virtual option will be offered in the form of recorded presentations and a virtual appointment with an adviser.

Additionally, Explore programs will no longer be offered. Explore programs were one-week experiences for freshmen before Move-In Day. They provided an opportunity for participants to move in early and explore New Orleans before beginning classes.

The EXPLORE adventures continue! #tuexplore17 #tulane2021

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Freshman Emily Berlin, who participated in Hillel’s Engage NOLA Explore program, noted that moving-in early was a benefit to the program.

“I think having that time to settle in, getting used to living on a floor with other people, even if no one was here, and getting a feel for where everything is on campus was really nice,” Berlin said.

Romig also said Explore programs are not being permanently discontinued but need to be re-evaluated.

“They really can only accommodate a small percentage of the incoming class, and we need to really focus our energy and our efforts on developing and creating a program that could benefit the entire first year class,” Romig said. “We are committed to seeing Explore programs succeed if they continue to make sense for our community.”

Some Explore alumni, like Freshman Noah Weiser, who participated in the Down and Dirty Explore program, said they are sad to see the programs end but hopeful for their return.

“Explore programs are fun, and I do think there should still be some aspect of Explore programs for the incoming freshman because it is a great way to meet people who have the same interests are you,” Weiser said.

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