New Student Orientation at UMSL

Adnan Smajic, a student pursuing a master’s degree in psychology and a student adviser for New Student Orientation at UMSL, talks with a prospective student during NSO on June 6. (Photo by August Jennewein)

When Emma Daus was a student at Rosati-Kain High School in St. Louis, she attended Extreme IT Summer Academy at the University of Missouri–St. Louis. She credits the camp with helping her make a decision about where to go to college.

“That camp was really fun, and the people at UMSL were so nice,” Daus said. “Then I received an Opportunity Scholarship and visited the campus a lot for interviews. I knew then UMSL was for me.”

Daus was one of more than 175 students on campus last week for New Student Orientation. There are six more orientation sessions remaining for new students this summer.

NSO is a one-day, mandatory program designed to help incoming students make a comfortable transition to university life at UMSL. All first-time freshmen and students with 30 or less transferable credit hours must attend orientation. Transfer students applying to UMSL can attend one of three Transfer Tuesday half-day sessions offered on campus.

Family members are invited to orientation sessions. They attend some meetings with their students and other meetings dealing with issues such as the benefits and costs of a university education, campus life and helpful tips for supporting an emerging adult child.

April Sanders attended NSO with her son, Justin, who also gave several reasons for choosing UMSL. He will be attending the Pierre Laclede Honors College and living on campus thanks to several scholarships.

“And it’s just a really good fit for him,” Sanders said. “Our daughter goes to a much bigger university, and that’s not what he wanted. UMSL’s classes are small and he’s close enough to home to visit often.”

Dave Guntli was eating lunch with his daughter, Anna, who has already decided on a career in Optometry. UMSL’s pre-professional honors program in optometry allows students to complete their undergraduate and professional studies in seven years through the Pierre Laclede Honors College and UMSL’s College of Optometry.

“I like Anna’s choice because the tuition is much more affordable than other schools,” Guntli said. “My two brothers graduated from here. And it’s kind of nice to have her close to home for a while longer.”

Samuel Choe graduated from Parkway Central High School in Chesterfield, Mo., and is enrolled in the Pre-Med program. Proximity dominated his reasoning for attending UMSL.

“It’s close to home, which means I’ll be close to some of my friends at Mizzou, and I can visit them,” Choe said. “And I’m very active in my church and didn’t want to leave that.”

Visit New Student Programs for details on orientation, Transfer Tuesdays, the upcoming Family Weekend and Weeks of Welcome in August.

Maureen Zegel

Maureen Zegel

Eye on UMSL: Tending the gardens

Biology student James Ott and Sustainable Energy & Environmental Coordinator Katy Mike Smaistrla pull weeds last week in the native gardens north of the Recreation Wellness Center.