Director of First-Year Experience

Aileen Schatz, Director of the First-Year Experience, helps ensure students enjoy a successful and meaningful transition to college life. She coordinates programming that increases a sense of belonging, promotes academic achievement and encourages the development of strong friendships and mentorships. The First-Year Experience at Union goes beyond traditional orientation. It continually provides engaging opportunities throughout the entire first year to give students the best possible foundation on which to build their undergraduate experience.

Dean of First-Year Students

Incoming students have an important resource in Kate Schurick, Dean of First-Year Students. Part of a supportive and welcoming campus community that promotes growth, responsibility and leadership, Kate works with first-year students and their families to navigate social, academic and personal challenges. She collaborates closely with colleagues in all departments and offices to help students thrive during their first year and beyond.

New Student Orientation

Our New Student Orientation was developed for our newest members of the Union Family, to provide new students with a warm welcome and introduction to the tools, resources, and opportunities needed for a successful social and academic transition to Union.

What to Expect at Orientation:

  • Connect with Peers

    During our three-day Orientation Program, students will have an opportunity to connect with their peers. They will interact with other members of their class and student leaders through their Orientation Groups led by our friendly and welcoming Orientation Leaders (OL). Students will meet with their Orientation Group each day of the program. They will have an opportunity to meet and interact with current student leaders involved in various aspects of campus life including Student Forum, Minervas, and our many clubs and organizations.

  • Learn about campus resources and culture

    During the program new students will meet and hear from administrators from the Dean of Students Office, Residence Life, Community Standards, Campus Safety, Intercultural Affairs, Title IX, Wicker Wellness, the Kenney Center, and more, as they share important information, policies and insight into the Union College campus culture. These interactive presentations serve to teach new students how to navigate the many resources available to them as part of the Union Community.

  • Prepare for academic success

    Orientation is the first step for students as they begin their academic journey at Union. During our Orientation Program, students will receive their fall term schedule, meet with their academic advisor, meet and talk with professors about major and minor requirements during our Majors Fair lunch. Our OLs will even provide new students with a customized tour of campus pointing out where their classes will take place.

  • Have fun!

    Orientation is a great way for students to get comfortable on campus. Each night students will have an opportunity to engage in a different social event like Bingo, Minervolympics, and First-Year Fest. During orientation, students will learn a lot, be introduced to many of the available resources to them, make new friends, meet new mentors, and most importantly, have fun!

  • Parent and family information

    Parents and families are invited to join their students during the move-in process. We will have many student leaders onsite during both our Pre-O move in and our New Student move in to assist students with getting their belongings into their rooms.

    Once our Pre-Orientation and Orientation programs begin, we kindly ask that parents and families head back home that evening so our students can be fully present in our programing.

First-Gen Experience

The "First-Gen Experience" is designed to help this particular student demographic get settled in and learn more about Union's campus and what it has to offer. With a good mix of fun activities and informational sessions, the incoming First Generation students should leave this experience with a sense of belonging and a wealth of knowledge of what resources are at their disposal during their first year and beyond. All participants of the "First-Gen Experience" are also required to participate in one of our Pre-Orientation Experiences free of charge. First-generation, first-year students will receive more information about this program via email. Click here for more information on First-Generation Student Services.