By Carter Hall and Claire Ekas, staff reporters ◊
The days of playing sand volleyball, going to the drive-in and getting breakfast late at night from Whataburger are nearing their end. Summer is almost over, and students are getting ready for their fall classes.
In the past, Amarillo College hosted a day-long summer orientation called Badger Bootcamp. This event gave students the chance to tour the campus, meet other students and participate in special sessions on student success. This summer, the Student Life department introduced a revamped orientation, now called, Badger Beginnings.
Amarillo College officials say their goal for incoming students is to make them feel safe and comfortable while they pursue their certificates and degrees.
This new orientation is designed to help ease the minds of incoming students and show them around campus. Just like Badger Bootcamp, Badger Beginnings is an all-day orientation, but includes many more activities than its predecessor.
The day started off with ice-breakers and a speech from Dr. Russell Lowery-Hart, then students broke off into their communities corresponding with their majors to hear from advisers. The incoming students were also fed lunch, given a tour of Washington Street Campus and taught how to log in to AC Connect and Blackboard.
The orientation process is crafted to help students learn what to expect in college. “I didn’t study at all in high school, and I could pass everything. I know I have to study here. It’s going to be quite a transition,” Jackson Crain, a business major, said.
Returning AC students stepped up to become student leaders at Badger Beginnings to help guide the new students. “We get the benefit of being the first people incoming students get to meet. A lot of people think coming into school that they are not going to come to AC, so we have to show them our campus is better than what they think and it’s a great place to start to blossom you into the person you are going to be in your career,” Payton Nelson, a general studies major, said.
Returning students can volunteer to get involved and help with future Badger Beginnings. “Getting involved offers valuable networking opportunities and it also allows you to get away from the stress that studying and work causes,” Cecilia Almanza, a nuclear medicine major and president of student government association, said.
“It was amazing to watch the planning take place and the final program delivered. I was able to attend each program, watching the growth of the attendees was amazing to see,” Denis Sarine, Coordinator disAbility services, said.
The four sessions of Badger Beginnings orientations ran from 8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. on July 12, 17, 26 and Aug. 7.