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 the last session the week before the fall semester begins in August. Students register for Orientation after notification of their admission to UNC in January or March. Registration begins online in late March 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.
At the beginning of May, admitted students also complete an Academic Interest Survey. Based on the results of this survey, the College of Arts and Science Academic Advising Program (AAP) pre-registers all students for two courses in the fall semester.
Once at Orientation, students meet with an advisor from the 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.
Student-athletes attending Orientation, meet with academic counselors from the Academic Support Program for Student-Athletes (ASPSA) on the morning of Day 2 during the interest sessions. All student-athletes attend a brief presentation and then meet individually or in small groups with their ASPSA academic counselors.
After completing Orientation, students register for courses during a predetermined date in July grouped by the sessions attended. Students attending the last session in August register for courses in late July prior to attending Orientation. Transfer students can register for classes as soon as their enrollment in fall semester is activated.
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. 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.
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 prior to the start 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 academic 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 75-90 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 three hours of academic course work (other than physical education activity courses) that is acceptable degree credit toward any of the institution’s degree programs.
4.4 Summer Transition Program
4.4.1 Summer Academic Programming
The ASPSA provides academic programming for all summer incoming student-athletes during the summer prior to their first semester at Carolina. Students attend two days of weekend workshops and work with their academic counselor on pre-designated transition skills. Topics covered include effective college communication skills, strengths identification, exposure to campus resources, study skills and student-athlete well-being. Students also take the Focus 2 career and education assessment and attend a meeting to go over their results.
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 programming on sexual assault prevention, budgeting, etiquette, public safety and community service. SCORES seminars take place on Wednesdays throughout Summer Session II. No course credit is given for participation in SCORES. (See also Process 18.1.1)
- In operation since summer 2006, SCORES is designed and implemented by the Department of Athletics Student-Athlete Development office to prepare student-athletes for 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.