PULLMAN, Wash. – The largest freshman class in Washington State University history is expected to hit the books in August. But first, the students need to sign up for classes, get their ID cards and learn their way around the Pullman campus.
 
The Alive! two-day orientation answers questions, helps parents check out WSU in-depth and starts the process of student engagement.
 
Terese King, director of New Student Programs, said Alive! is critical to students’ future at WSU.
 
“It is one of our first opportunities to talk to students about the academic expectations of the university,” she said. “Once the student attends the program, we lose less than one percent … so it’s one of our best retention efforts.”
 
Because of the record class size anticipated for fall 2011, King said a 13th orientation session was added this summer. But more staff and workers were brought in to keep registration groups to a manageable 10 or 11 freshmen.
 
King said she is encouraged by the increasing number of parents attending Alive! every year, a trend she expects will continue.