Getting to know Rowan: University to welcome freshmen, family members to campus for Orientation

Rowan University will welcome 1,300 freshmen--and 558 family members--to campus during four Orientation sessions this month.

Rowan University will welcome 1,300 freshmen--and 558 family members--to campus during four Orientation sessions this month.

The two-day sessions will be held June 20-21, 22-23, 26-27 and 28-29. During that time, members of the Class of 2016 will stay overnight in residence halls as they become acclimated to campus.

Meanwhile, parents and family members will attend concurrent Orientation sessions designed to provide them with information they need to help their students make smooth transitions to the University.

During Orientation, freshmen will have the opportunity to get to know the campus and its services, meet with an academic adviser, plan class schedules, meet other members of their class, register for classes, and even smile for their Rowan ID card photo.

They'll be led by the Peer Referral and Orientation Staff (PROs), 36 Rowan students trained to assist them with their transition to the University.

"My favorite part of working on Orientation is working with our student leaders," says Andrew Tinnin, director of Orientation and Student Leadership Programs. "They speak from experience. They make the students feel at ease. They tell the students, ‘I was able to succeed here. I love Rowan. And these are the reasons why.'"

For the first time this year, four PROs have been assigned exclusively to assist parents as well, Tinnin says.

"All four of the students expressed an interest in working with parents. The PROs will discuss many of the University's resources and services so that parents are informed. We help parents understand how to appropriately help their student succeed."

Members of the PROs are hired each January and receive training throughout the spring. Many have been PROs in previous years.

"It's a very thorough training process," Tinnin says.

Second-year PRO Joseph Perella, a senior biology major from Bridgeton, worked with students last year, but volunteered to be a parent leader this year.

"I saw last year that we did a really good job with the students during Orientation, but I felt we could have provided more assistance to the parents," Perella says. "I like that our work this year has a lot of potential to make the Orientation experience more pleasant for parents, too."

According to Tinnin, even with four Orientation sessions, some students can't make it to campus. For the first time this year, the University is offering an online Orientation session to students.

"We expect 300 students to take the online version. It's for students who absolutely can't make it to campus," Tinnin says.