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Easing the Transition from High School to College

Dean Morrison

March 3, 2015
DR. JENNIFER MORRISON, Associate Dean for the First Year

At Assumption College we recognize that the first year of college is a critical, transitional year. I work with first-year students to support their academic success by connecting them to our well-established network of programs, faculty advisors and staff.

June Orientation
A student’s introduction to the academic and co-curricular life at Assumption College begins during the June Orientation Program. Students are given the “First-Year Common Reading” and participate in a class discussion to provide a sense of what they can expect from their classes in the fall. As students send in their enrollment deposits, letters will be mailed with instructions on how to register for Orientation.

Individual Faculty Advisors
Each student will complete an online Advising Survey in May, including a personal essay, so that an appropriate faculty advisor may be assigned based on shared academic and co-curricular interests. At Assumption, advisors are typically full-time faculty members who guide students throughout their college journey. The advisor reviews the Core Curriculum requirements with your student, as well as the major and minor courses of study to help determine the appropriate academic path. All students will meet one-on-one with a faculty advisor during the June Orientation program for 40 minutes. This meeting gives the student and faculty member a chance to discuss the student’s interests and goals and choose appropriate classes for first semester.

All students are invited to meet with their advisors as often as they choose. Advisors always schedule appointments with first-year students at mid-term to review their Mid-Semester Progress Reports, and again during the advising and registration period for spring semester. The Mid-Semester Progress Reports provide students with a sense of where they stand, and this information helps in the advising process for second semester. At Assumption, there is a deep commitment to personal interaction among faculty and students, which promotes academic success and excellence. Faculty hold six office hours per week so students can ask questions, discuss ideas or obtain additional assistance. Assumption is committed to working closely with your student in an environment where intellectual pursuits and engagement in academic inquiry are important predictors of college success.

August Orientation
First-year students move in to their residence halls on Friday, August 28, so they may have an opportunity to meet other first-year students before the upperclassmen move back on Sunday. Academic sessions that prepare students for their first semester of classes are another vital element of the Move-in Orientation. Small groups of faculty and students gather to continue the discussion of the First-Year Common Reading. In the Academic Expectations Workshops, we provide important information about how to understand course syllabi and take advantage of professors’ office hours. Students also are instructed in academic honesty and appropriate use of sources. Staff from the Academic Support Center and trained student tutors offer advice on time management to help first-year students adjust to the pace and rhythm of college life.

I will be available at the Accept Assumption events this spring to share more about how Assumption prepares students for a successful first year. I look forward to seeing you this spring.


Jennifer Morrison, Ph.D.
Associate Dean for the First Year