With new fall schedules comes new student orientations

Sierra Nevada College is offering a different student orientation schedule starting in the fall of 2019. Instead of the longstanding two options offered in the past, Tahoe and Wilderness orientations, the college will offer three options for incoming students.

The new orientation schedules are being rolled out in tandem with the new academic schedule coming this fall. Instead of incoming students arriving on campus earlier than returning students, all students will participate in the two-week intensive block.

The three orientations all offer different areas of academic concentration, allowing incoming students to explore possible areas of study. Incoming students, whether they are freshman or transfer students, will take the orientation and receive three credits.

The orientation is two-phased immersion experience. The first phase has students spending a few days in the outdoors, and the second phase is workshops on campus. This orientation takes the place of the two-week block schedule at the beginning of the semester.

The orientations being offered include:

High Camp: Immerse yourself in the Sierra Nevada high country. This four-day backpacking expedition takes place in Tahoe’s Desolation Wilderness. Become stewards of the land.

River Camp: Explore the river-cut expanse of the Sierra Nevada foothills. Camp alongside the banks of the South Fork of the American River in Coloma, California. Practice sustainability-focused service-learning projects.

Base Camp: Find yourself cabin living at the Sagehen Creek. Tap into your creative center in a collaborative atmosphere that pushes you to express yourself. Harvest and prepare your own farm-to-table feast.

Traditionally, High Camp has been offered under the name Wilderness Orientation. High Camp will be led in part by Professor Rosie Hackett and Dean of Students Will Hoida, as well as by outdoor adventure leadership students.

River and Base camps will also be led in part by student leaders. The student leaders will participate as leaders, instead of attending the other two-week period of time options.

Another motivation for the new orientations is to immerse students in areas of academic interest. High Camp would be considered more ideal for students interested in outdoor adventure leadership or interdisciplinary studies as a major. River Camp, being led by professors Andy Rost and Justin Spees, are best for those interested in environmental science, sustainability, or business. Base Camp, led by professors Rick Parsons and Mary Kenny, are for those interested in the creative arts.

Will Hoida has played a major role in what was previously the Tahoe Orientation.

“I am personally very excited about the new orientation courses as they will allow all our incoming freshmen to have a multi- day immersive experience the second day they get to campus,” said Hoida.

“Looking at SNC students in the past who participated in a eld based group experience like Wilderness Orientation, we have seen first hand that these students come back to campus afterwards with a stronger group of new friends and have an easier time transitioning to college life,” said Hoida.

“That is why we wanted all incoming freshmen to have an experience like this but with options for them to choose a platform they are most comfortable with, i.e. backpacking (High Camp), tent camping (River Camp) or staying in a tent cabin (Base Camp),” Hoida added.