Inside Rensselaer
Focus on: Navigating Rensselaer & Beyond
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Rensselaer’s first-year experience program was recently highlighted by U.S.News & World Report as a “Program to Look For.”

Starting classes, meeting peers, and exploring a new geographical region all at once can seem intimidating for many new college students.

But it doesn’t have to be that way — at least that’s what staffers in Rensselaer’s Office of the First-Year Experience (FYE) believe.

Created under The Rensselaer Plan in 2001, the program, Navigating Rensselaer & Beyond (NRB), began welcoming incoming, first-year students to campus early to allow them to participate in a series of events, team-building adventures, and festivities designed to lessen the stress and help make the transition to college life comfortable. The “Beyond” component of NRB represents the ideal that students will become familiar with the City of Troy and the Capital Region as well as the Rensselaer campus.

“The NRB program serves as an official continuation of the students’ orientation experience,” says Lisa Trahan, dean of the first-year experience and interim director of residence life. “The interactive events and activities encourage new students to make connections with their classmates, faculty, and staff, and to resources available on campus and in the local community — creating the springboard to help them excel and succeed throughout the first year.”

Rensselaer’s first-year experience program was recently highlighted by U.S.News & World Report as a “Program to Look For.” Aimed at encouraging students to build healthy and meaningful bonds with each other that will sustain them through four years of academically challenging coursework, the first-year experience initiative at Rensselaer includes programs such as the Tuesday Night Toolbox student success series, residence hall programming, and various academic student support initiatives offered by Rensselaer faculty, staff, and upperclass students.

Approximately 1,300 member of the Class of 2011 moved into residence halls and began the weeklong series of NRB programs on Aug. 21. The students came from across the country and abroad including the Bahamas, China, Denmark, Ecuador, India, South Korea, Taiwan, and Thailand. More than 115 programs were developed by Rensselaer students, faculty, and staff in a number of areas including the arts, culture, science, engineering, community service, and more.

The Institute officially welcomed the Class of 2011 on Aug. 24 with the annual greeting at the Approach on 8th Street. Rensselaer President Shirley Ann Jackson and other members of the Rensselaer community personally greeted and shook hands with each member of the Class of 2011 as they headed to downtown Troy. Immediately following the greetings at the Approach, Rensselaer hosted the annual Welcome Festival, a free community celebration at Troy’s Riverfront Park.

The NRB program culminated with the annual First-Year Convocation featuring remarks from members of the Rensselaer campus community including President Jackson, Robert J. Linhardt, the Ann and John H. Broadbent Jr. ’59 Senior Constellation Professor of Biocatalysis and Metabolic Engineering at Rensselaer, and Grand Marshal Julia Leusner.

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Send comments to:
Inside Rensselaer, Strategic Communications and External Relations
1000 Troy Building, 110 Eighth Street, Troy, N.Y. 12180 or to leibat@rpi.edu.
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Inside Rensselaer
Volume 1, Number 3, September 13, 2007
©2007 Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
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