• By Praise Okunbor

Minot State welcomes new students

Minot State student orientation leaders. Submitted photo.

On Jan. 10, the Academic Support Center and Office of Enrollment Services joined hands to once again welcome new students to the Minot State community. According to Katie Tyler from enrollment services, 128 students enrolled this semester and 82% percent are transfer students. They were officially welcomed by the school’s president, Dr. Steven Shirley, at the Minot State Conference Center during orientation, a school tradition that introduces new students to information and resources available at the university.

“The topics we cover during orientation are based on what they can have issues with, like using Blackboard, financial aid, and things they need to know — like how to pay tuition. We really try to cover all the things we feel are important for our new students to understand about being in college," Sal Rodriguez said.

Rodriguez works for the Office of Enrollment Services as an admissions counselor.

“Our office hosts prospective students, whether they’re high school seniors or juniors or transfer students. We welcome them and organize events where they can engage with different departments. We are welcoming arms here,” Rodriguez added.

The aim of these programs is to equip new students with information and introduce them to resources they need to begin their journey at Minot State.

Erymell Mateo, a transfer student and a nursing major, agrees that this event is serving its purpose. He is also an international student with an associate degree in medical sciences.

“I’ve been in two different schools in the Dominican Republic and one in Florida, and Minot State stands out,” Mateo said. “There are a lot of different activities, and it’s good because you get to meet other new students and make friends. By the time you are done with the program, you can move around campus with ease.”

Some changes have been going into the orientation program over the years. For almost a decade, Beth Odahlen, Academic Support Center director, has been working with new student orientation and she’s a part of this change.

“We looked for the best practices in orientation for new students, transfer students, and online students, and then we created a group on campus to make changes. We looked at what we really needed, and there was a big change in programming orientation," Odahlen said.

“I’m proud of the program we have developed and how we have really implemented student leaders into that process,” Odahlen said.

Students who lead orientation groups are trained by the university to lead icebreaker activities, assist new students with registration, and provide them with other information.

“I really like making students feel comfortable and helping them find their classes, and I get to see a happy, smiley face around campus that I recognize," added Collen Urlaub, an orientation leader studying music education.

Orientation leader positions are currently open to students. It is an opportunity for students to get a unique leadership experience. This position is paid and applications can be sent to Beth Odahlen at beth.odahlen@MinotStateU.edu.

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