An estimated 5,800 would-be freshmen will visit campus in June for orientation. The first of 20 two-day sessions begins Tuesday, June 3, and the last concludes on Wednesday, July 2. The schedule includes three sessions that open on Sunday, which New Student Programs director Liz Kurt said are popular with families.
Iowa State will welcome between 310 and 325 families to each session. Kurt said that last fall, 98 percent of enrolled freshmen had participated in orientation, quite remarkable since it's not mandatory. She said she expects the same participation levels this year, though there will be some in attendance who have accepted an admissions offer to Iowa State and haven't selected their school yet.
"Some use orientation as a shopping mechanism, and for some, it's even their first campus visit," she said. "Not all students have made their decision yet, which makes this an important month."
The small gestures all employees can make for visitors – open a door, be welcoming, offer directions, answer questions – are important.
Orientation sessions – just a single day -- for transfer students arriving this fall are scheduled for Monday, June 2, and Thursday, July 3.
What they'll get done
While they're here for orientation, students meet their academic advisers and register for fall classes, get their ISUCards and email accounts, and learn more about their academic programs during college-specific sessions. The LAS college will use Troxel Hall this summer for its session. Students will be introduced to academic support services and social resources available to them.
There are opportunities to meet with a financial aid adviser and join a tour of campus, the library, residence halls or Greek housing network. They'll learn the fight song, how a learning community can help them succeed and where they can pick up a soda or morning coffee.
Students attending orientation will check in at the Hixson-Lied Student Success Center on the east side of campus. Those overnighting on campus will be assigned rooms in Maple Hall. The Union Drive dining center is the site for guests' evening meal and the Memorial Union is the hub for evening programs. During the day, college and student service buildings will be used for workshops, large group presentations and other activities.
Sessions for family members
Family members attend sessions on topics such as best practices for their student's transition to college, move-in day, the student health center and insurance coverage for their student. Cy's Sibs, a free program for fifth through ninth-grade younger siblings of freshmen, is a fun, five-hour introduction to Iowa State offered the first day of every orientation session. Up to 24 siblings can take part each session.
Designated parking for orientation guests
Summer construction and utility projects in the east side residence neighborhoods, resulting in partial closing of lots, have further squeezed the demand for guest parking in that part of campus. Orientation families, many of whom arrive on campus in multiple vehicles, will be directed to Lot 63 on the east and north sides of the Maple-Willow-Larch complex. Their designated overflow lot is the pre-pay lot (Lot 100) on the south side of the Lied Center. Many other events will use the Lied Center in June, including basketball camps and several youth conferences, and Lot 100 will be congested. University employees are encouraged to leave these lots open for visitors during June.