New Student Conference Vital To Aggie Experience
MICHAEL K. YOUNG
June 19, 2019
It is truly a pleasure to walk around campus this summer and see thousands of incoming freshmen and transfer Aggies, along with their families, attending New Student Conference (NSC), our two-day orientation program for undergraduates.
We have 10,000-plus incoming freshmen and 2,500 transfer students attending NSC with nearly 16,500 family members and guests joining the learning experience. This superb program offers a wide variety of experiences, including "Engage Your Aggie Experience" where attendees learn about campus involvement and attend a Yell Practice with the Yell Leaders; "Aggies Respect" which details the role and responsibility students have in creating a community that supports all members of the Aggie Family and also includes details regarding the Step-In, Stand-Up campaign; sessions about living on or off campus; and that's just to name a few. On the second day of the NSC, students meet with their academic advisor to learn more about their degree plan and academic expectations.
It is heartening to see so many family members and guests attending NSC, as they are a vital support system for our students. Family members often are the first to receive contact when a challenging event occurs in the academic or personal life of a student, so to be able to educate families on our many and varied campus resources is invaluable for student success. Just as Aggies are the 12th Man for our football team, families are the 12th Man for our students. They don't play in the game, but they are cheering students on and providing support when necessary.
Peer support is also a critical facet of student success. That begins at NSC, where upperclassmen orientation leaders head up small group sessions to share helpful information and foster a sense of community and belonging. NSC staff say orientation leaders are passionate, caring and committed to serving new students and their families, and are a positive reflection of the supportive nature of the Texas A&M community.
NSC is a massive undertaking. The New Student & Family Programs team run 20 conferences during the summer, each holding a capacity of 700 incoming students. The team includes six full-time staff members, three summer interns and five student employees; six student employees run the NSC en Español Program; and there are five Orientation Team leaders, 35 orientation leaders and six orientation assistants. There are also countless campus partners who present, hold advising sessions, host resource tables and keep things organized behind the scenes.
My sincere thanks to all those who participate to make our new students and their families feel welcome, informed and excited about their coming Aggie experience.
And to all our new students – welcome to the Aggie Family!
Thanks and Gig 'em!
Michael K. Young