Campus to deliver new student orientation online

Rosa Plaza

Exciting changes are coming soon to campus orientation. Starting this summer, most orientation services for students and families will be provided primarily online, a change we’ve made with much thought and consideration.

I wanted to share this exciting announcement with the campus community to give you all time to re-envision how we provide information and resources to new students and family members.

Our goal is to provide the best experience for our students and this new approach allows students to learn at their own pace, allows us the opportunity to deliver information in a similar manner to all students, as well as deliver it in a more intentionally phased plan that can be reviewed as needed.

Slug Orientation will assist students in preparing for class enrollment (with advising and enrollment support), navigating the campus, learning about campus resources such as Learning Support Services, safety resources, the Cowell Student Health Center, financial aid, the resource centers, college and university housing, student groups, career services, and create opportunities for students to connect with Orientation Leaders- each new student will be assigned to an Orientation Leader who will provide support when and how students need it.

Slug Orientation will be a required academic program offered through our learning management system, Canvas. The program is designed to assure our students start strong from the first day. Slug Orientation consists of completing a series of online courses (during June, July, and August) and full participation in our fall Welcome Week.

These changes are the result of reflecting on the orientation program for the last several years and reviewing other national models of delivering the services. Our previous approach—an intense full day of information—meant that valuable information was sometimes forgotten by the time our students arrived on campus. Additionally, for some families, traveling to Santa Cruz can be a burden. Over the past two years, our Berkeley and Davis campuses have made similar changes, and their experiences have been valuable in forming our UC Santa Cruz approach.

I have been convening a group of advisers to to create the general advising preparation plan, and I am also meeting with other groups to continue the overall plan development. I know this is a major change for the campus, and it is also a tremendous opportunity for us to really create some amazing resources that new students and family members will benefit from during summer and throughout the first year.

I encourage all of you to become involved in the process, please email me, if you would like to setup a time to discuss opportunities for collaboration. I am very excited to move forward and collaborate with you as this new interactive summer model is developed.