WMU News

Record freshman class expected to attend orientation

June 8, 1999

KALAMAZOO -- Members of what is expected to be a record fall 1999 class of incoming freshmen will officially enter the "college picture" this summer when they attend one of 13 two-day orientation sessions at Western Michigan University between June 7 and July 27.

More than 4,000 freshmen are expected to participate in the orientation program. The University stopped accepting applications from additional freshmen in May, closing its freshman class for the first time in its history.

University officials closed admissions May 11 after witnessing a 20 percent increase in freshman applications and admissions compared to 1998. The move is allowing WMU to plan for the record-breaking influx of incoming freshmen without reducing quality or cutting back services.

The orientation program is designed to prepare students for their transition from high school to college. This year's theme, "Focusing on Your Future," centers on providing the freshmen with a clear image of WMU and helping them zoom in on the opportunities that the University offers.

During each of the program's sessions, students are divided into small groups led by current WMU students who serve as orientation leaders and mentors. The participants tour and live on campus, take placement tests, meet with academic advisers, register for fall semester classes, finalize housing and financial aid arrangements, and get involved in student development and social activities. It is through these opportunities that students become acquainted with campus.

"By focusing on all aspects of our college community, we provide incoming students with the big picture of WMU," says Christopher W. Tremblay, coordinator of orientation. "In the process, new students experience firsthand the friendliness, personal attention and vitality that characterize our campus environment."

More than 3,000 parents also are expected to participate in this year's orientation program. Their orientation sessions, which take place on the first day of each freshman session, include campus tours and meetings with various University officials on such topics as career planning, financial aid, housing and academics.

In addition, about 700 transfer students are expected to attend one of five one-day orientation sessions offered between May and August as part of the "Transfer Transition Program."

Media contact: Jeanne Baron, 616 387-8400, jeanne.baron@wmich.edu


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