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NEWS ARTICLES

OHIO UNIVERSITY - CHILLICOTHE

 

2018 News Student Services Orientation
September 06, 2018 : Student Services restructures orientation process to address student needs

 

Orientation has always been an important part of any student’s transition to college. Like other institutions, Ohio University Chillicothe (OHIO Chillicothe) requires that incoming students attend orientation. Last fall and spring Student Services began updating the OHIO Chillicothe orientation to better utilize new technologies and resources and enhance its appeal to students.


The Director of Student Services, John Fisher, initiated this process by surveying current students about what they found beneficial and lacking in the current orientation. Chillicothe campus students responded with helpful suggestions that included campus tours as well as more emphasis on introducing and orienting students to electronic learning management software systems such as Blackboard, MyOhio Student Center, and MyOhio Success Network.


Since today’s college student uses a variety of online self-service tools to manage their education and many participate in online and blended classes, we also wanted to better integrate technology into orientation. As a result, OHIO Chillicothe developed a new 3-step orientation process that includes an online orientation, in-person advising and registration session, and finally a Bobcat Blitz.  


Cristy Null, Coordinator of the Advising Center, took the lead in developing the online content and worked with Instructional Technology on both the Chillicothe and Athens campuses to get the online orientation set up as an organization in Blackboard. Once students are admitted they begin the orientation process by logging onto Blackboard to complete the online modules that cover topics such as academic advising, financial aid, relationships with faculty and staff, syllabus content, textbook purchases, and other campus support systems.  
 

Null commented, “We realized that students wanted flexibility in orientation sessions, but also knew we needed to provide valuable information to them about services and processes. We do not intend to replace our in-person advising and registration events, but can use the online modules to enhance their knowledge base before attending an in person advising and registration event.”


After completing the online content, students attend an in-person advising and registration session in Bennett Hall on the Chillicothe campus. At that session students receive their official welcome from the campus Dean and meet with their faculty and staff advisors to plan their schedules and pick out classes. Then, Chillicothe campus staff and student employees help the students enroll in their classes and finalize their financial aid in the Bennett Hall computer labs.  


The final step in the process is Bobcat Blitz. After checking in at Bobcat Blitz students attend a panel discussion in the Bennett Hall auditorium, which includes tips on success that focus on accountability and responsibility, persistence, the instructional environment and intellectual engagement from the Dean, Associate Dean, faculty, and current students. This is followed by a student question and answer session, tours of campus, a final enrollment and financial aid check, student photo ID pick-up along with goodie bags and lunch.


This new approach seems more relaxed. Student responses have been positive and OHIO Chillicothe hopes to implement some small changes that will make the new orientation process even more effective in the future.


Beth Barnes, Academic Advisor and campus tour guide organizer, remarked, “Adding campus tours to Bobcat Blitz was beneficial. We wanted to ensure new students were aware of all the resources available on campus such as the Student Success Center, Quinn Library, Hilltop Café, Health and Wellness Center, Testing Center, and Hilltopper Advising Center. We know that our efforts were well received as a student who attended Bobcat Blitz commented that the tour was one of the most beneficial parts of orientation.”