BROOKINGS, S.D. (KELO) – South Dakota public universities announced Wednesday the 2020 academic fall calendar. But before new students head to campus, they must go through new student orientation.
That allows students to learn more about campus and what resources are available to them, register for classes, and even connect with peers. While it’s typically an in-person program at SDSU, this year the university will be doing that virtually.
“This is something that is happening across the country in higher education and it’s really designed to protect our students and parents, as well as our faculty and staff that are serving them during those programs,” Vice President of Student Affairs, Michaela Willis said.
The virtual orientation will start next week, with sessions each week throughout June and a few sessions in August.
“All of the content will be delivered via Zoom and we are trying to create a system where there are opportunities to have some live interaction via zoom during an orientation date,” orientation director, Adam Karnopp said.
The university is also working on building up online resources for students.
“So there is an opportunity to interact with content and information before, during, and after orientation as well,” Karnopp said. “Lots of watching videos that we created and posted online, which normally we wouldn’t have done as much of but giving people opportunities to engage how they want to engage.”
About 2,000 students attend orientation each summer, and the university is on track to have that many students again.
Overall, Willis says they want to make sure students are safe and prepared for their fall semester.
“We are confident that we will be ready for students this fall and can’t wait to have everybody back on campus,” Willis said.
SDSU is also planning live Q and A sessions for students and parents. The university is taking security measures to make sure only SDSU students are participating in the orientation.