Student studying together outdoors

Kickoff to fall semester

A key component to the Akron experience includes the kick-off to the fall semester and welcoming our students to campus. This coveted time is an important way to welcome new students to the University and celebrate the return of our Zips. This fall, welcome activities and student support services may appear different, but will not be limited in availability. In fact, they will allow for a more personal and individualized experience. With a heavy focus on the campus experience and student well-being, the Fall 2020 Planning Team has appointed a group of campus experts to ensure that support services are prepared and delivered to serve all students in multiple formats.  

Tasks being addressed include:

  • Determine how offices deliver support, services and engagement
  • Determine how campus activities will be delivered
  • Provide safety guidelines and resources to offices providing student services and support
  • Ensure student support and services are accessible in multiple scenarios

Campus activity planning

With a cross-section of representation from the Division of Student Affairs, a team of students and staff are working to design student services, engagement and programs for the upcoming term. Students should expect varied methods of program delivery, which will likely include a combination of face-to-face and virtual appointments, presentations, programs and campus activities. Small groups working collaboratively will have a strong presence in activities. Physical spaces (such as lounges, individual offices and waiting areas) will soon be redesigned to adhere to social distancing guidelines. Additional sanitation procedures and supply requests have begun to be communicated to the campus. The team has collected, and will continue to assess, individual office plans for providing services and support while adhering to recommendations related to group size, social distancing and physical space. 

Welcoming new Zips

While teams are working to design how student support will be delivered this fall, the New Student Orientation office has been busy welcoming new Zips this summer. With nearly a 93% show rate, incoming students are taking part in virtual orientation through Brightspace. This intricately designed process includes modules, virtual hangouts, pre-recorded content, live Q&A and family-focused online sessions. Once completed, students then meet with their assigned academic advisor for a virtual appointment to develop a class schedule and design their academic plan. From the comfort of their phone or laptop, students are learning about what it means to be a Zip and are being welcomed through virtual spaces such as WebEx, Brightspace and Zoom. 

The UA campus is very actively preparing for the arrival of our new and returning students. Stay tuned for updates in the weeks ahead.