Planning for New Student Orientation starts well before the academic year ends. As you’re thinking about how to engage incoming students and keep them interested during and after Summer Orientation sessions, we have a few tips for you!
Create a Class of 2016 portal
Make communicating and sharing information with the incoming class quick and easy by creating a portal specifically for them. Each portal can have separate account groups for orientation professional staff, student leaders, volunteers, and attendees. Make use of the committees to separate students into their majors, advisors, or schools – and remember they can be part of more than one committee. Now when you populate any of the tools within the portal, you can choose who needs to see it; no more inundating people with information not relevant to them. You can also use your portal for students to register for New Student Orientation and select the events they’d like to participate in during their time on campus – like the annual New Student Obstacle Course!
Include OrgSync signup during orientation activities
The key to high adoption is to get students involved early and often. Make sure you’re incorporating OrgSync into orientation whether it’s a presentation on OrgSync, an on-site training with your campus consultant, or have them sign up for an account during an event or activity. If they learn about OrgSync and what your campus is using it for right away, they are able to start utilizing it right away. Some key things to make sure they are aware of are the ePortfolio, your co-curricular transcript initiative, and how to search for and join student organizations.
Poll incoming students for Welcome Week events
Get students involved in planning their first few weeks on campus. Universities have seen students enjoy being asked for their opinion on events and activities. A great way to do that is to create a poll in your all-user portal or umbrella allowing students to vote for an event during welcome week. They feel like they’re part of the process and you’re more likely to get a higher attendance rate!
Create to-do lists during advising sessions
Your OrgSync portal isn’t just for the student leader, use it to help individual students navigate their first few weeks on campus. During advising sessions with academic advisors or orientation leaders, help students create a to-do list for the first week or two on campus. To-do items can be anything from reminders to buy books to visiting key buildings on campus. Use it to your advantage to get new students to explore campus and learn about resources available to them.
Raffle prizes for completing OrgSync milestones
What better way to get students on OrgSync and engaged in your community than to provide incentives. Build a form in your portal with key milestones for students to reach. They can check off the items as they complete them and then submit the form to you to be entered into a raffle. Raffle tickets can be issued for creating a profile, uploading a profile picture, and activating their ePortfolio. You can even add non-OrgSync items to the list and turn it into a scavenger hunt on campus. Use the file upload element in the form to have them upload pictures of themselves in front of landmarks on campus.
Many of our suggestions come from campus partners who are using portals and tools in new and creative ways. We’d love to hear how you plan on using your OrgSync community to engage incoming students and keep them engaged. Also make sure to check out our other resources for departments planning New Student Orientation.