Preparing for Orientation

by Brianne Martin '13

The countdown is on to August 31, 2012, one of the biggest days of the academic year and a favorite at APU. On that day, a team from the Office of Orientation and Transitions will be assembled to welcome new students to APU. Wearing their “I heart APU” T-shirts, holding “Welcome home” signs, and cheering for students upon their arrival, Alpha Leaders and Alpha Coordinators are sure to give students a welcome worth remembering. But before all that can happen, months of preparation take place to ensure this year’s New Student Orientation is a success.

Of course, Orientation includes more than just an energetic welcome. It features eight days of fun, informative, and meaningful events for both students and their families. From informational sessions on academics and special sessions for parents, to meetings with Alpha groups and living area bonding, New Student Orientation is designed to create a smooth, comfortable, and safe transition into APU.

“The transition into college life is crucial,” said Sandy Hough, director of academic advising and retention. “Students set the stage for their academic career during this time. Orientation provides a venue for students to explore, hear from faculty, staff, and students, and learn strategies that will make them successful.”

Preparation for this event, which will include approximately 1,600 new students, began almost a year ago. “It is hard to believe how fast time flies, but we have been planning and preparing for Orientation since the moment it ended last fall,” said Phil Brazell, assistant director of the Office of Orientation and Transitions. “From preparing and tailoring specific events, to training new student leaders, we have been thinking and praying about this for quite some time. We can't wait for everyone to get here!”

One of the most anticipated parts of Orientation is moving students into their new homes where they will spend the school year eating, sleeping, studying, and building relationships. “I’m most excited for all the energy that comes from students moving into their living areas with the help of their families and student leaders,” said Stacie Champine, director of the Office of Orientation and Transitions. “Then, thinking about how students’ lives will be shaped and transformed by the time they graduate. There is nothing more exciting!”

This year’s Orientation will include many of the traditional events the APU community has come to love, such as Good Times, which features skits performed by Alpha Leaders. Other events guests should be sure not to miss, according to Brazell and Champine, include the Welcome and Candela on Friday, August 31, and the morning Worship Service on Sunday, September 2.

“I’m so excited for students and families to feel welcomed and a part of something bigger,” said Brazell. “This is so much more than just about the few days of Orientation. It’s about students beginning a journey with APU and seeing God work through this special time.”