MANCHESTER, Conn. (June 11, 2020) – What started as a project to work around COVID -19 restrictions on coming to the Manchester Community College campus this summer became a new approach to student orientation.
New and incoming transfer students are automatically enrolled in a non-credit, tuition-free New Student Orientation course. The course is offered entirely online, and is presented in six self-paced modules.
“The New Student Orientation course covers information about college policies, procedures and services, and provides instruction on how to build an academic schedule that meets each student’s individual educational goals and aspirations,” Pam Mitchell, associate dean of academic affairs, said.
The online course, which employs the user-friendly software “Blackboard” – a common online learning tool used across higher education, including MCC, to share course material – can be accessed using any online device, including smart phone, laptop, desktop or tablet.
“The course walks incoming students step-by-step through all the information they need to get to know the college,” Mitchell said. “The last two sections enable students to choose majors and build schedules with the real-time assistance of an advisor. The most important element of the online New Student Orientation is that it serves as a jumping-off point to more productive conversations with students about their educational goals and how to achieve them.”
Previously MCC new students attended scheduled orientation sessions on campus, but the times and dates could often present a challenge to many students, whose outside responsibilities can include family and work obligations, transportation issues or a host of other limits on their ability to get the most out of orientation. The online version and content was developed with the input of current MCC students, who provided valuable information about what they hope to get out of college orientation.
“When the unknown duration of COVID-19 restrictions forced us to think differently about how to provide effective orientation to students, we created this solution,” Mitchell said. “We are excited about it because it addresses the short-term on-ground health and safety issues, while at the same time offering a long-term solution to help ensure higher rates of student success.”
Students must complete an online application for admission before they can access the orientation. Visit www.manchestercc.edu/enrollment for more information and to apply to MCC.