New online module helps students ease into orientation this fall

A new Pre-Orientation Program will give students a running start before attending on-campus orientation this fall.

A self-guided online module, the Pre-Orientation Program (POP) provides students with their first look at the information they’ll use to navigate the numerous academic and support services available to them at NIU. They’ll learn what it means to be a Huskie.

The new Pre-Orientation Program will provide incoming students with information about academic majors, academic expectations and strategies for success, allowing for more engaging experiences during their on-campus orientation.

“POP will be used as a means to start the conversation about what to expect as students begin their academic career,” said Jenna Pracht, acting director of Orientation and Family Connections. “We feel it’s critical information that will help them feel more confident in attending their orientation program.”

On-campus degree-seeking undergraduate students must complete the module before attending their on-campus orientation. It is recommended they do so at least two weeks before their orientation. At orientation, students meet with their advisors and register for classes.

Coupling POP with orientation will give students the chance to learn more about academic majors, the kind of schedules they’d like to build, academic expectations, how to get engaged and strategies for success, Pracht said.

“We’re providing them with so much information during the orientation program,” she said. “This is kind of a stepping stone so it’s less overwhelming.”

Most student should be able to complete the module in less than an hour, she said.

Students will sign up for on-campus orientation through MyNIU. Once logged in, they’ll go to Student Center where they’ll find the Undergraduate Orientation tile. In the Undergraduate Orientation tile, they’ll be able to select their orientation program, sign their guests up for the family orientation and find a link to POP.

Students must pay a confirmation fee of $155 to confirm admission and make an orientation reservation.

The new POP will eliminate the need for much of the lecture part of the on-campus orientation, allowing for a more engaging experience, Pracht said.

Students will come to campus saying, “This is where I want to be,” she said, “instead of leaving and saying, ‘This is so much information.’”

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