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Freshman Orientation Activity

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2004 Annual Conference


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 20, 2004

Start Date

June 20, 2004

End Date

June 23, 2004



Conference Session

Emerging Trends in Engineering Education

Page Count


Page Numbers

9.623.1 - 9.623.9



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Paper Authors

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Richard Cliver

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Mike Eastman

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract


Freshman Orientation Activity

Richard Cliver, Steven Ciccarelli, Michael Eastman, Jeffrey Lillie Rochester Institute of Technology

Abstract The purpose of this paper is to discuss the experience and positive results in this year’s freshmen orientation at Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT). Before classes started in the fall freshman in Electrical, Computer and Telecommunications Engineering Technology (ECTET) programs were asked to work with faculty as they programmed an inexpensive robot and built maps of the RIT campus for the robots to navigate. The paper discusses these activities in detail, provides the tutorials that were developed and discusses the student survey completed after the orientation. The goals met in the orientation were: faculty-student interaction, student-student interaction, increased student knowledge of the campus, team participation by all, students meeting the office staff and, students working with their advisors to review their schedule before classes began.

Freshman Orientation at RIT The ECTET college day discussed in this paper is part of a week long “New First Year Orientation” program organized by the Center for Student Transition and Support at RIT. The Center, in addition to organizing the New First Year Orientation, “assists new students with their transition and adjustment to RIT and, through specifically designed programs and services, works to foster the academic achievement, social integration and personal success of women, international, and first-year students.”1 This is accomplished through New First Year Orientation and the following programs: two required quarters of First-Year Enrichment which are extensions of the New First Year Orientation, International Student Services which is a primary resource for the over 1,200 hearing and deaf international students from over 90 countries, and a Women’s Center that addresses the wide variety of issues affecting women.

Two years ago RIT re-designed the freshman orientation creating the New First Year Orientation program which provides students an opportunity to: 1) Meet the faculty and dean of the student’s college; 2) Address the academic and social issues involved in beginning college or transferring from one college to another; 3) Attend academic planning sessions; 4) Experience living on campus and learn about student services; 4) Understand the family’s role in promoting student achievement and success; 5) Learn about financing a college education; and 6) Participate in community and social activities. According to Robin Diana, who is responsible for the First Year Enrichment and Orientation, “prior freshman orientations were held during the summer with virtually no faculty involvement.” This is contrasted with the New First Year Orientation which is held the week before classes start and is attended by almost all faculty and staff.

Program highlights of the freshman orientation are: 1) academic advising where each student has the opportunity to speak directly with an advisory and check their schedule before classes begin; 2) college day where faculty and staff create unique interactive activities and events to get acquainted with the students and have the students get to know each other; 3) college life 101 “Proceedings of the 2004 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright 2004, American Society for Engineering Education”

Cliver, R., & Eastman, M. (2004, June), Freshman Orientation Activity Paper presented at 2004 Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--13727

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2004 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015