Georgia State offers both virtual and in-person New Student Orientation this year

On June 1, 2021 • By
Freshmen will learn about five crucial aspects of college life during orientation: academic advisement, Freshman Learning Communities, placement exams, immunization, and university housing. Harry Wyman | The Signal

As the summer and fall semesters approach, the New Student Orientation is gearing up to take place across all Georgia State campuses. 

According to the Georgia State website, New Student Orientation is the university’s “official undergraduate student orientation program.” Incoming students can quickly get to know how their college life will be like at Georgia State through attending orientation. 

First-year students will learn about five crucial aspects of Georgia State life during orientation: Academic Advisement, Freshman Learning Communities, Placement Exams, Immunization, and University Housing. 

The University Advisement Center will offer the freshmen academic advisement, which provides them with an understanding of the degree programs they are interested in and their curriculum requirements. This helps them to build their first semester schedules.

First-year students will also sign up for Freshman Learning Communities(FLC) during orientation. FLC is the first-year program at Georgia State that is designed for student success. Students with similar academic interests are given similar course schedules, providing the new students with unique opportunities to interact during their first year in college.

The Math Placement Exam is another major academic-related point that NSO discusses. By taking this exam, students may be able to skip some entry-level math courses. Students are supposed to register and take the exam before attending NSO so that the academic advisors can better help them with schedule planning. 

The completion of required immunization is essential for enrollment at Georgia State. The NSO will also discuss this with the new students. For first-year students, they can register for courses whether or not the Student Health Clinic received their immunization proofs or not.

The NSO will also talk about University Housing. First-year students will learn about some aspects of the dorms, such as their amenities and rates, to better decide where to live during their first year of college.

Georgia State offers an additional “Mandatory Online Pre-Orientation Session” to allow transfer students to learn more about the university. They are required to attend this pre-orientation before attending the NSO, or they will not be able to register for courses until completing the pre-orientation. Mind you; transfer students aren’t required to attend NSO, though the University strongly suggests they do.

The New Student Orientation for Summer 2021 began on May 4. There are both virtual and in-person forms of orientations at the Downtown and Perimeter College locations.

During the orientation, students will have the opportunity to connect with other fellow students and get a tour of their campus. They will also learn about how Georgia State will guide them during their life here. The virtual orientations cover the same content as the in-person orientation except for a campus tour.

Since the COVID-19 Pandemic is an ongoing concern, the in-person NSO will be smaller than usual. “The total number of students at any in-person orientation will be limited to 150 for the Atlanta campus and 50 for the Perimeter campuses, which represents 50% of our typical attendance.” Benjamin Williams, assistant director of New Student Orientation, said. “Within each session those 150 or 50 students are broken into smaller groups of 12-13 before engaging in specific activities like campus tours and small groups.”

Unlike other information sessions typically held by professional staff, the New Student Orientations are led by student Orientation Leaders.

According to Williams, the Orientation Leader position is “one of the most prestigious leadership positions available to students at Georgia State.” They are “mentors, friends, and role models new students remember throughout their college experience.” In addition to all these impacts and leadership experience, this is also a paid position with free summer housing and an hourly wage.

The application opens on September 1st. Williams said that more than 150 students applied for the Orientation Leader position this academic year, which increased remarkably compared with the 2019 NSO team. To select the team, the NSO office hosted 32 virtual group interviews and over 70 individual interviews. 

“Our team of 31 Orientation leaders is one of the most diverse teams across identity, experience, and academic majors who will spend their summer welcoming new students, touring our campuses, and spending the entirety of the spring semester learning about Georgia State, campus life, and all the ways we support student success,” Williams said. “During the summer, Orientation Leaders will welcome over 8,000 students across our six campuses virtually and in-person this year.”