Technology makes freshman orientation a breeze

By Amanda Finnegan
September 16, 2005

Jess Webb/Photo Editor

New technology was in full bloom at this summer’s freshman orientation. At the 2004 orientation, the process was greatly improved from the previous orientation by web registration, instructions and the math placement test taken by freshman prior to orientation. But for this year’s orientation, Dr. Charles McCormick, dean of academic affairs, had a greater vision of an “electronic gateway.”

The gateway was then designed and developed by Chris Shields and Lauren Kupniewski of Information Technology and Resources. The program was up and running before orientation started. Students received their CabriniOne accounts and were connected to Cabrini before even coming to college, making the transition easier.

When students logged on to the WebCT orientation page, they found a check list of items and information including the math placement test and AlcoholEdu. Even medical forms were done online which saved incoming students the hassle and cost of postage.

Amanda Stout, a transfer student from Kutztown University and English and communication major, thought the process was very easy and helpful. “The technology was really great. Everything you needed was right there at your fingertips,” Stout said.

At Kutztown, Stout said that incoming students had to go to the university to take the placement test and then wait two to three weeks for the results. Cabrini’s placement testing was done completely online and results were posted in two to five days.

By eliminating the placement test from the actual orientation, students did not have to be anxious about taking a test and were able to enjoy the experience of meeting their new classmates.

Students also filled out a questionnaire on what courses they would like to take to help Cabrini place students in classes that they were most interested in.

Another questionnaire was distributed on what freshmen expectations were on coming to college such as whether they thought they would be going home on the weekends and if they planed on spending most of their time studying. This was able help the college better prepare for what the incoming freshman class expects.

Additionally, ITR made a CD for distribution to all incoming students which gave all the technology they needed such as picking up accounts, getting connected, computer labs, policies and where to go for assistance.

McCormick said that they had very little problems with students logging-on. They are planning on bringing whole process back next year. Cabrini also hopes to add an online Facebook before students come to the college so new students are able to see the faces and interests of their new classmates.

The success of the new technology can not be credited to one individual. Everyone from Residence Life to ITR was involved in the process. McCormick agrees, “For the first time, it went very well because of the cooperation across the institution. A lot of people deserve credit for the success of the project.”

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Amanda Finnegan

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