|College of The Bahamas freshmen get oriented|
Guardian Lifestyles Intern
Published: Aug 15, 2012
Summer is officially over — and it’s no more evident than on The College of The Bahamas campus where this week approximately 900 freshmen are being introduced to a tertiary level education. And from the schedule a lot of emphasis has been placed on the orientation exercise to smoothly transition the high school graduates to the life of a college student.
And it was all jump started with a parent evening at which parents were told of the importance of letting their children go, and coming to grips with the big change. Parents of the first-year students were told that they should understand that college life for their children would be like having a full-time job, and that their children may experience social stress caused by the change from high school to college, and that they should be aware that their children could feel academic stress during that first year as the work is much more difficult.This could surprise some students. They also alerted parents to the fact that college may cause a change in the parent/young adult relationship.
Parents were also told to be alert for their children desiring to make their own decisions — even if they are poor ones; or acquire a desire to try something new, or radically different, as well as making new friends.
"It was a lot of indepth information provided to the parents to help smooth the transition from high school to college, " said Dr. Eslyn Jones, the college’s vice-president of student affairs, who said that many parents have issues with sending their children to college, as it is a big step into adulthood.
Dr. Jones said that she saw a parent sitting under the trees at an orientation session even though they were strictly told not to attend. She said the parent admitted to her that even though the parent conference helped, she had still had a hard time letting go of her child.
"We provide the parent orientation just for this purpose, because parents and students both have to learn the independence associated with entering college," said Dr. Jones.
And for the remainder of this week, the first-year students will participate in informative sessions to get them acclimated to the college campus. Every day there are scheduled sessions that students go to in order to ease the transition for them. And there’s a subject matter to deal with almost anything they would encounter.
Nurses were also brought in to speak to the young adults about sexual health. There were talks on campus safety and security, and how to protect themselves. They were also spoken to about making the grade, and whether the person they are speaking to is a friend or foe, and how to decide if they need interpersonal relationships. And of course one of the most important topics addressed how they charted their academic course. In the campus leadership sessions, at which Darryn Turnquest spoke, focused on preparing the students to take up leadership roles on the campus. The “Making the Grade" sessions taught students about good study habits, and what would be expected of them academically.
Going into the third day of the orientation process, Dr. Jones described the incoming group as calm and attentive.
“They seem to have started their orientation well, and are taking the exercises serious. It’s amazing compared to other groups” said Dr. Jones. “They really seem to appreciate the orientation and what it has to offer.”
According to Dr. Jones, the excitement in the air was palpable as the students calmly accepted their new status as college students, and began the serious business of higher education.
One of the most important orientation sessions planned for the new students was dealing with the registration exercises for courses, which some students can find quite frustrating to navigate, especially with the college expecting between 1,200 and 1,300 students to grace the classrooms for the fall semester. COB had issued 1,770 acceptance letters. The registration process has long been a source of frustration for incoming and returning students, but Dr. Jones said the college is working to ensure incoming students have a smooth advisement and registration.