New Student Programs takes place of merged departments

 

First year students can expect a new experience at UW-Whitewater this year with the creation of the New Student Programs department.

The First Year Experience Program and Learning Communities have merged and newly hired Adrianna Guram will take the reins.

Guram was selected as director of the New Student Programs department over 50 other applicants. She was the student services coordinator at UW-Madison before taking this  newly created position.

Assistant Vice Chancellor for Enrollment and Retention Matt Aschenbrener oversaw the merging of the two departments.

“The departments were merged because I think they have very similar needs in serving first year students,” Aschenbrener said.

New Student Programs oversees freshmen student involvement in Learning Communities, First Year Experience, Plan It Purple Events, and Club U Dub-Dub.

“This is an important program at UW-Whitewater,” Aschenbrener said. “We need to be engaging first year students. Research proves that high impact programs help retention rates.”

Transfer students are also involved in New Student Programs through TRANSFERmation. It was designed to help transfer students adapt and make an easier transition onto campus, Aschenbrener said.

For over eight years, UW-Whitewater has offered programs that assist with student adaptation into campus life.

“Our office provides the first connecting point for students,” Guram said. “We offer peer mentors …  and our Learning Communities allow students to take classes together and live together.”

Jodi Straka, a Hawk Squad member, said she enjoyed Whitewater’s new student programs.

“I loved it,” Straka said. “I got involved with [LIT] right away, and I was in a learning community actually, and that started off my year great.”

Aschenbrener said Guram is doing a good job as the new director and gave praise to all those who work in and around New Student Programs.

“Of course the first year will always be a challenge,” Aschenbrener said. “But we have an amazing staff there.”

“The student staffs, graduate assistants and full time staff really care about students and about making sure they get connected on campus to other students and resources they need.”

 

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