Column: Campus orientation must be improved for incoming students

As a new student in college orientation is without a doubt a necessity and many students may not realize just how important it is when starting at a school.

Pierce College like all the other colleges within its district has a set matriculation process that includes three things that are listed on the student information system, which are assessment, counseling and orientation.

An assessment is required for anyone who is planning on taking an English or a math class. The assessment helps with placing you in the appropriate level of either subject based on your knowledge.

Meeting with a counselor is necessary for students trying to pick and register for classes, complete transfer requirements or receive a degree or certificate.

Where it gets tricky for incoming students is that in order to meet with an academic advisor and register for classes you must complete some a new student group orientation.

To fulfill the counseling portion of the matriculation process students need to sign up for the new student group.

It would be better to give students the option to simply do the online orientation or the in person workshop and have that count for both counseling and orientation in the matriculation process.

Knowing that most students want to get things done and get them done quickly they would probably choose to do the online orientation rather than the in-person orientation thinking that the sooner you get to meet with the counselor the better and this is not always true.

When you sign up to do an in-person orientation it is more in depth and is more like new student a workshop.

The in-person orientation can answer questions that you may not have been able to have answered while going through the online orientation.

Students that complete the online orientation may come to counselors with questions about how and where to start when their questions could have been answered if you had signed up for the in-person orientation.

Some students choose the online orientation with the hopes that the sooner you complete it the sooner you will be able to meet with a counselor and register for classes and this is not necessarily true.

The online orientation is not interactive and only has a few questions that need to be answered once the program is complete.

This is not an ideal way to get the full experience of how to navigate your way through Pierce.

Having an interactive in-person orientation is a better way to get a general introduction with even more information that you would not be able to get from a cyber-introduction to the school.

The in-person orientation is held directly through counseling. So while you’re getting all the information if you have a general question or concern it can be answered right away.

Regardless of whether you do an online or in-person orientation either way the orientation is mandatory but if you have to do something why not get the best experience from it?

An in-person orientation only seems more appropriate so that when you start registering for courses, meeting with counselors, attending classes and making your way through the nearly 430 acre stretch of campus you will know and have a better understanding of your surroundings.