UW Introduces New Student Onboarding Program | News

22 December 2021

First-time students will participate in the Saddle Up program, which provides an immersive college experience, both at UW and UW-Casper in August 2022. (UW Photo)

First-time students attending the University of Wyoming next fall will be “riding” for an exciting college experience.

In an effort to instill a sense of community and belonging early on, UW will unveil the Saddle Up program. The week-long list will give incoming students a realistic look at university life, with a focus on increasing student success rates.

What is that?

From August 14 to 19, 2022, Saddle Up will offer students an overview of the experience of a university semester, including participation in classes, homework, fitness and wellness time, connection time in college, study time and Essential Skills sessions. This program, compulsory for incoming students, will replace previous activities for incoming students such as Orientation or Cowboy Connect.

Participation in this experiment will earn students one hour of UW credit.

Who will participate?

The program is designed for first year students (freshmen or transfer students) at UW. It will begin with the freshman move-in event to residences on Sunday August 14, followed by a welcome dinner and the program launch. All participants will be split into small groups of eight students, known as “Poke Packs,” each including a current student who will serve as a mentor and coach.

Who will run the event?

Current UW students will provide mentoring and coaching throughout the week. These Poke Pack leaders will provide incoming students with advice on academic preparation, including note taking, time and course load management, exam preparation skills, and exploring academic and student support services. UW and experiential learning opportunities.

What about transfer students?

The elective transfer program will be held on Friday and Saturday August 19 and 20 and will focus on familiarizing new transfer students with UW resources. Students transferring to the Laramie campus are welcome to attend Friday activities for first-year students, but they will have programming specifically dedicated to their needs. Students transferring to the UW-Casper campus will have a curriculum tailored to their needs, including online programs to access special modules to become familiar with UW resources.

What is this going to accomplish?

Results from peer universities offering similar programs show that short academic preparation programs, designed to accelerate adjustment to college life, increase retention and academic success by providing students with low-stakes opportunities to build resilience. and their skills for success. Similar programs at peer institutions have resulted in an average 7-10% increase in retention rates from year one to year two; significant positive impacts on graduation rates and cumulative averages; greater student confidence and resilience; and reducing the achievement gap.

“This program will be transformative for our incoming students,” said Anne Alexander, vice-president of strategic planning and initiatives. “Thanks to Saddle Up, they will connect with other students; get to know the professors and staff of their colleges; get the chance to get used to being in a college classroom and the pace of work at UW; and strengthen their resilience and comfort with this new phase of their life. We know this program works and we are really excited to launch it this fall.

How to find out more?

Parents, prospective students, and incoming students can contact the UW Student Success and Graduation Hub at (307) 766-4858 or [email protected] A new Saddle Up website also offers more details.


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