Minority Orientation Helps Transition to College (235)

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn.– A minority orientation program is credited with helping 81 students, most from Shelby County, make the transition from high school to the University of Tennessee-Knoxville.

 Jane Redmond, assistant vice chancellor for student affairs at UT-Knoxville, said the new students visited the campus for two days in June to get a head start on college.

 Prior to the minority orientation program, which began in 1986, many minority students did not participate in orientation, Redmond said.

 ”They were behind on registering, working out their class schedule and adjusting to college life in general,” Redmond said. “With more students taking part in minority orientation the students are better prepared for the transition to UT-Knoxville.”

 Orientation gave the students an opportunity to stay in a residence hall, eat in a dining facility, register for classes, talk with faculty and staff and get acquainted with the campus.

 The day before the students boarded buses to Knoxville, their parents met in Memphis with representatives from UT-Knoxville residence halls, the financial aid office and minority student affairs.

 Michael Alston, UT-Knoxville’s coordinator for West Tennessee Services, said the bus ride to Knoxville and back gave students time to get acquainted.

 ”By the end of the program many students had specific requests for roommates which we were able to accommodate,” Alston said. “There were a lot of friendships made in two days.”

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 Contact: Susan Bolinger (423-974-2184)

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