College staff and public officials welcomed students to Aurora College’s Thebacha campus last week during their yearly orientation celebrations.
New and returning students had the opportunity to get acquainted with fellow classmates, instructors and support staff at the college during a welcoming ceremony, where they were greeted by the many heads of programs and the manager of Student Services, Dwayne Woodward.
“This is a year of changes,” Woodward told the crowd of students and teachers on the first morning, noting that the college has many new members of management, instructors and students this year.
“Embrace this change,” he advised. “Change is good, change challenges things.”
Laura Aubrey, coordinator at the Student Success Centre, also offered some words of advice for first-time students.
“As long as you have a goal, all of you will get to where you want to go,” she said. “A key to success is to build a learning community, to get to know other students and form study groups, to ensure that you are building a community within the learning environment.
“Make sure you set the bar high for yourself or you’ll get lost,” she said.
In between the students’ first classes were free lunches – hot dog roasts, pizza by the slice and a barbecue with town and territorial dignitaries on Thursday, where Thebacha MLA Michael Miltenberger and Fort Smith Mayor Janie Hobart addressed the students on the importance of getting involved in the community, using the available recreational facilities and of voting in the next election.
Students also got to meet town businesses offering student deals and free promotional materials during a community fair on Wednesday.
The total number of new students registered as of last Friday was 132 with 31 more returning.