St. Joe’s student orientation for the Class of 2026 will be conducted entirely in person this summer for the first time since 2019. Organizers hope to include students from the University of Science who, while admitted to that university, will begin their college careers as St. Joe’s students after the two schools formally merged on June 1.
In pre-pandemic summers, orientation was done overnight and spanned two days. Last year, new students spent a day on campus and participated in online activities.
“Last year, even though we were in person for the program, we felt like we still had to maintain some level of an online program,” said Beth Hagovsky, Ed.D., director of student leadership. and activities. “We offered an online part of the program, and it worked.”
This summer, students will choose from one of four possible dates to attend orientation on Hawk Hill: June 23, 24, 26 or 28. Course registration will be done online in July, rather than during orientation, due to merger-related data transfer issues, Hagovsky said.
A modified online option may still be offered to those unable to attend in June for whatever reason, Hagovsky said.
Because the merger won’t take effect until June 1, USciences students can’t be officially invited to orientation before then, Hagovsky said.
“We hope to welcome these students and their families to campus for one of the sessions,” Hagovsky said.
But USciences students can only be offered one or two sessions, Hagovsky said.
“We really want to be able to focus on them while they’re here,” Hagovsky said. “Since their number is smaller than ours, if we spread them over two sessions, they will have more opportunity to get to know each other and we will have a better chance of providing them with the resources related to their experience. .”
USciences has an undergraduate population of 1,372 students, compared to St. Joe’s undergraduate population of over 4,000 students.
Mac Castellano ’23, who is one of two student coordinators for this year’s orientation, said he’s had to adjust to a different orientation each year.
“This one is going to be very different too,” Castellano said. “I thought it would be more like how my first was when I was a freshman, but now that we have to deal with the merger, it adds effects that we didn’t really expect.”
Thomas McBride ’23, the other orientation coordinator, said the merger has posed challenges, but the goal is to make everyone feel as comfortable as possible.
“Because this is a merger, we try to collaborate as much as possible,” McBride said. “So USciences and St. Joe’s students will be split together each semester. We will do it together.