A new chapter

Dr. Michael McAsey works with a student on her schedule during an advising session.

Additional images

June 15, 2010

Bradley began welcoming incoming freshmen to campus in early June for the first of 13 summer orientation sessions.

Students participating in the orientation sessions said they felt more comfortable about transitioning from high school to college, while parents said they were more at ease sending their children to Bradley.

“Orientation took away any reservations I had, especially about whether I was going to meet people,” said Nathan Russell of Washington, Ill., a mechanical engineering major who attended one of the first sessions.

Russell and other new students spend two and a half days on campus making new friends, registering for classes and learning more about the Bradley Experience.

On Day One, students participate in a number of icebreakers, including getting-to-know-you games and guessing games. They then take assessment tests, learn about residential and commuter life, and have dinner with their orientation-mates.

Orientation introduces students to all aspects of university life, including the dining halls, area restaurants, social and volunteer opportunities, and course registration. The academic advising proved invaluable, said Russ Hinrichsen of Bloomington-Normal, Ill.

“Getting to meet with my advisor to set my schedule definitely helped me get ready for the semester,” the mechanical engineering major said.

Of course, there was time for fun. Students played dodgeball and basketball in the Markin Family Student Recreation Center. And they created videos, with the winning group receiving bandanas.

Mia Good, of Topeka, Kansas, said she enjoyed getting to know the members of her small group, especially because she didn’t know anyone before attending orientation. “In the small groups, we got to meet people, which was nice,” the nursing major said.

At the end of session, students can purchase T-shirts and DVDs of their experiences at orientation. Transfer students and student-athletes have orientation sessions designed for their specific needs.

But students weren’t the only ones who benefitted from orientation. Parents learned quite a bit about the university experience as well.

Parents listened to information about financial services, cost management and residential life. They toured Peoria and ate at Alexander’s Steakhouse with other parents. Most importantly, they learned about what was ahead for their children: Move-In Day, Welcome Week, extracurricular activities, safety measures on campus and  job opportunities that awaited students during their time at Bradley and after graduation.

“I learned a lot about the safety issues and about how the university police have a real presence on campus,” said Karen Greifzu of Auburn, Ill. “And the internships we talked about with Rick Smith (of the Smith Career Center) were a lot of help for anybody who wants a job or a career. I feel more confident knowing there’s a good chance my son will get a job.”

Before departing, parents and students watched one final video together that welcomed them to Bradley, their new home.

Said Justin Abrams of Eagan, Minn.: “It was all just a blast.” The orientation sessions continue through August on Bradley’s campus.