Last summer and this current summer, incoming students have been introduced to campus and academic life through an entirely online SOAR (Student Orientation, Advising, and Registration) program because of in-person restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, students moving to Madison this fall now have the chance to visit campus.
During Badger JumpStart, students attend an informational session on the Wisconsin Experience at Union South and join a student tour guide on a 75-minute walk around campus. Then, a casual ice cream social provides an opportunity for #FutureBadgers to chat with new student leaders and ask questions.
“We are excited to be back welcoming students and families in-person. We are glad we could provide this opportunity this summer as we return to normal operations on campus,” said Chris Verhaeghe, assistant director of orientation on campus.
CFYE Communications Coordinator Katie Cummings said changes in vaccine availability and Dane County guidelines enabled the return of in-person campus tours and activities this summer. Once it became feasible to begin planning, CFYE prioritized the implementation of an in-person program specifically formulated for incoming Badgers.
“Because of the pandemic, most high school seniors haven’t had the opportunity to do any college visits. We wanted to give them the chance to set foot on campus and be welcomed by our staff and student leaders,” Cummings said.
Badger JumpStart is focused on campus and student life, as all academic advising, and course enrollment is conducted through the virtual SOAR program.
“This program is all about getting oriented to campus, making connections, and making friends with other incoming students,” Cummings said.
CFYE offers four sessions each weekday, beginning in mid-June and running through mid-August. According to Cummings, CFYE will serve several hundred students and guests in this program this summer.
For students unable to visit campus in-person, virtual self-guided and guided campus tours are available, as well as many other virtual events designed to connect incoming students with current students to learn about their Badger experiences.