What is the difference between an orientation leader and an orientation coordinator?
Orientation leaders (OLs) work with all of the incoming students to lead them through our five day orientation program in small group experiences. Some staff may be returning leaders who have led in our program one, two, or even three times previously, and some staff will be first-time OLs. Orientation coordinators (OCs) are three returning leaders who are selected to help manage the entire orientation program. They support orientation leaders throughout the program by facilitating parts of the OL training, and by checking in with leaders each day of the program and offering guidance where needed. Orientation coordinators participate in their own training prior to orientation leader training.
What is the compensation for orientation staff?
Orientation leaders are paid a $300 stipend upon the satisfactory completion of their work in September. Orientation coordinators, who are required to participate in additional days of training, receive a $400 stipend upon the satisfactory completion of their work, also in September. All staff are also permitted to move back into campus housing early, where they may move into whatever room they will be living in for the fall semester. Staff are also provided free meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner) in the dining commons from the date they return to campus through the end of orientation.
How many students are in an orientation group?
Generally between 12 and 14, though some groups will be slightly larger or smaller.
Do I lead an orientation group with someone else? How are those partners chosen?
All orientation groups are led by a pair of co-leaders. You have the ability to choose your co-leader from the pool of students whom we hire. Once you are offered a position, you will have the ability to indicate whom you want to work with you if you already know. For those who do not know who their partner will be, we will have an opportunity for you to meet other unmatched leaders during our first day of training, at which time you can decide who you want to be your co-leader. Typically about half of our leaders come to training without already knowing who they want to work with.
Will I have first years or transfer students in my orientation group?
Approximately 32 of the orientation groups are first-year student groups. We generally have 3 to 4 groups that are transfer student groups. Leaders will have only first-year students in their group unless we specifically ask you to lead a transfer group (which you may accept or decline). We will generally ask leaders who were transfer students to Hampshire themselves to lead transfer groups. If we do not have enough leaders who were transfers, we will generally let them work with a co-leader who was not a transfer student, but who is willing to work with transfers (and ideally who has been an orientation leader previously).
How are orientation groups assigned?
All first-year students are grouped based on their first year tutorial. The tutorial that they are assigned to will be their orientation group, and they will stay with that group throughout their first semester in that class. Transfer students are grouped with other transfer students, and are randomly assigned to one of the 3 or 4 transfer groups. Four of the days of orientation (Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday) take place in these groups. Orientation leaders working with tutorials cannot request which tutorials they want to be matched with; these matches are made at random. The one exception to this is that orientation leaders who are TAing a tutorial may ask to be matched with that same tutorial during orientation.
The Monday of orientation is an interest-based activity day. Over the summer, new students will have the opportunity to sign up to participate in day-long activities that orientation leaders have designed (see below for more information about interest day). They sign up for these activities on The Hub, on a first-come, first-served basis. Most of these day-long activities will take place on campus, with the exception of groups who work with the instructors in the Outdoors Program and Recreational Athletics (OPRA), who may go off campus for the day.
Orientation leaders will work with two distinct groups during orientation: their tutorial/transfer-based group, and their interest day group. Transfers and first-years will be mixed together on the interest day based on the activities that they signed up for.
What is "interest day"?
The Monday of the orientation program is interest day, the day when orientation leaders devise day-long activities for a group of students who sign up for that particular activity. This day is about allowing new students to mix and socialize with people other than those in their tutorial group, and to participate in a fun activity for a day. It is an ideal way to introduce new students to Hampshire clubs, programs, and activities, depending on the theme of your particular group. Orientation leaders have the ability to propose their interest activities during orientation leader training, and will have support and guidance in planning their day's events.
What does orientation staff training consist of?
There are two parts to orientation staff training: Two days take place in May, and three days take place when leaders return in August (see list of key dates for orientation staff on the hiring homepage for more information).
The May training is focused on getting to know each other, choosing co-leader pairs, and planning the activities that leaders will do with their groups. Orientation is a combination of activities the College organizes that leaders take their groups to, and small group times that leaders are responsible for planning. Training includes time for you and your co-leader to plan and receive feedback, as well as to denote materials that you need for your activities and the spaces you would like reserved for those activities.
August training is focused on skill-building, and that time will be spent discussing all of the necessary skills orientation staff need to lead their groups effectively. This time will also be spent to review the activities that orientation leaders help to facilitate, and to spend time practicing the facilitation of those activities.
Still have questions? Feel free to contact Jessica M. Ortiz, director of new student programs, for more information.
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