Imagine yourself as a first-year college student. Now imagine that you are perhaps the first or among the first in your family to go to college. You are far away from your hometown, maybe also for the first time.
Starting college is challenging enough for most students, but the odds may seem overwhelming for students of African American, Hispanic/ Latino, or Native American descent who may have fewer role models around them. Since 1983, NC State’s African American Student Symposium has been helping incoming students transition to college. As a result of its success, the Hispanic/Latino and Native American Symposia were later added to give additional groups of new students the resources, tools, and networks that will significantly boost their graduation and success rates. In fall 2014, for the first time, OIED is also offering a GLBT Student Symposium through the GLBT Center.
Symposium is a one-and-a-half day experience that is part of Wolfpack Welcome Week. This year, the Symposia will be held during the week of August 13-18, 2014, with an early session already held in June. There is no cost for students, and parents and guests are also welcome to attend.
At Symposium, students receive a handbook containing information about campus resources, faculty and staff, academic tutoring, student organizations, local businesses and worship centers. Students also attend workshops geared to provide them with information to aid in their successful transition to NC State and prepare them for any challenges they may encounter.
Hosted by OIED’s Multicultural Student Affairs, the purpose of this educational and transitional -- some have even said transformational -- experience is to foster a sense of community for incoming first-year students and to provide them with information about campus support, personnel, coping strategies and cultural heritage as a basis for helping to ensure their academic, social and emotional success at NC State.
Watch for many of these first-year students at the beginning of spring semester, when a large number of them will be honored at Freshman Honors Convocation. In 2014, eleven of NC State’s twelve colleges had over 50% of their first-year students from underrepresented groups complete their first semester with a 3.0 or better grade-point average, some with a 4.0. Best of luck to the class of 2018!
See the Multicultural Student Affairs website for more information.