Freshman Connection‘ helps students adjust

By Jayna Ronayne

All freshman students are now eligible to enroll in a program that used to be restricted to a certain few, which helps them adjust to college life.

Offered by the Interdisciplinary College of Professional Studies, “The Freshman Connection” program helps new students with everything from study habits to making friends.

The first part of the program, the ICPS 101 class, was formerly offered only to those within the Professional Studies program, but is now offered to any freshman entering the university.

Sandy Kuchynka, academic counselor for the College of Professional Studies, said the enrollment turnout was very high.

“A record number of students applied for the class, just over 460,” she said.

Kuchynka also said the one-credit-hour elective course was designed to help freshman students adjust to college.

“The objective of the class is to show the students how to utilize time management,” Kuchynka said. “We show them how to deal with note taking, test taking, study skills and even a little career exploration.”

A second part of the ICPS’ hope of adjusting freshmen to NIU is the mentoring project, a more informal program designed to connect students one-on-one with a faculty member.

Ken Reeves, coordinator of the mentoring project, said about 25 percent of incoming freshmen wanted to be in either the course or the mentoring project.

“There was a very good turnout with freshmen wanting to participate in one part or the other,” he said.

As for the outcome of the program, Reeves said that those students he has talked to “have said very positive things about the program.”