COPY-EDITOR

Business Memo - In-Class Assignment

TO: Lea Palmeno, Events Planner and Assistant to the Dean, Office of the Dean

 

FROM: Elise Zhang, College of Communications, Graduate Student

 

DATE: October 18, 2018

 

SUBJECT: Graduate Program Welcome Day Proposal

 

Following one of the objectives of DePaul University’s 5-year strategic plan (2019-2024): to create an inclusive and engaging experience for all students, the graduate registration procedure for the College of Communication needs to be optimized.  Different from DePaul’s undergraduate welcome week, graduate students at the College of Communication currently do not have an official orientation day for newcomers to get involved in both the program and the campus.  At the start of the quarter, all graduate students receive a welcome email from their advisor that listed out most of the related information as a guide.  However, more than 50% of the entering graduate students said that they only got to know DePaul and the College of Communication after the program started - and approximately 75% of them are still confused about the resources that they may utilize.

Therefore, a face-to-face welcome/orientation day is necessary.  Also, effective networking can be embedded at the beginning of the program because of the unique value that alumni and faculty provide students at the College of Communication.

 

General Orientation Session

All graduate programs under the College of Communication need to provide informational orientation sessions each quarter before classes begin, especially to those who did not study in DePaul for undergrad.  The general orientation should include:

  • An integrated introduction of DePaul and the College of Communication

  • Academic platforms guide – campus connect and D2L

  • Student life – student ID, Upass, student accounts, and financial aid

 

All of the above information provides new students with a comprehensive understanding of DePaul and the College of Communication. This helps them, especially those who have been in the workplace for a long while, to accommodate graduate school life more effectively.

 

Personalized Orientation Session

The academic informational orientation session, which is tailored to the specialty of each program, should also be held after the general orientation session.  Even though students have various background and preferences for their course selections, a professional tour of courses available would benefit students in planning their graduate academic path.  The following list shows the major parts that should be included:

  • Faculty introduction – the dean, program directors, and professors

  • Courses and credits – course selections, outside elective, and internship

  • Showcase of professional co-curricular activities

 

Moreover, knowing other new students in the program builds a sense of empathy and creates strong connections between newcomers at the beginning of their graduate study life.

 

Networking Event

To emphasize one of the core values of the College of Communication, a cocktail networking event after all of the orientations brings the new students to the social life – the key activity of communication - and offer a chance for them to blend in.  Given the platform for alumni, faculty, guests, and students, this networking event allows these familiar faces to stay connected and to keep each other updated that may benefit future work and study.

 

Conclusion

Orientations held every academic year in DePaul, but the personalized professional orientation for the College of Communication is unique.  The general orientation session, personalized orientation session, and the networking event make up the engaging and professional Welcome Day for the College of Communication.  The event could be set up in the south-west conference corner on the 18th floor at the day before each quarter starts. Karin Winters could be the candidate of the host since she takes the position of the Assistant Director of Graduate Student Services Advising.

 

Please reply before Oct 31, 2018, to ensure there is sufficient time for preparation of the first Welcome Day for the upcoming winter quarter.

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