Photo caption: Students and parents enjoy the New Student Barbecue at the North Country Community College residence halls in Saranac Lake on Friday, Aug. 24, part of the college’s “Welcome Weekend” series of events.
Fun activities, orientation sessions help new students ease into college experience
Saranac Lake – North Country Community College marked the start of the Fall 2018 semester on its Saranac Lake campus with a weekend full of fun events for both new and returning students.
Picnics, barbecues and banquets, a pool party and movie night, soccer games, a stand-up comedy performance and a residence hall Olympics were among the highlights of the college’s “Welcome Weekend,” Aug. 24-26. The schedule also included activities geared specifically for new students, whether they’re living on campus or they’re commuting to class: orientation sessions, campus tours, shopping shuttles to local stores, a college resource fair and a community connections fair.
The goal of the “Welcome Weekend” was to keep students busy and engaged, according to Beth Quinn, director of the North Country Community College Association, which runs student housing, food service and the college’s campus stores.
“In the past, our students would move in, there would be an orientation session the next day and they’d start classes the following day. That can be a little overwhelming,” Quinn said. “So we decided to give them a whole weekend of events that show them what the college is all about and help them settle in.”
“I think we’re looking to get the students excited right off the bat,” said Robbie Woodward, NCCC’s Associate Director of Residence Life & Housing. “We’re giving them some different things to do so they can get to know campus and get to know each other. We just want to make it a fun process of arriving at college, moving in and getting enthusiastic to be at North Country.”
Vondell Livingston of Maryland was among the new students checking in on Friday at Saints Hall. He’s studying Sports and Events Management and was recruited to play basketball at the college.
“I’m a little nervous, but excited too,” Livingston said about arriving at NCCC. “It feels good. They’ve made it a nice experience, and I’m ready for it.”
Another new student, Sheyenne Hays of Massena, said she was feeling both excited and overwhelmed. Her mom, Michelle Hays, said she believes North Country will be a great fit for her daughter, who’s studying Radiologic Technology.
“She wanted a smaller school and wanted to be in the country,” Michelle said. “She likes to ski and kayak and enjoy the outdoors, so this college fit everything she wanted, including the curriculum.”
And the price was right, too, Sheyenne said.
“It was a lot more affordable than the other schools I looked at,” she said.
After their sons and daughters were moved in, the college’s Residence Life staff encouraged parents to say their goodbyes. Woodward said those first few hours and days at college can be challenging, but he and his team will work to make it as comfortable and fun as possible.
“I think there’s a lot of excitement, and a little bit of nervousness for our new students about being on their own for the first time, but I think they’re excited to meet people, move in and start classes,” he said.
The Fall 2018 semester officially kicked off Monday, Aug. 27 with the first day of classes.
About North Country Community College: As the only public college located in the Adirondack Park, North Country Community College provides educational, cultural and recreational programming to a 3,500 square mile service area with a population of 90,000. The college maintains three campuses in Saranac Lake, Malone and Ticonderoga, New York; an extensive high school-based academic partnership; and online course offerings. North Country Community College is part of the SUNY (State University of New York) system. With 64 unique colleges and universities, SUNY provides learning environments for every type of student, every stage of life, and every kind of passion. For more information, visit www.nccc.edu.