Durham College’s fall Orientation goes virtual

Durham College (DC) is excited to welcome new and returning domestic and international students for the fall semester. The start of this academic year has meant some of the college’s time honoured traditions have been adapted to accommodate online learning and limited access to campus, but our DC students have embraced the change to make us proud.

One tradition that took on a digital twist was Orientation, which was offered virtually for the first time ever. With the goal of helping new students successfully transition to college, this year’s Orientation featured a variety of online academic and social events designed to help students become acquainted with their new program, make connections with faculty and fellow students, and become part of the DC community.

Festivities began with a drive-through style Orientation swag bag pick-up event, with the festivities officially kicking off on September 8 with virtual program sessions. Students gathered via Google Meet to hear from faculty and learn more about what to expect this fall. An online Services Fair offered students the opportunity to learn about the various supports available at DC.

Programs offered included Start Strong, which helps students develop a foundation for success both in and out of the classroom, and PREP 1000, the college’s free preparatory course that helps learners become familiar with DC Connect and shares other valuable information so new students can confidently begin the year. This year more than 1,500 students attended Start Strong and 3,500 accessed PREP 1000.

However, it wouldn’t be Orientation without some social time. Activities included a virtual extra-curricular fair, eSports reigned supreme during the 12th Annual Campus Cup Soccer Match, which saw the Durham Lords go toe-to-toe against Ontario Tech’s Ridgebacks soccer team in FIFA live (congrats to the Ridgebacks on their win), and DCSI Fest 2020. Hosted by Durham College Students Inc., the independent student association representing all DC students, this online celebration included concerts, virtual field trips and guest speakers.

DC’s International Student Orientation welcomed students with online mini-modules on immigration, housing, arrivals, and more, to help students settle into Canada and successfully start their journeys at DC.

With great participation in the various sessions and activities, Orientation 2020 was an excellent start to the fall semester.