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Orientation Campus Partner Updates

New Student Orientation (NSO) strives to provide top-notch communication and support to our incoming students and all campus partners and stakeholders. Emails can get lost and information is ever-evolving with a program such as orientation. This page is designed to help keep our partners up-to-date and prepared for what’s next with orientation in real-time.


2020 Orientation Priorities

As the university moves towards a concerted first-year experience model, we will continue to build off of our “time, place, manner” philosophy/approach that was introduced last year and dictated many programmatic shifts. “When you hear everything, you hear nothing.” Partners will continue to be encouraged to be critical of content that is being shared with participants to ensure that information shared is timely and relevant while also using available mediums to do so. As it relates to NSO, this includes pre-orientation modules (as applicable), in-person sessions (presentations/fairs/etc.), and Welcome Week, but extends to things like Ignite, First-Year Studies, Living Learning Communities, etc.

Specifically, foci for 2020 will include upgrading Rocky T.O.P. Modules, presentation/content consultations with campus partners, use of intentional language at orientation, and ensuring dynamic program/content delivery as the orientation schedule allows.

As orientation becomes increasingly complex and the NSO staffing model begins to be taken into consideration, our goal is to try to streamline operating processes and procedures as much as possible. This includes improving sustainability in such a high impact time and minimizing situations where scheduling, communication, and information sharing is unique and evolving as orientation is taking place (i.e. material preparation, special population work, the rate and timeline in which students can change majors at orientation, etc.).

NSO will work with partners as needed to assist throughout this process.

In order to do our part in establishing an inclusive environment where each aspect of the University experience is readily accessible for participants without barriers or bias, specifically as it relates to ability status, NSO will be placing special emphasis on accessibility. This will include how we navigate campus geography, present information, and respond to accommodation requests as it relates to facilitating orientation.

Research, external and conducted on our own campus, indicates that families are essential to student success. Students go to their families for advice, guidance, and decision-making on all aspects of their experience, inside and outside of the classroom, largely before coming to individuals and departments on-campus. With that said, it is easy to focus exclusively on content delivery to students without leveraging the utility of their families. NSO will seek to educate campus partners on the importance of family engagement at orientation and how to utilize them as transition partners and assets.


Upcoming Dates and Deadlines

Orientation Advisory Committee

Date Element Contact
Jan
16
January Meeting
SU 270
Lindsay Hansen
ljhansen@utk.edu
Feb
13
February Meeting
SU 270
Lindsay Hansen
ljhansen@utk.edu
Mar
12
March Meeting
SU 270
Lindsay Hansen
ljhansen@utk.edu
Apr
9
Orientation Campus Preparation Summit
TBD
Lindsay Hansen
ljhansen@utk.edu

Orientation

Date Element Contact
Oct
1
Spring 2020 Orientation Registration Begins Lindsay Hansen
ljhansen@utk.edu
Jan
3
Spring-Entry Transfer/Adult Orientation – Session 51
January 3 Student Schedule
January 3 Family/Guest Schedule
Lindsay Hansen
ljhansen@utk.edu
Jan
6
Spring-Entry Transfer/Adult Orientation – Session 52
Spring-Entry First-Year Orientation – Session 53
January 6 Student Schedule
January 6 Family/Guest Schedule
Lindsay Hansen
ljhansen@utk.edu

Already Advised List Submissions

Date Element Contact
Dec
30
List of students who have already been advised for January 3 session due Lindsay Hansen
ljhansen@utk.edu
Dec 31 List of students who have already been advised for January 6 session due Lindsay Hansen
ljhansen@utk.edu

Enrollment Communications

Date Element Contact
Oct
1
Fall FTIC admissions begin and enrollment deposit opens James Kelly
jkelly@utk.edu
Oct
7
Spring 2020 Orientation Invitation Emails Begin (Slate)
Student receive emails as they confirm admission
James Kelly
jkelly@utk.edu
Dec
1
Volunteer Bridge, UT LEAD, InVOLVE admissions begins James Kelly
jkelly@utk.edu
Jan
2020
Honors & Scholars Admission Notifications James Kelly
jkelly@utk.edu
Jan
30
Orientation Invitation Mailer Sending Begins
First-Year Students, Transfer/Adult Students, Families
James Kelly
jkelly@utk.edu
Feb
1
FAFSA Priority Deadline James Kelly
jkelly@utk.edu
Feb
3
Fall/Summer 2020 Orientation Invitation Emails Begin (Slate)
Student receive emails as they confirm admission
James Kelly
jkelly@utk.edu
May
1
Confirmation Deadline James Kelly
jkelly@utk.edu
May
4
Orientation Confirmation Mailer Sending Begins
One-Day, Two-Day, Bridge Orientation
James Kelly
jkelly@utk.edu

All students and guests receive a confirmation email (2 weeks prior to their session date) and a reminder (1 week prior to their session date).

Rocky T.O.P. Modules

Check back soon for more details about Rocky T.O.P. Modules!

Publications

Check back soon for 2020 Orientation Publication Dates and Deadlines!

Orientation Leaders

Date Element Contact
Jan
10-12
Orientation Leader Retreat Miranda Rutan
mirnruta@vols.utk.edu


Program Updates

Rocky T.O.P. Modules

Thank you to everyone who joined us for our Module Recap Meetings! We will follow-up in the next few weeks with more updates regarding the 2020 Rocky T.O.P. Module launch!

Rocky T.O.P. Modules will not be used for Spring-Entry sessions.

One-Day Orientation

  • Dates posted on the sidebar on this page. Make sure that you have the most up-to-date version based on the document footer and discard older copies.
  • 2020 Spring-Entry Orientation Sessions will be held on November 15, January 3, and January 6. We will be utilizing the same one-day orientation schedule from summer 2019 for these sessions.
  • Because these sessions are traditionally smaller and Orientation Leader staff will be limited, orientation programming locations may be slightly altered from the summer. Schedules will be posted on the Upcoming Dates and Deadlines table as well as on the sidebar once room locations have been solidified.
  • More information on programmatic updates coming soon.

Two-Day Orientation

  • Dates posted on the sidebar on this page. Make sure that you have the most up-to-date version based on the document footer and discard older copies.
  • Due to office transition and positive assessment data, there will be no substantial changes for the summer 2020 schedule.
  • More information on programmatic updates coming soon.

Special Programs

Honors Overnight
  • Honors and Scholars will be hosting Honors Overnight programming for the second year! This program assists students with learning more about their respective Honors and Scholars program and allows an opportunity for students to build community within their program. Honors Overnight programming is attached to Honors orientation sessions.
  • These special supplemental sessions will be connected to the first two designated Honors Sessions but, unlike last year, will not be reflected on the Orientation Dates Sheet.

For more information, contact Sarah Hunter at shunte24@utk.edu

Transfer Overnight
  • The Transfer Overnight program has been moved to the beginning of the summer to allow both summer and fall-entry transfer students the opportunity to participate in this program.
  • This program will occur on the night before the June 10th one-day session (June 9th) and consists of a dinner, community building activities, specialty tours of campus and Knoxville, and additional small group time with Orientation Leaders.
  • The goal of the Transfer Overnight program is to allow transfer students the opportunity to take part in a more traditional, overnight orientation experience like that provided to a typical first-year student.

For more information, contact James Kelly at jkelly@utk.edu

Volunteer Bridge
  • Volunteer Bridge students will not only be fall-entry versus both summer and fall-entry. Prospective dates for the Volunteer Bridge Program dates can be found on the sidebar on this page.
  • Note that the third session option is always back-up and will occur in the event that program numbers increase drastically.
  • The Volunteer Bridge Program is an invitation-only program for a select group of prospective UT students. Volunteer Bridge students live the UT student life while beginning their academic studies at Pellissippi State Community College.

For more information, contact Stephanie Langley at langley@utk.edu.

International Students
  • Most international students will participate in the August 13th orientation session due to pre-arrival timelines dictated by the federal government.
  • NSO works intentionally with the Center for International Education to support the transition and onboarding of these students and will communicate more support mechanisms as it gets closer to this session.

Construction & Campus Updates

More information will be shared as it becomes available closer to the start of orientation sessions. Check back for updates!