Orientation and registration changes and dates announced

Orientation and registration changes and dates announced

By John Krebsbach and Karen Lange

Approximately 1,325 students are expected to join the St. Thomas community during Summer Orientation and Registration, more commonly known as O&R.  The Dean of Students Office and Academic Counseling are making some fairly significant changes to the program, based on feedback from students and their families, and have spent the year with faculty, staff and students from across campus to solicit feedback and revamp the program.


Instead of hosting two-day visits with optional overnight stays and evening activities, new students and their families will participate in one of nine single-day visits. Overnight housing and hospitality will still be available for students who choose to arrive the night before their sessions, but most families will experience a single-day program.  


  • The program is more affordable for students and their families. Changing to a single-day session will help students and families who found it difficult to take two days off from work to participate in the program. It also allows us to reduce the parent/guest fee. Given the difficult economic challenges our communities are facing, it is responsible to make O&R as affordable as possible.
  • The core components of the program will remain the same. Students have long reported that the most important elements of O&R are the time spent meeting their peers and registering for courses.
  • Smaller sessions will allow for more personal attention. We expect to see about 325 people at each session rather than close to 500. We also will be able to expand the course registration rooms. This makes a significant difference, as satisfaction with course registration is significantly correlated with the size of the group – the smaller the group, the greater the satisfaction.
  • Orientation is treated as a process, rather than a specific event. We are working closely with colleagues in Academic and Student Affairs to ensure that our newest students continue to reap the benefits of curricular and co-curricular programming throughout their time at St. Thomas and not just in July. We hope this helps us deliver information to students when they are most likely going to need it, rather than trying to present it all in a single day.

Dates for 2009

Dates for this year’s orientation sessions are: July 13, 14, 16, 20, 21, 24, 25, 27 and 28. The tentative program schedule is available online here.

These programs have historically been very well received by students and their families, with over 95 percent of respondents agreeing that they feel more prepared to succeed at UST as a result of participating in the programs. This happens because of the many students, faculty and staff who come together to make O&R such a wonderful experience for our newest community members. We trust we can count on that support again this year, and we’ll be sending out speaker and information fair invitations in the coming weeks.

If you have questions concerning Summer Orientation and Registration, please contact Tori Svoboda, associate dean of students, (651) 962-6052.