2:01 p.m., July 24, 2009----Students from the University of Delaware's Associate in Arts Program in Georgetown, Dover and Wilmington who are preparing to begin studies on the main campus took part in Transitions Day held Thursday, July 23, in Newark.
Parents and students gathered in the Multipurpose Rooms of the Trabant University Center to listen to opening remarks by program leaders, including George Watson, interim dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, and Maxine Colm, director of the Associate in Arts Program and assistant to the dean for special programs in the College of Arts and Sciences.
While addressing the students, Watson, who earned his Ph.D. from the University of Delaware in physics and has seven UD degrees in his family, said, “You are a product of the University of Delaware's strong commitment to Delaware and we are proud that you've chosen the University of Delaware for your education, as one of our guiding principles is Delaware first.”
“Today is all about making the next part of your academic journey successful,” Colm said. “It is about setting new goals, learning successful tips about how to succeed from students who have gone through the Associate in Arts Program and are now successful at the Newark campus, it's about talking to college representatives across the morning and learning about different programs and activities that are available ... all of this is before you this morning.”
Afterwards, the students went to Kirkbride Hall to attend a student panel at which former Transitions Day participants spoke about their experiences transitioning to the Newark campus, while the parents could attend a separate panel for the parents.
Katelyn Rowley, a senior who studied in the Associate in Arts Program in Dover and was helping students find their way around the campus, said she thinks the student panels were the most beneficial aspect of Transitions Day.
At the panels, Rowley said the transitioning students “really had a lot of time to ask any questions and talk about things that might cause them to have anxiety about coming up here. I think it was a good opportunity for them to talk to someone who was in their shoes just a few years ago.”
Zach Mitchell, a junior from Georgetown who plans to major in psychology and minor in philosophy, said he is excited about leaving home to come to the Newark campus for the opportunity to meet new people. Mitchell's parents also attended the University and Mitchell said that he “always wanted to go here.”
Maria Chavez, a student from the Wilmington campus, said she chose to attend the University of Delaware because “they have really great programs in my major,” and she added the in-state tuition is attractive. “Overall, it's a good University so I wouldn't understand why somebody wouldn't come here.”
Chavez also said Transitions Day was helpful both for getting to know the Newark campus and for the guidance provided by instructors who provided information on “what we had to do for our majors, and what classes we had to take.”
After she graduates, Chavez said she plans to remain at the University of Delaware to get her master's degree.
Dameia Boyer, who attended the Associate in Arts Program in Wilmington, said the program helped prepare her to make the move to the Newark campus. Boyer plans to study accounting and said she found Transitions Day of value for the information about various classes and professors.
Boyer also said she likes the fact that UD has very helpful and friendly professors.
Eric Bartkowski, a student from the Wilmington campus, said the Associate in Arts Program gave him “a good feel for what college is like; it's a good introductory experience.” Both of Bartkowski's parents attended UD and he said that Transitions Day helped him “feel better about coming here and learning what the classes will be like and what to expect.”
Before setting out on their own to explore the Newark campus, the students ate lunch with their parents and friends in the Trabant University Center, and were treated to a delicious ice cream dessert courtesy of the University of Delaware's UDairy Creamery.
Article by Adam Thomas
Photos by Ambre Alexander