New online programs welcome students to Brock

As the excitement of the Fall Term approaches, Brock University has prepared a new set of online orientation programs to help welcome and support first-year students as they transition to university life, virtually.

In addition to the online version of the University’s Smart Start summer orientation program, Brock has also launched a set of additional online experiences, known as BU4U, designed to enhance student success and ease the transition to post-secondary learning.

Prepared by Brock’s Orientation Planning Committee, which includes representation from across the University community, the online programs aim to promote connection, personalized support and academic readiness to deliver an exceptional first-year experience.

Tanya Bradley, Student Life and Success’ Manager of Student Engagement, said the new online experiences will provide a familiarity with many aspects of university life.

“We want our incoming class to know that we are here for them and with them,” she said. “BU4U is one example of how we will support students as they virtually navigate life at Brock to ensure they have a successful first year at the University.”

Over the next few weeks, a member of the BU4U team will contact students via their Brock email to describe how to get started. This will include the completion of a form to tell the BU4U team more about students’ interests. At the beginning of September, all incoming students will be connected to one virtual Engagement Community, where they will get connected online with other students in their Faculty, from similar programs, and who share personal interests as well as a peer mentor.

In August, incoming students will gain access to an academic preparation course on Sakai, which will help them prepare for the coursework and other academic activities they will begin in September.

When classes begin, students will have access to a Virtual Welcome Week that will include the New Student Welcome and Academic Orientation and the First-Year Experience program, which will see students connect with their peer mentor and get connected to the supports, services and opportunities that will provide students with the best Brock experience.

Along with emails to all first-year students to alert them of the programs, the University has created a video and website with frequently asked questions to showcase all that BU4U has to offer.

Anna Lathrop, Brock’s Vice-Provost and Associate Vice-President, Students said the program reflects the University’s ongoing commitment to students.

“This fall, all of us are preparing to welcome students to their academic home,” she said.

“We have always believed that the quality of our student experience is a primary guiding principle in all that we do, both academically and in terms of student success and campus engagement. Our BU4U program will provide a comprehensive plan for all first-year students to ensure that they have access to the supports that they need so they feel connected to each other and to all of our faculty and staff. We will learn, together, how to build and sustain community in new ways. BU4U will transition students as they launch into their programs of study on a trajectory that will ultimately allow them to fulfill their graduation and career aspirations. We are committed to their success.”

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