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SU’s ReadySet focuses new students’ attention on critical issues
SU’s ReadySet focuses new students’ attention on critical issuesJuly 16, 2007Carol K. Masiclatclkim@syr.edu
As they enter Syracuse University, new first-year and transfer students must focus their attention on several critical issues that determine the success of their first year. To accomplish this, the ReadySet, a family of new publications and websites, began distribution in June. The program will culminate in August, launching students into Syracuse Welcome 2007, the University’s award-winning new-student orientation program.
“As Syracuse University ascends toward world-class status, our new community members’ first impression of us should be as first-rate as the University itself,” says Barry L. Wells, senior vice president and dean of student affairs. “The ReadySet collaboration has created an introduction to SU that is inclusive and diverse, energetic and thoughtfully organized.”
The backbone of the ReadySet is an organizing container and five folios containing topically related information. The folios, sent every few weeks during the summer, work with the organizing container to help students navigate and respond to information in a timely fashion.
Set 1: Getting Started guides students through time-sensitive matters, including activation of NetID accounts, requesting accommodations from the Office of Disability Services, uploading a photo for an SU I.D. card, and understanding Bursar’s Office policies. For international students, who receive Set 1 via airmail, a checklist of immigration-related tasks is included.
Set 2: Taking Care of Business helps students make curriculum-appropriate choices of computers and software; enroll in insurance programs; and choose from offerings of units including Food Services, Health Services and the SU Bookstore.
Set 3: Smart and Successful Living introduces students to services, resources and opportunities that help students make the most of their SU experience. It contains information on Hendricks Chapel and opportunities for involvement in student life, as well as welcome messages from the Office of Alumni Relations and other units.
Set 4: Transitioning to SU helps students prepare for their arrival with information on roommate and housing assignments, resources for transfer and commuter students, and an update on orientation events for parents. The New Student Orientation Schedule and Handbook are included in Set 4.
Set 5: Go! Syracuse Welcome is distributed to students on their arrival. Led by a welcome from Chancellor and President Nancy Cantor, Set 5 contains information on Syracuse Welcome events in downtown Syracuse, the Pulse performing arts program, Syracuse University Library, exhibitions at The Warehouse and volunteer opportunities.
Existing resources for students and families have been adapted to work in concert with the ReadySet. Chief among these are the Parents Handbook, which now shares design and navigation elements of the ReadySet.
The ReadySet replaces the University’s past system for co-curricular summer mailings. The Division of Student Affairs has led the University-wide effort to create the ReadySet, based on the 2004 recommendations of a summer communications committee led by Dean David Rubin of the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and David C. Smith, vice president for enrollment management. Smith and Rubin’s committee called for summer communications to be branded, held to high standards, systematically guided and implemented in phases.
The approach, planning and execution of the ReadySet have been guided by an advisory group of students, senior faculty and staff. Student participants created the program’s name to appeal to new students. The visual identity was created by 315 Design. The Office of Admissions, the Word Processing and Bulk Distribution Center, Auxiliary Services and the Office of Publications have provided critical logistical support.
The 2007 effort is focused on co-curricular and administrative mailing. Academic mailings, mail registration and other curricular mailings continue to be handled by their sponsoring academic units.
“It is vital that we promote new students’ early understanding of Scholarship in Action and that we prepare students to effectively navigate the broad spectrum of issues they will face in their first year,” says Matthew R. Snyder, director of communications and media relations for student affairs. “The ReadySet is inspired by best practices in the field and specifically tailored to our students’ needs. Our students will be the beneficiaries of University-wide expertise and collaboration that are uniquely SU’s.”
For more information, contact Snyder at (315) 443-7082 or firstname.lastname@example.org.