Orientation programs prepare new students for life at Brock

Hundreds of incoming Brock students will have the chance to get a head start on their university experience this summer.

For the first time since 2019, Brock’s summer orientation programs will welcome new Badgers with a full schedule in July and August after disruptions to in-person programming related to the COVID-19 pandemic and the 2022 Canada Summer Games.

With programming already at capacity for Friday, July 7 and Saturday, July 8, the Smart Start program will host 15 additional dates throughout the summer to answer students’ questions, give them their student cards and assist with course registration.

Brock Recruitment Officer of Student Conversion and Transition Liam Nielsen (BSM ’22) says the program, which hosts workshops for students and their parents, is on pace to host its most students ever.

“We want as many new students as possible to take part and ease their transition to life at Brock while learning about everything the campus has to offer,” he says.

Now leading the program, Nielsen says Smart Start was a key part of his student experience as well.

“I came to Smart Start when I was an incoming student moving here from Nova Scotia, and the day addressed every possible question I had — from how to sign up for my courses to where to access wellness supports,” he says. “In fact, I thought it was so valuable that I worked as a Smart Start mentor when I was a student, and now I manage the program.”

Along with the daylong orientation Smart Start provides, incoming students can also participate in the LEAP program, which offers additional opportunities to connect with campus partners, network with a small group of fellow students, take part in community projects and enjoy an optional stay in residence.

With four overnight programs and two daylong programs available, Leadership and Development Co-ordinator Travis Greene (BA ’19) says LEAP is all about enhancing student connections both on campus an in the Niagara region.

“One of my favourite parts about LEAP is the connection to the community — something that’s really important to the Brock experience,” he says. “Students get to visit a community partner and help out on projects that support various non-profits around Niagara, all while getting to know downtown St. Catharines along the way. It’s truly a one-of-a-kind experience that gives students the chance to encounter all Brock has to offer.”

As students begin to gear up for the fall, Greene is hopeful they will take the time to participate in both orientation programs this summer.

“Becoming familiar with so many of the amazing resources Brock has to offer through both Smart Start and LEAP is the best way to maximize your time at the University and to get a head start on the fun of September,” he said.

Further information about LEAP can be found on the Student Life and Success website while more on Smart Start can be found on the Discover Brock University website.

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