Programs help freshmen adjust to college life

by Sarah Powell

The Residential First Year Program, a new program on campus for freshmen, is still in its trial stage.

“It has gotten off to a slow start, but [it’s] helped those who have attended,” said Chrysalis Buller, area coordinator for Buxton and Picken and the head of the program.

The purpose of the First Year Residential Program is “to support and supplement the First Year Program and bring it in to the residential halls,” according to Buller.

The program has four goals:

–To help each student connect with the Simpson community.

–To help each student understand the academic expectations of Simpson College.

–To help each student develop an understanding and appreciation of the Liberal Arts.

–To orient each student to the services and facilities of the college.

The Residential First Year Program was developed by Stephanie Krauth, associate dean of students and is based on the book, “Motivation and Learning Strategies for College Success: A Self-Management Approach” by Dr. Myron H. Dembo.

During the summer, the program was organized and students were informed about the program and what its purpose was during summer orientation.

The group also provides motivational and learning strategies sessions that students can attend and learn about time management, how to read textbooks, note and test taking, motivation and goal setting. There will also be a session on how to survive finals.

“You don’t know how much to study when you’re coming in as a freshman,” said freshman Ryan Lieser, “but the classes help you to get ready for classes and tests.”

Each session is run by someone who has some expertise in the field, such as Todd Little, director of the Hawley Academic Resource Center, who was in charge of the first five sessions on how to make the most of your classes.

“The sessions have gone really well, especially the time management one about scheduling, which was the most helpful,” said freshman Krista Davis.

Other students on campus take part in the program. Some serve on student panels for the first year students to ask questions and juniors and seniors act as mentors through the Graduate Club.

“I’ve met with my [freshmen] a couple of times and I’ll see her on campus,” said senior Ashley Ostroski, who is involved in the Graduate Club.

However, freshmen need to be able to meet with each other as well as older students. To aid in this problem, the north lounge of Picken Hall has been turned into a meeting/resource room for the students, according to Buller.

“I have specific office hours in Picken where they can come talk to me, ask me questions they have, or make any suggestions,” said Kim Lamon, undergraduate assistant for the Residential First Year Program.

On Oct. 6, the Residential First Year Program will host an outdoor adventure at Camp Wesley Woods for the freshmen and Graduate Club participants. They will go horseback riding and do different team building activities.

According to Buller, the freshmen can build a relationship with the other students and have a chance to leave campus and see what the community has to offer.