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First-Year Experience readies for incoming students

May 11, 2007

KALAMAZOO--Starting next month, thousands of prospective and admitted students will be visiting the Western Michigan University campus, many along with their parents.

The First-Year Experience Programs office will gear up for these visitors by holding a spirited gathering for faculty and staff that will feature remarks by Interim President Diether H. Haenicke.

The gathering is slated for 3 p.m. Wednesday, May 23, in the Bernhard Center's South Ballroom and will include door prizes.

The event will support the University community in rallying around this year's incoming students, as well as kick off the third year of WMU's First-Year Experience Programs. FYE, which encompasses New Student Orientation, Fall Welcome and the First-Year Seminar, was introduced in 2005 to make the transition to college easier for incoming students and help them have a successful first year.

"Summer is an exciting time for everyone on campus--and not just because there's less traffic," jokes Toni Woolfork-Barnes, FYE director.

"In June, July and August, the University hosts everything from sports and band camps to weeklong orientation programs for select groups of admitted students. As faculty and staff, all of us play a central role in welcoming our summer visitors to campus, making sure they have a pleasant stay and sending them off with a sense of our WMU pride."

The May 23 event will give faculty and staff a chance to become more familiar with FYE as well as its various components and learn more about the areas where they can contribute the most.

"We depend on faculty and staff to attend our parent mixers during orientation, sign up as facilitators and mentors for new students, and provide helpful information when they encounter our program participants who have questions," Woolfork-Barnes says.

"There are countless ways to be part of the University's overall recruiting efforts and to be a positive force in our students' overall success. We hope faculty and staff at all levels will be able to attend our FYE kickoff. We want to exchange information with those on the front lines and share the excitement this time of year brings."

WMU's New Student Orientation is slated for June 4-June 29 and will include 12 two-day sessions with activities for parents as well as admitted students. June also signals the beginning of mentoring and common-read activities for faculty and students involved in the First-Year Seminar, WMU's two-credit-hour transition course for freshmen who sign up to be part of the overall FYE initiative. Meanwhile, the comprehensive transition program for incoming students called Fall Welcome will take place Aug. 27-31 as an optional follow-up to the summer orientation program.

For more information about FYE and its various components, visit www.wmich.edu/fye or call (269) 387-2167 and talk with Toni Woolfork-Barnes; Salatha Willis, New Student Orientation coordinator; Adrienne Fraaza, Fall Welcome coordinator; or Maleeka Love, First-Year Seminar coordinator.

Media contact: Jeanne Baron, (269) 387-8400, jeanne.baron@wmich.edu

WMU News
Office of University Relations
Western Michigan University
1903 W Michigan Ave
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5433 USA
(269) 387-8400