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Case Western Reserve University's independent student news source

The Observer

Case Western Reserve University's independent student news source

The Observer

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New staff, programs accompany orientation model shift

Many prospective students and parents have been seen on the Case Western Reserve University campus over the past few weeks. For next year’s incoming students, the first thing in which they will be participating at CWRU is orientation.

Whether in CWRU’s International Student Orientation or New Student Orientation, students will have the opportunity to meet and interact with their classmates while learning about college lifestyle at CWRU.

This fall, CWRU will debut its new orientation format. The New Student Orientation will be one week long, eliminating the need to have three separate orientation sessions at different times, as was done in the past.

One of the masterminds behind the new orientation is Allison Prelosky, the new graduate assistant for New Student and Parent Programs. Prelosky graduated from CWRU in January 2012 with a B.S. in nutrition and is now enrolled in a masters of education program at Kent State University.

Prelosky brings valuable work experience to the table. She began as a Case Ventures Leader in 2008 and continued to work her way up, serving as an Orientation Leader in 2009 and an Orientation Executive Board Officer in 2010. In 2011, she spent the summer working for the Office of Undergraduate Studies with the first-year registration process during orientation.

When asked about the major modifications to orientation, Prelosky said, “The biggest change, which I happen to think is the most exciting, is that because all of the students will be on campus starting at the same time, they will all have the opportunity to have the same experience with orientation.”

In addition to the week-long orientation model, which allows more flexibility in scheduling, the New Student and Parent Programs Office will also be introducing a new interactive program called Discover Cleveland. This program will aim to provide new students with opportunities to take part in various excursions around the city, utilizing the RTA system to reach to their destinations.

Prelosky added, “This will hopefully encourage students to take advantage of the awesome things the city of Cleveland has to offer them while they are attending CWRU, from the Westside Market to the Cedar-Lee neighborhood.”

In addition to new programs, familiar favorites will return. Amanda McCarthy, coordinator of New Student and Parent Programs, is working with Prelosky to contact campus offices and students organizations in order to bring familiarity from the previous system to the new model – with only slight adjustments in timing. Organizations such as the Center for Civic Engagement and Learning (CCEL) will have opportunities to introduce their programs to incoming students.

The orientation staff also hopes to design the best model to support international students. “This year, we’re anticipating around the same number of international students as years past, around 10 percent of the incoming class,” Prelosky explained. “We are expecting half of these students to be from China, many from Korea, and some students from other countries across the globe.”

With the combination of new domestic and international student bodies, orientation becomes an even more influential part of the CWRU experience. One goal of the New Student and Parent Programs Office is to create an orientation atmosphere conducive to international students embracing university pride. Not only are these students able to look forward to meeting their classmates and university staff and faculty members, they will be able to experience American and college lifestyles simultaneously.

When asked what she considers the most exciting aspect of orientation, Prelosky said, “I am most looking forward to meeting our new CWRU students.”

“The University is in such an exciting time right now, with the new Uptown development [project] close to completion and the Tinkham Veale University Center beginning construction in the near future. The students who will arrive this summer will witness a lot of great change at CWRU.”

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