PULLMAN, Wash. — More than 2,000 new students and 1,500 parents are expected to attend eight orientation sessions as part of Washington State University’s Alive! program this summer.

Freshman sessions will start on June 17, June 24, June 28, July 12, July 18, July 22 and July 26. The transfer session is set to begin on July 8. Sessions take place over two and a half days and 300 students can attend each session. The first three sessions are already fully booked but students can still make reservations for the remaining sessions until July 4.

Terese Ostrowski, director of New Student Programs, said the focus of the program is to help students with their transition from high school to college. Parents get information about resources on campus that can help students succeed, she said.

The program also hopes to improve the retention rate of new students. Research over the last three years shows the average retention rate of new students to the university is 86 percent on the10th day of the new semester. However, 98.6 percent of students that took part in Alive! are still at the university on the 10th day. “The university loses only 1 percent of students who attend the program. This shows that making the connection adds to the retention rate of students,” Ostrowski said.

Participants receive individualized attention from student counselors and attend several workshops as part of the program. In addition to academic advising and help with the registration process, students take a two-hour campus tour and get information on financial matters, living options and technology on campus. They also complete the math and writing placement tests.

Counselors present a series of skits to help students with their transition to college life. Typical problem situations for new students, like homesickness, long-distance relationships and conflicts with roommates, are acted out in dramatic scenes. Students also attend a variety show.

A total of 2,300 freshman and transfer students attended Alive! last year. More than 80 percent of the freshman class attended the program.

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