There are more than 5,000 first-year students beginning programs next week. Before then, St. Clair is helping new students ease into their programs and college life with a number of informative orientation activities this week.
On Tuesday morning, St. Clair's old gym at the South Campus in Windsor was packed with eager first-year students.
"I really like the atmosphere here," said Shelby Tetford, one of the students who attended Tuesday's orientation. Tetford, who is from Newmarket, Ontario, is excited about living in residence this school year. She's entering the Social Service Worker program.
"I'm looking forward to learning new things and meeting new people," said Stephanie Hargrave, who is from Parry Sound, Ontario and is enrolled in the Pre-Health Sciences program. She, too, will be living in residence.
"I wanted a change, so that's why I came to St. Clair," explained Hargrave. "But I'm from a really small town, so I like the feel of St. Clair better than a college in a bigger city, like Ottawa."
St. Clair has more than 100 full-time programs. During the Orientation Sessions, a presentation is given to students explaining the many services and resources offered at St. Clair College. Students then break off into their different programs for a brief Academic Session led by faculty.
Before heading to his Academic Session, first-year Liberal Arts student Brendan LeBlanc's answer was short and sweet when asked what he's looking forward to most this school year: "Arguing." He said he's interested in taking part in debates in his philosophy class and is excited that St. Clair offers the opportunity for intellectual expression.
"I like the atmosphere here," said LeBlanc. "It seems like quite a fun school."
Amy Pelow, who is entering the Protection, Security and Investigation program, felt similar to LeBlanc.
"I like the vibe here," she said. "It's comfortable."
Pelow said being 23 years old, she got off to a bit of a late start beginning her college career. But she was happy to see so many people her age at Orientation on Tuesday.
"I like St. Clair College so far," said Pelow. "It seems like the right fit for me."
Laiman Ng, St. Clair College's Student Recruitment and Liaison Coordinator, said Orientation is a good time to get a head start on things like purchasing books, getting a parking pass, obtaining your student card, taking a tour or getting a locker. And it's a chance to beat the lineups of returning students who will be doing the same next week, she added.
The Academic Sessions at Orientation are very important, as this is an opportunity to meet the coordinators and faculty of your program, said Ng. These are the people you should turn to at the first sign of academic struggle, and there are many resources offered at St. Clair to help those having difficulties with their studies, she added.
"Orientation is a start of your career. It's an opportunity to meet your classmates who could be future colleagues, and could even be people that will hire you in the future," Ng said during Tuesday's Orientation. "You just never know, so just see it as your career starts with Orientation, not upon graduation."
Windsor's South Campus will host another Orientation Session on Wednesday, September 2 at 9:45 a.m.
St. Clair's Chatham Campus Orientations will be held Wednesday, September 2 and Thursday September 3 at 9:45 a.m.
The Downtown Campus Orientation is Thursday, September 3 at 2 p.m.
As the school year kicks off, here's a message to new students from Student Representative Council President Miranda Underwood: "As a recent St. Clair College graduate, I am excited to welcome this year's new Saints to campus. You have a busy few years ahead of you and time will fly by faster than you think. Have fun, create experiences, make friends, learn as much as you can and get involved!"
And for those studying in Chatham at the Thames Campus, here's a message to new students from Thames Student Incorporated President Danica Quenneville: "The first day of orientation has been a huge success! It was so exciting to meet so many new students. The best part is that we get to do it all over again tomorrow. The first week of school is going to be a blast! I can't wait for all of the new incoming students to get settled in and meet each other. TSI has worked hard all summer to prepare for this year and are anxious to share their plans! We want to wish everyone good luck this year and officially welcome you to St Clair College. You've made the right choice!"