Photo by Mary Kane
Graduating high school students will need to attend an orientation before starting classes at AACC, beginning this May.
The new orientation requirement is for students who graduate from high school in 2018 and come directly to AACC in the fall, according to Danielle Brookhart, the coordinator of new student engagement.
Students in the Early College Access Program—also known as Jump Start—who have taken classes here while in high school will not need to attend a mandatory orientation.
The requirement is designed to help connect with students earlier in their enrollment processes, Brookhart said.
“We want students to see [attending] orientation as something that is as natural as taking a placement test or registering for classes,” said Brookhart. “The goal is not to put any barriers in place, but to better prepare new students for college at AACC.”
Brookhart said AACC will offer five in-person orientation sessions in May and June for 2018 high school graduates and more sessions in July and August.
Although AACC still offers online orientations, Brookhart said the college is not advertising them for new students, because “we really want students to come on campus.”
If students are unable to come to campus in person, they can submit requests to Brookhart, who said she will handle them on a case-by-case basis.
Students do not need to register prior to the orientations to attend them, Brookhart said, although AACC admissions staff offer placement testing, advising and registration on Anne Arundel County high school campuses.
During the new required orientation sessions, students will meet in groups of a common “field of interest”—a new grouping of courses beginning this fall—with faculty liaisons from those fields, according to Brookhart.
“It’s an opportunity to get our students excited about the programs they’ve chosen … and, really, to meet other students,” Brookhart said.
“Having students meet in groups will help them make friends and not be so nervous about coming here,” Michaela Randle, a second-year event planning and catering student, said.
Kyle Martin, a second-year business administration student who attended orientation in 2016, said he doesn’t remember much of his orientation.
“This sounds like it would help students get more out of orientation,” Martin said.