Cornwall college students start orientation

Hundreds of new St. Lawrence College students stand outside Aultsville Hall on Tuesday, Sept. 3, 2019 at the start of orientation. The college with roughly 20 programs, will officially start classes on Wednesday. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston)

CORNWALL – Hundreds of St. Lawrence College students packed the driveway to the Cornwall campus Tuesday morning for orientation.

Athletic and Student Engagement coordinator Shannon Carson told Cornwall Newswatch the day begins with a comedic hypnotist and then students will meet their professors in the classroom.

“After that, we go to Welcome Fest where community services have individual booths, our student services have booths and they have a free barbecue lunch and games going on to hopefully ease the students and get them ready for tomorrow,” Carson said.

Today’s events are a warm up before actual classes start tomorrow (Wednesday).

The Cornwall campus has two new professors – one for the environmental technician program and a new science professor who will teach different programs.

Associate Dean Jennifer Haley says all three campuses have a re-branded Student Wellness and Accessibility Services – dropping the reference to counselling. “This is going to provide a wide range of customized services that are aligned with individual mental health needs, shorter wait times to get care and barrier free access.”

Haley says there’s a new Indigenous counsellor on staff. “We have a good percentage of students who are Indigenous…given our close proximity to Akwesasne…so it’s important to have the supports in place for a good, inclusive environment,” Haley said.

She adds that counselling services are important at the beginning of the college year. “In that first month or so, that’s where you’re more likely going to feel overwhelmed and if you know that the services are available and you get connected early the faster we can wrap the supports that we have available and ensure that success along the way.”

There are also designated students with “Ask Me” lanyards and buttons to help campus newcomers.

The college is also improving on its URSLC cell phone application.

This school year, 140 students are being aided financially through $172,000 in local bursaries and scholarships.

As for final enrollment numbers, they won’t be known until the middle of the month.

Similar orientation sessions are going on at the Brockville and Kingston campuses.