Freshman Riverhawks flocked to Northeastern State University this week for several days of education and entertainment in preparation for the start of the new semester.
dr Kendra Haggard, NSU director of Student Engagement and Transitions, explained the goal of “Welcome Week.”
“During Welcome Week, students are introduced to a variety of topics that will help them be successful students at NSU. They also meet upper-division students who are their peer instructors, and they meet their classmates,” said Haggard. “It is about learning how to be a successful college student, making connections, and having fun.”
By participating in Welcome Week, students earn one credit hour for their University Strategies class. Haggard described the week’s events as both “academic and fun.”
“Throughout the day, they are together in both large and small groups, so they are able to hear guest speakers from on and off campus. They are also able to learn what it is like to be a student from our current students,” said Haggard. “They will leave knowing the best places to study, how to use meal trade, and more. The peer instructors who are paired with each class spend the week getting to know the students, and they also spend the semester with them and are a valuable resource.”
There are several different topics on the schedule this year, including new additions like an introduction to the NSU app.
“The topics include our traditions, like the coin walk, facing your fears, campus safety, financial resources, NSU heritage and history, student organization information, academics, tutoring, Blackboard, and much more,” Haggard said. “We also have fun events each evening that are facilitated by campus partners so students can meet staff from a variety of offices on campus.”
Haggard said this year’s freshman class is excited to be on campus and become part of the RiverHawk Family.
Freshman Marquis Ivory, from Texas, plans to major in biology. He described the week so far as “peaceful.”
“It’s very nice and very welcoming,” said Ivory. “I’m enjoying it.”
Freshmen Hailey Corbit and Aaliyah Baker are both from McCurtain. Baker has been enjoying Welcome Week.
“It’s been pretty fun,” said Baker. “I’m nervous about starting classes. Finding my way around is probably going to be hardest thing.”
Corbin said the week has been “pretty good.”
NSU classes officially begin on Monday, Aug. 15, and as Haggard explained, an early start for freshman helps them prepare for that first day on campus.
“[Students] are able to begin the semester knowing at least one class of their peers while also being familiar with campus and all of the resources we have,” said Haggard. “They leave the week knowing about tutoring, advising, Title IX, career services, Hawkreach, study abroad, financial resources, and more. The goal is for students to know we are here to help and support them through their academic journey and for them to know who to ask when they have questions or need help.”