Campus Life

University of Lethbridge rolls out the welcome mat for students

The fall semester gets underway with the first day of classes on Sept. 9 but before that, students will receive a big welcome to campus through New Student Orientation (NSO) on Sept. 7 and 8.

NSO serves as a launch pad for the 2015-2016 academic year, offering new students and families information on everything from learning strategies to living away from home, budgeting, campus tours and a scavenger hunt. Media are welcome to attend NSO and the full schedule can be found online.

NSO gives students the chance to meet new friends before the fall semester officially starts.

On Monday, the Commencement ceremony delivers an official welcome to the U of L at 9:30 a.m. in the 1st Choice Savings Centre. Commencement was created to help students mark the start of their post-secondary education. Students who attend will receive a commemorative coin that signifies their membership in the U of L student community. Guest speaker Janelle Pritchard (BN ’12), founder of Uphill Both Ways, will talk about her experience as a U of L student and how it led her to create a non-profit organization that has helped hundreds of people in Nepal. Pritchard is available for media interviews at the conclusion of Commencement at 10:30 a.m.

Students are invited back to the 1st Choice Savings Centre gym Tuesday morning at 9:30 a.m. for the First Lecture delivered by Nicholas Hanson, a drama professor. He’ll be letting students in on the expectations of students and professors, rights and responsibilities in and out of the classroom, and strategies to ensure a successful first year.

“We are excited to welcome both new and returning students to the U of L this fall,” says Dr. Andy Hakin, U of L provost and vice-president (academic). “We are launching several new programs in September and our enrolment numbers are strong across the institution.”

Approximately 2,030 new students will be starting their post-secondary studies at the U of L’s campuses in Lethbridge and Calgary, with newly graduated high school students showing enrolment growth.

“Our projections show that we’re going to have higher enrolment than last year, likely in the neighbourhood of a 1.5- to 2.5-per cent increase,” says Dr. Judith Lapadat, associate vice-president (students).

The projections include an increase in the number of First Nations, Métis and Inuit and international students.

In the Faculty of Arts & Science, interest in the Pre-Engineering Program, relaunched this fall, has been strong with 31 students registered as of Sept. 1. Also, a Pre-Nursing Pathways program, with 72 students registered, begins this semester. The global citizenship cohort, where students take a series of five courses together centred on the themes of water, sustainability and social justice, also starts in September.

In Health Sciences, the Post-Diploma Bachelor of Therapeutic Recreation will be launched in September with full enrolment. The fall session also brings a new non-clinical major in aboriginal health that builds on the U of L’s strength in public health, and the launch of a Master of Nursing program.

The Faculty of Education is now accepting applications for a new doctoral program that will begin in July 2016. The launch of the research-oriented and practice-focused program is the realization of a long-held dream within the faculty. Other initiatives include finding ways to connect with future education students during their first two years on campus and a review of the placement process for professional semesters. Plans are also in the works for a new counselling lab.

This year, the U of L is launching Orientation Encore, a six-week program that builds on NSO to help new students transition to university life. A series of free, hour-long lectures will be offered weekly from Sept. 16 to Nov. 4 to give students information on topics like how to be a successful student, ways to get involved in campus life, how to manage their time and strategies to reduce exam anxiety.