By Lexus Yamashiro | Staff Writer
It will mark four years since KCC began its mandatory three-part new student orientations (NSO). Coordinated annually by LaVaché Scanlan, the First-Year Experience (FYE) coordinator, NSO’s have taken place for incoming college freshmen for the purpose of preparing them for their transition to college and to provide guidance with registration, campus resources, and more.
NSO was made mandatory in 2007 in which high school graduates were assigned a day and time to come to KCC for a College 101 lecture and to register for classes. Held over 10 sessions where 100 students were assigned to each one, Scanlan shared that it was challenging to keep up with due to students who would check in and leave or would not have their health clearance forms up to date, which prevented them from being able to register.
It was in 2009 that NSO transitioned into a two part event that was similar to what it first started out as, however, registration was held on a separate occasion resulting in Part II. In 2013, Hoʻokele Peer Mentors insisted that a Part III should be adjusted into NSO to have students engage with the campus and what it has to offer.
This year, NSO Part III will be held on Tuesday, August 15. Check-in will begin at 8:30 a.m. (some check-in times vary depending upon student’s degree pathway). A schedule for that day will be sent out from email@example.com to all incoming students.
Now, with three parts to NSO, incoming freshmen are able to gain a deeper understanding of KCC as well personal connections with the students, faculty, and staff of the campus. Here is what Scanlan explained for the purposes of each part to NSO:
NSO Part I: College 101
This phase is an introduction to college, in which incoming freshmen are exposed to college requirements, degrees and programs that are offered, placement procedures, and more. Hoʻokele Peer Mentors of the FYE office along with a few FYE faculty members commute to high school campuses on island, by request, to discuss with high school seniors about KCC and the new student process.
In the case that a high school does not request to have the FYE team present at that school but a student is looking to attend KCC, Scanlan said that there is an alternative option for students in these situations.
NSO Part I can be completed through the site BigBlueButton, which is a webinar tool used by Hoʻokele Peer Mentors to give presentations and communicate with incoming students without them having to come to campus. If incoming freshmen choose this option, they will be given a specific time and day to log on for their webinar session. Incoming students who may be transferring from the mainland, an active military member, or an international student may also take part in these webinars too.
NSO Part II: Advising and Registration
Once new students have completed NSO Part I and received an email containing information on how to access their UH email account, students will choose a date that has a scheduled time to complete the next phase, NSO Part II. Students are encouraged to choose an NSO Part II date to attend based on what they will major in because specific counselors from their majors will be present to answer advising questions and help with course registration.
Typically held in the late afternoon from April through July, NSO Part II gives students a review of what they learned from NSO Part I along with guidance in how to navigate through the STAR GPS Registration website, determine class availability, select and register for courses, and more. Due to how quickly classes tend to get selected, students are encouraged to begin registering for classes as soon as possible instead of waiting until later since very early and late classes will most likely be available in the end.
Students who are unable to attend NSO Part II based on the days that it is being held will have to schedule for a walk-in appointment with the FYE office.
NSO Part III: Welcome to Campus
With the transition to college almost complete comes a chance for students to become familiar with KCC’s campus and what it has to offer. Held on one day only during a certain time frame, all incoming freshman come to campus to attend workshops regarding college preparedness, become familiar with Title IX and student conduct policies, find opportunities through campus clubs and organizations, and more.
Although it will seem crowded knowing that all college freshmen will be coming to campus at once, Scanlan stated that students will have different agendas to follow for that day based on their major. Certain programs such as Culinary, Hospitality, and Business, Legal and Technology Education will have a two to three hour orientation while Liberal Arts and pre-health students will attend a 15 minute presentation about their majors. Students who haven’t decided on their major will be put in the Liberal Arts group.
During this phase, Scanlan said students can make up for a missed NSO to complete class registration and such.
Once all three NSO’s have been completed, the hold that is placed on all new student’s accounts will be removed, allowing students to register for classes. However, a hold from NSO Part III will carry onto all incoming students’ accounts due to withdrawal prevention measures.
In the case that a NSO was missed for whatever reason, students can make them up through Secret of Success (SOS) workshops. For students who may be coming from the mainland or from another country, Scanlan highly encourages that they come down in person to have their NSO’s completed.
Scanlan shared that about an 80-90% show rate of incoming KCC college freshmen tend to show up to NSO’s, however, is hoping that it will increase each year. Although challenges are continually faced in terms of making sure that students attend their NSO’s in a timely manner, having health clearance forms updated and ready along with having classes registered, Scanlan said that this three-part NSO method will most likely go through changes every year to ensure a smooth transition for new students.
“I think one of the main things is that [students] know that people are here to support them throughout the process,” Scanlan said. “Just making a connection at least with our [FYE] office so that, whatever might come up during the semester, they at least have one place they can head to for support.”
For more information regarding new student orientations contact the FYE office at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (808) 734-9245.
To schedule a walk-in appointment for a missed NSO date contact email@example.com or call (808) 734-9245.
The FYE office is located in ʻIliahi 231 and is open from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. from Mondays through Fridays.