Parents gather outside Price Performance Hall on June 19 during New Student Orientation at Lock Haven University. During a break between sessions, Diane Schafer of Cresco, Pa., Tracey Izzi of Saylorsburg, Pa. and Peggy Brozusky of Tunkhannock, Pa. compared notes.
LOCK HAVEN, Pa. - During the last two weeks of June, Lock Haven University welcomed about 1200 new students and their parents for orientation sessions on campus. From June 18-29, LHU ran five 2-day programs. Lock Haven University is a member of the Pennsylvania State
System of Higher Education (PASSHE), the largest provider of higher education in
the commonwealth. Its 14 universities offer more than 250 degree and certificate
programs in more than 120 areas of study. Nearly 405,000 system alumni live and
work in Pennsylvania.
For the past twenty-two years Lock Haven University has offered the incoming class of new students with the opportunity to meet university officials, faculty and students during a two day Orientation Program. Students and their parents participate in a variety of presentations that focus on making the college experience a positive and informative one.
Students meet with a faculty member to review their academic schedule and discuss what their courses will be like in the fall. One of the most confusing issues is for new students to understand what a college course load is like and what is expected. Students also have the opportunity to select a typical college course taught by a faculty member during the twenty-four hour visit to the campus. Parents also get to attend the orientation classes along with their sons and daughters.
Tracey Izzi, mother of incoming freshman Christopher Izzi, praised the orientation program. “I’m more impressed with the school because of the orientation,” she said. The best part of the orientation, according to Izzi, was the opportunity to spend the night in one of the residence halls. She said that sleeping over gave her a better sense of the school and the atmosphere. “I’m not as apprehensive as I was before.”
This sentiment was echoed by Diane Schafer, mother of Erin Bach, and Peggy Brozusky, mother of Anthony Brozusky. They added that they now know what to shop for and how to help their students pack for college. The three mothers also gave high marks to the Aramark food service. “They didn’t have that kind of food when I was in school,” said Izzi.
Vice President for Student Affairs Linda Koch said, "One of the most threatening parts of going to college is finding a roommate. During the Summer Orientation Program, staff and students work with new students to help them with finding a roommate. If they are able to find one during this program, it reduces the stress of the first few weeks of classes in the fall."
Koch explained how the orientation program serves the needs of parents as well as students. "We also work with parents in answering their questions about college life. Parents are very involved in their son or daughter's education. That support is very important but it can also be confusing to the new students. Our Orientation Staff is well trained to handle lots of questions from parents and students. We have found that if we keep parents informed about what to expect, they become supportive of having their son or daughter initiate questions about their experiences."
This year, about half of the LHU incoming freshmen class attended new student orientation. Historically, students who attend the orientation program are more likely to remain in college and achieve a higher grade point average.