Easing the Transition from High School to College

Dr. Jennifer Morrison

April 3, 2014
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.

Advising for first-year students also begins during the Orientation. Each student meets one-on-one with a faculty advisor for forty minutes. The initial meeting gives the student and faculty member a chance to discuss the student’s interests and goals and choose appropriate classes for the first semester.
As students send in their enrollment deposits, letters will be mailed with instructions on how to register for Orientation. These letters will begin mailing in March.

Individual Faculty Advisors
Each student will complete an online Advising Survey in May, including a personal essay, so that an appropriate a 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. Students may change advisors at any time if their academic interests change.

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. Assumption College 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 child in an environment where intellectual pursuits and engagement in academic inquiry are important predictors of college success.

Move-in Orientation
First-year students move in to their residence halls on Saturday, August 30, so they may have an opportunity to meet other first-year students before the upperclassmen move back on Monday. Academic sessions that prepare students for their first semester of classes are a 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.

First Semester
Assumption has an active campus that offers a range of events to engage first-year students from lectures, panels, concerts and discussions to stimulate intellectual life to comedians and movies to entertain them. We invite all first-year students to get involved in the many co-curricular opportunities available to them.

We look forward to seeing you in June.                                                         


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

P.S. Register Today for Accepted Students Day on Sunday, April 6.