SMITHFIELD, RI – After 18 months marked by remote learning in many high schools, today Bryant University welcomes first-year and transfer students as they arrive on campus to begin their college experience fully in person. This year, Bryant’s official Welcome Week, Sept. 1 to 6, 2021, builds on the in-person Orientation sessions held in June and features programming specifically designed to establish a strong foundation for success for students whose high school experience was disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic—both academically and socially.
"Our entire community is mobilized to ensure that our new Bryant students know of every opportunity and resource for success available to them..."
The Student Affairs team, led by Vice President of Student Affairs Dr. Inge-Lise Ameer, with participation from students, faculty, and staff across campus, has developed a full week of activities that will help students build a resource network and get acclimated to living and learning on campus. A comprehensive slate of Interest Sessions ranges from academic workshops to sessions on Bryant traditions and “Bulldog Basics.” Fall semester classes begin on Tuesday, September 7, and the Welcome Week is designed to ensure students are well-prepared to excel.
"Bryant was one of the few colleges in the country to complete the 2020-21 academic year with 94% residency and no interruption for in-person classes."
“It’s been an especially challenging time for students finishing high school during a pandemic and completing their studies online with continuous change and disruption,” says Ameer. “This year, we recognized the increased importance of helping students make the successful transition to college life and planned to go above and beyond our traditional Orientation. Our entire community is mobilized to ensure that our new Bryant students know of every opportunity and resource for success available to them, and we look forward to starting the academic year with a strong foundation for student engagement and success.”
Samantha Reardon ’23 brings her own first-year experience and perspective to her work as a Student Program Coordinator and Orientation Leader. She is now dedicated to helping new students navigate the transition to college life.
“I was extremely nervous having come from a small close-knit high school, and I knew college would be a huge adjustment. Bryant offered programs and a sense of belonging and community that eased my fears,” she says. “I am looking forward helping our first-year students feel comfortable on campus, especially after a year of learning remotely. Our team is excited to meet students and help them find the many resources they need that will contribute to their success.”
“Bryant’s integrated academic and residential experience equips students with critical 21st-century skills that deliver one of the nation’s strongest returns on investment,” said President Ross Gittell, Ph.D. “The programs offered this week were created so this year’s incoming students achieve the same high level of success even though their last two years of high school may have been disrupted by the pandemic.”
“I’d like to recognize the Student Affairs team and Academic Affairs staff and faculty for their dedication to our students and commitment to the in-person learning and residential life experience that we know is transformational for students,” he said. "Through a comprehensive approach to health and safety, Bryant was one of the few colleges in the country to complete the 2020-21 academic year with 94% residency and no interruption for in-person classes."
“We are excited to welcome new students to campus to continue sharing learning resources, building community, and creating connections,” said Jess Raffaele, Bryant’s Director of Student Events and Orientation. This week’s program is part of the New Student Pathways Experience designed to provide consistent support of new students in their first year at Bryant.”
The Orientation Leaders will continue to guide the new students through these programs, as well as the first semester with the Bulldog Beginnings series of events. Bulldog Beginnings consists of two events each week to help new students connect with each other, navigate common challenges, and succeed at Bryant. Student Events and Orientation Programs also connects to new families through Orientation and Family and Friends Weekend, Oct. 15-17 (registration will be available soon).
- From High School to College: Six Key Areas of Adjustment for Students
- Transitions with Counseling Services
- The Art of Handling Push Back
- Ensuring Success in Your First Year: Resources and People Here to Help
- It's in the Syllabus: How to Get the Most Out of Your Course Syllabus
- Navigating Group Projects: Tips for Creating a Cohesive and Effective Team
- Helpful Tips for Classroom Success
- A Formula For Success: The First-Year Gateway Program
- Bryant IDEA Program Preview: Dabbling in Design Thinking
- Bryant's Newest Internship & Job Search Tool
"A formula for success"
Several Interest Sessions are focused on helping students successfully transition from high school to college life, including “A Formula for Success: The First-Year Gateway Program,” with Laurie Hazard, Ph.D., Assistant Dean of Student Success.
Hazard is a nationally respected expert in student success, particularly in the first year of college. She co-authored the textbook “Foundations for Learning” (Pearson 2011) designed to help students make the successful transition to college by encouraging them to take responsibility for and claim their own education. Hazard's textbook has been adopted by colleges and universities around the country.
Hazard and Stephanie Carter, Director, Academic Center for Excellence and the Writing Center, co-authored, “Your Freshman Is Off To College: A Month-by-Month Guide to the First Year,” a guide for parents as they help their students make the transition to college life.
More information about Welcome week activities and schedules are available at the links below.