Over 300 incoming first-years joined us for #CondorFest, a full-day college orientation workshop. The goal – prepare them for what’s ahead, to get a solid start to their first semester of college.
Students who get connected to campus communities early are more likely to succeed. With this in mind, our student support services put together a mix of activities to get participants engaged, excited, and working together. In addition to games, collaborative workshops, campus tours and faculty meet-and-greets, students were opened to what’s possible…. Anything. Recent alums spoke of their pathways to higher opportunity – how to get from OC to UCLA, Berkeley, CSU-CI and other top transfer destinations. Industry leaders shared internship and summer research opportunities. Our state-championship coaches pushed athletics and how to advance through sport. There are so many ways to get involved, to find community and be supported in whatever path you choose.
In addition to CondorFest, a smaller subset of students extended their orientation. In collaboration with Elevate Tomorrow, an educational pathways partnership, and Cal State University, Channel Islands, the full, four-day First Year Experience Discovery Week featured a comprehensive program of academic and co-curricular activities. A strong showing of parents took part in the first day, joining in tours, talks and lunch.
In addition to this packed week of transfer guidance seminars and life-skill workshops, FYE students went on career exploration visits to the Port of Hueneme and other local employers, and engaged in conversations with civic and industry leaders. Councilwoman Dorina Padilla, the youngest individual ever to be elected to Oxnard City government (at the age of 24), gave advice on choosing a major and pursuing a lucrative career. Jesse Lamas Calvillo, Lab Director of AGQ Labs, also addressed the group of 75. Speaking to the importance of soft skills, he provided an overview of what he looks for when hiring and promoting employees.
The First Year Experience Program and other OC cohort models will be tracked by the Oxnard College Office of Institutional Effectiveness over a five-year period to evaluate success and share high-impact practices.