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Students Are the SOL of Summer Orientation

Jay Scott is one of 31 Student Orientation Leaders welcoming freshmen to Bearcat Bound Orientation.

Date: 6/30/2008
By: Dawn Fuller
Phone: (513) 556-1823
Other Contact: Orientation Hotline
Other Contact Phone: (513) 556-2486
Photos By: Dottie Stover
Orientation Web site

Orientation Phone Number: 513-556-2486

Orientation e-mail: orientation@uc.edu

Jay Scott of Indianapolis remembers his own Bearcat Bound Orientation last summer, and the Student Orientation Leaders (SOLs, pronounced “souls”) who helped him prepare for his first year in college last fall. It was that experience that resulted in Scott’s own interest in becoming a SOL and welcoming new students to campus during Bearcat Bound Orientation June 30 through Aug. 7.

Jay Scott
Jay Scott

The job demands a great deal of preparation and dedication, as Scott, a business administration major, guides thousands of new students and their parents through the two-day orientation and stays in Siddall Hall along with the out-of-town students who spend the night on campus. The SOLs prepare for the job right up until orientation begins on June 30.

During Bearcat Bound Orientation, new students learn about the policies and procedures of the university as well as requirements for their individual programs of study. These students and their parents also plan for the student’s transition from high school to college, and learn about the many support programs for students as well as the hundreds of student organizations that can help them connect to campus.

“New students and their parents want to hear firsthand about the student experience at UC. Our SOLs are key to providing that information through sharing their own personal experiences. It’s an understatement to say that we couldn’t pull off New Student Orientation without them,” says Caroline Miller, senior associate vice president and associate provost for Enrollment Management.

Scott, a graduate of North Central High School in Indianapolis, says he first considered UC because the university was located away from home, but not too far away. He says the campus tour sealed his decision. “I found out about the co-op program which really got my attention – getting paid work experience while still being an undergrad. Also, I remember I got lost on campus, and someone walked me all the way from one end of campus to McMicken Circle. When I thought about people like that who would take all that time to help me out, I thought this was the university for me.”

Scott was a welcoming presence on campus before orientation ever got underway. He works as a student ambassador in the Visitor’s Center on the third floor of University Pavilion, assisting walk-ins with questions as well as answering admissions-related questions from parents and potential students calling in. He’s also a voluntary student tour guide through Bearcat ROAR (Recruitment Officers and Admissions Relations), a program that encourages tour guides to share their own experience about being a UC student with campus visitors.

Jay Scott

Scott recalls his own anxieties about being a new student, including being an out-of-state student and meeting new people, being on his own and keeping up his academic performance. “I had a ton of trouble managing my time effectively,” he says. “I’ll be suggesting to students that they need to develop a detailed schedule to keep them on task throughout the quarter.”

He adds that the college student also carries more responsibility than the high school student. They’re expected to be responsible for turning in assignments on time and knowing their deadlines. Scott also took advantage of support services for students, getting free math tutoring in the McMicken College of Arts and Sciences’ Math Learning Center, as well as the Learning Assistance Center in University Pavilion.

What’s the one thing, without a doubt, that a first-year student needs to do at UC?

“Oh, you have to go to Homecoming and experience everything, not just the game,” Scott says. “Go to the parade and see all of the marching bands. If you have to camp out for a ticket then camp out for a ticket.”

Once Bearcat Bound Orientation comes to an end, Scott will be back with the SOLs to greet incoming freshmen for Welcome Week, which begins with Convocation, the formal induction ceremony for new students, on Sept. 21.