UNC’s New Student Orientation is required for all first-year and transfer students. The Academic Support Program for Student-Athletes (ASPSA) and the Office of Student-Athlete Development provide transition and orientation programs designed specifically for student-athletes.
The Student-Athlete Academic Initiative Working Group identified and compiled recommendations from reports over the past several years and linked each report recommendation to 21 academic processes. Report Recommendations for Orientation and Summer Bridge
4.0 Orientation and Summer Programs
New Student and Carolina Parent Programs (NSCPP)
All first-year students at Carolina must attend one of 14 scheduled orientation sessions during the months of June and July (with make-up sessions in mid-August). Students register for Orientation after notification of their admission to UNC in January or March. Registration begins online in mid-February and remains open through May. Orientation is organized by the New Student and Carolina Parent Programs (NSCPP) within the Office of Student Affairs. It lasts two days for first-year students and one day for transfer students. See the NSCPP website for a detailed schedule.
Prior to Orientation and before registering for classes, students are required to complete an online advising training module.
Once at Orientation, students meet with an advisor from the College of Arts and Science Academic Advising Program (AAP) to go over their schedules and finalize their registration plans. Students also receive their laptop computers, attend seminars on leadership and learning opportunities, and participate in activities fairs and social events. The NSCPP provides a checklist for first-year students as they navigate their first few weeks and months on campus. Orientation programs for students’ families are offered as well.
After completing Orientation, students register for courses on the following Wednesday.
4.1 Orientation Groups
Like all UNC students, student-athletes are required to attend Orientation and participate in all Orientation activities. The ASPSA works with both coaches and student-athletes to communicate this requirement. Exceptions are made for student-athletes who may not yet be admitted (e.g., international students) or may be competing during the summer months. Students are placed in Orientation groups based on their intended academic major for advising purposes, not based on their athletics programs.
The Orientation session that falls just prior to Summer Session II enrolls the largest group of student-athletes because they have recently arrived to take summer classes. The ASPSA contacts the NSCPP office in advance of Orientation to hold spots for student-athletes in this session. It is common for student groups, such as the Chancellor’s Science Students (approximately 15-20) and Summer Bridge students (approximately 60) to participate in Orientation together as groups, such as the Chancellor’s Science Students (approximately 15-20 students) and Summer Bridge students (approximately 60).
Transfer students attend their own Orientation, held during the summer prior to fall semester.
Spring admits also attend their own Orientation, held in early January of the spring semester.
4.2 Orientation Fee
The Orientation fee for student-athletes who receive a full athletics grant-in-aid is paid for by the Department of Athletics, and payment is coordinated between the Athletics Department and the NSCPP. Fees associated with attendance by the student-athletes parents or legal guardians are not covered by Athletics grant-in-aid.
For some sports, ASPSA Counselors guide student-athletes through the process of signing up for Orientation, including how to have the fee waived. For other sports, an assistant coach may assist in this process.
4.3 Summer Sessions
Many incoming student-athletes arrive on campus for Summer Session II (late June – late July) to begin their studies. Attending Summer School helps student-athletes adjust to campus and academic life, particularly if their sport has a fall season. Further, enrollment in Summer School often helps students adjust to residence hall life, university level academic work and participating in athletics at the collegiate level all at the same time. By starting their academic work in the summer, student-athletes may be able to take a reduced course load (4 rather than 5 courses) during their competitive season. They also begin earning course credits and making progress toward their degrees. While attending Summer Session II is not a requirement of admission for student-athletes, it is strongly recommended by some coaches and helps some student-athletes maintain both UNC and NCAA eligibility, as well as progress towards graduation. Approximately 50-60 incoming student-athletes attend Summer School each year.
The NCAA requires student-athletes who receive athletics aid in the summer prior to their initial full-time enrollment to be enrolled in a minimum of six hours of academic course work (other than physical education activity courses) that is acceptable degree credit toward any of the institution’s degree programs. While most student-athletes will complete the 6 credit hours, it is permissible for a student-athlete to drop a course during the Summer Session drop period. Student-athletes taking only 3 credit hours are encouraged to participate in academic transition programming with the ASPSA, which provides further orientation to the first-year experience.
4.4 Academic Workshops and Summer College Opportunities for Realizing Educational Success (SCORES)
4.4.1 Academic Workshops
The ASPSA provides academic workshops for all incoming student-athletes during the summer prior to their first semester at Carolina. Workshop topics include academic expectations, exploring a major, study skills and Honor Court.
Summer 2015 Academic Success Workshop Schedule and Attendance
Workshop Series #1: Classroom Expectations Panel and Writing Center Workshop
- Date: June 26, 2015
- Description: Students are split into two groups and rotate between two 45-minute presentations. For the Classroom Expectations Panel, students attend a panel discussion on classroom participation, classroom behavior and tips for academic success and relationship building with professors. The panel consists of at least two professors and two student-athletes For the Writing Center workshop, students attend an interactive presentation led by a staff member from the Writing Center. The students learn proper citation rules, styles and usage and are introduced to a valuable campus resource.
- Percentage of incoming student athletes who attended: 54/56 (96.4%)
Workshop Series #2: Best Studying Practices Workshop
- Date: July 10, 2015
- Description: Students participate in an interactive workshop led by Dr. Jeannie Loeb from the Department of Psychology. She presents the latest research on the most effective ways to study and prepare for tests and to retain information. She leads a discussion with the students in which they evaluate how effectively they study and how they can improve their study habits and test taking strategies.
- Percentage of incoming student athletes who attended: 52/56 (92.8%)
Workshop Series #3: Honor Court Presentation and Library Services Workshop
- Date: July 17, 2015
- Description: Students are split into two groups and rotate between two 45-minute presentations. For the Honor Court Presentation, students attend a presentation led by a staff member from the Office of Student Conduct. Students are introduced to the Honor System at UNC and learn about academic integrity and the university policies and processes that govern academic conduct. For the Library Services workshop, students attend an interactive presentation led by two staff members from University Libraries . The students learn about the importance of proper research techniques and introduced to the services offered by UNC libraries including their satellite office located in the Loudermilk Center for Excellence.
- Percentage of incoming student athletes who attended: 51/56 (91.07%)
Overall Summer 2015 workshop attendance: 93.4%
4.4.2 Summer College Opportunities for Realizing Educational Success (SCORES)
SCORES is a first-year experience workshop organized by the Department of Athletics for first-year football student-athletes. It includes seminars on academic expectations, exploring a major, Honor Court, budgeting, NCAA Compliance, public safety and community service. SCORES seminars take place on Wednesdays and Fridays throughout Summer Session II. No course credit is given for participation in SCORES. (See also Process 18.4)
In operation since summer 2006, SCORES is designed and implemented by the Department of Athletics Student-Athlete Development office, along with the ASPSA, to prepare student-athletes for academic and athletic life at UNC.
4.5 UNC Summer Bridge
UNC’s Summer Bridge is a six-week academic program available to all entering first-year students, including student-athletes. Summer Bridge aims to help students make the transition from high school to college. Summer Bridge typically enrolls incoming first-year students from small/rural high schools in North Carolina that may lack AP or other college preparatory courses. However, any student who has been admitted to UNC and plans to enroll in the fall semester may apply. Students in the program, offered during Summer Session II, take two courses and can earn up to 6.0 hours of credit.
Course selections include:
- English 100 – English Composition and Rhetoric (prerequisite to Engl 105)
AND one of the following:
- Math 110 – algebra
- Math 130 – pre-calculus
- Math 118 – special topics in mathematics
- Chem 101 – general descriptive chemistry (must have placed out of Math 110, based on SAT M score)
Generally few student-athletes attend Summer Bridge because the lock-step Summer Bridge schedule provides little flexibility and generally does not allow absences. The Summer Bridge schedule frequently conflicts with student-athletes’ summer team activities, which, in turn, would interfere with these student-athletes undertaking the full range of Summer Bridge activities.