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UC Berkeley revamps Golden Bear orientation

By Christopher Merchant

UC Berkeley’s revamped and revitalized Golden Bear Orientation is the latest development in a storied tradition of welcoming new undergraduate students and their families and supporters to campus.

New student orientation provides the spark to invigorate a student’s years at Berkeley, inspire them to explore their passions, to encourage them to understand the meaning of being a Berkeley student — and, of course, it’s a great chance to have some fun.
Our new orientation model has some modernized features including sections on online prepping, advising, and enrolling, as well as on-campus activities that will engage students academically and connect them socially

Golden Bear Orientation takes off from what, for many years, we fondly called Cal Student Orientation (CalSO). For about 50 years, our campus held new student orientation via CalSO during the summer before fall semester begins.

Over the past year, university leadership, including administration and faculty, have engaged in discussion about the undergraduate experience, and, specifically, the role of new student orientation. The outcome resulted in changing our approach to welcoming new undergraduates to UC Berkeley.

Beginning in fall 2017, we will host one comprehensive and lengthy orientation for incoming students shortly before the start of classes, as opposed to shorter summer sessions that were held under the CalSO model.

We also plan to recruit and train more than 1,000 student leaders, which is a win-win both for incoming and current students.
Ultimately, the new Golden Bear Orientation model seeks to provide our new Golden Bears with one common experience, nurture a sense of belonging, harness new technologies and adapt to changing needs, and lay the foundation for each student to build a strong intellectual identity.