In an effort to ensure first-year students have efficient academic and social transitions, the University of Wisconsin Center for First-Year Experience Advisory Committee proposed changes to summer programs during two recent meetings.

The CFYE Advisory Committee organizes campus-wide, first-year-student summer programs such as Student Orientation, Advising and Registration, Transfer SOAR and Wisconsin Welcome to introduce new students to life on a college campus, member of the CYFE Committee and UW freshman Jasmine Savoy said.

Savoy added to guarantee these current programs are beneficial to all students, the committee went through a review process at recent meetings to offer proposals on how to improve the existing program.

“All of the ideas are only ideas, and nothing is final or even in the process,” Savoy said. “The goal of these ideas is to solicit feedback from students and faculty alike.”

Some of the changes under review for eventual institution are the removal of discussion of campus-life issues and an emphasis on academic advising and enrollment during the summer sessions. Instead, information on social aspects of campus life would be provided through University Housing educational programs in the fall, Savoy said.

Savoy added transfer orientation programs would increase in academic structure, while summer parent programs would focus more on transition issues rather than on detailed information about student life.

“Also, we would like to see the development of more online components for pre-orientation, such as Interest Exploration and Academic Information provision,” Savoy said.

Possible additions to the Wisconsin Welcome program include large presentations followed by small-group discussion in residence halls and a structured first-week program series based on the Wisconsin Experience, Savoy said.

The committee has given a total of 10 presentations so far to student groups, as well as to faculty and staff, to facilitate discussion on these propositions, Assistant Director for the Center for the First-Year Experience Carren Martin said.

“While it has not been consistent, there has been much interesting feedback regarding whether or not to change the length of the summer programs,” Martin said.

Under the new model, summer programs would either be reorganized into a two-day program incorporating advising components on both days or into a one-day program consisting almost entirely of advising and enrollment, Savoy said.

Savoy added both students and faculty can provide their input and share their opinions by posting comments on the Associated Students of Madison Shared Governance blog.

“After receiving as much feedback as possible from students and faculty, the committee will draft a proposal of the new orientation model to present to Provost DeLuca and the Dean of Students Office in the fall of 2010,” Martin said.

Martin added while all of the programs this summer will remain the same as the previous, the new changes could be instituted by the summer of 2011 if they are not too drastic.

If the alterations do end up to be more extensive, and therefore require a greater amount of preparation, they might not be introduced until future years, Martin said.