Orientation needs to connect with students

Kent State President Lester Lefton is ready to try and start making changes again. And while his track record with change hasn’t been that great, his head is in the right place on one issue. Finally, he has an idea we can get behind.

The orientation class needs serious revamping. We remember our orientation classes being based around how to get around the library. Isn’t that a skill students should have picked up during high school? If that’s all students are taking away from the current orientation format, then there is a problem. Orientation now is just busywork. No one takes it seriously and everyone just goes through the motions. It is a waste of time.

Lefton said that “you don’t force people into an orientation they’re not interested in.” And we agree. Don’t bore students with useless information. There is so much students are forced to learn about the university in the orientation classes, and it’s something they will never need to know again.

Next fall, there will be special topics orientation classes. These classes are meant to get students engaged in their major early on. But there are not going to be special topics classes for all of the incoming students.

Right now, there is uncertainty over whether the university will continue employing student instructors. The student orientation instructors are the most valuable asset incoming students have and it would be a mistake to eliminate them. Freshmen relate better to the student instructors because it was not too long ago they were sitting in the class themselves.

The current orientation classes are too general, even though they are divided by programs. These classes need to continue to be specific to each major. Students should learn what is expected of them in the workplace, and this would include having speakers, something the special topics classes will have.

Real professionals should be telling students about the current working environment in their prospective profession, the future of the career and clue them in about the real world. This is the time to make sure that these students are in the right field. The university has the opportunity to provide students with a beneficial hands-on experience, not just useless credit hours.

The new special topics that will be offered in the fall is a step in the right direction, but it’s not enough. There are adjustments that need to be made with the plan. Give all students in all departments a chance. Hopefully, this program will spread and be across the university next spring.

The above editorial is the general consensus opinion of the editorial board of the Daily Kent Stater. Kali Price did not participate in this editorial.