The University of New Mexico Student Orientation Program recently underwent changes to ensure a more academically-focused curriculum. Beginning this summer, the College Enrichment Program (CEP) orientation and New Student Orientation (NSO) unite to bring new students a more enhanced program.

Each week from May 30 to mid-August, NSO will serve approximately 300 students and 150 parents and family members. The sessions will be hosted by faculty and staff from the Libraries, Career Services, academic departments and the Center for Academic Program Support (CAPS).  Evening and weekend activities will be coordinated by Residence Life, Student Activities, the Parent Association and the President’s Office.

ExceedU, an event that occurs two days before the semester begins, has been increased from one-and-a-half to two full days, with the last half of the day presented in a conference style format that incorporates interactive sessions with new technology. Programming will feature presentations and activities sponsored by various programs and departments on campus, complete with helping students understand what UNM is, what the expectations are, how to find community and all of the support the university offers to help them succeed.

“Over the past two years, and at the urging and support of President Frank, we have focused on the first-year experience at UNM because of its importance in impacting students and providing a basis for their long-term success," UNM Provost Chaouki Abdallah said. "The redesign of New Student Orientation is a key part of the Foundations of Excellence project to improve UNM’s first-year experience. I’m very pleased with the leadership of the chair of the redesign committee, Dr. Sonia Rankin, and with the cross-campus collaboration that has gone into the orientation redesign.”

"Here’s what we hope to impart to students through the New Student Orientation," said Sonia Rankin, associate dean, University College Curriculum and Program Development. "You’re going to hear ideas you’ve never heard before and have an opportunity to say if you agree or disagree. You’re going to conduct research that contributes to being a member of knowledge creators. You’re going to get an opportunity to interact with people from throughout the city, state, nation and world. You will be stretched further than you’ve ever imagined. And it’s going to be the best four years of your life.”

Rankin added that it’s all about getting students prepared and excited to exceed their own expectations. “We want them to believe that they can go further than they ever thought possible.”