Chandler-Gilbert Community College (CGCC) hosted their Fall 2022 New Student Welcome on Saturday, August 20, 2022, with 312 students converging on the Pecos campus to kick off their freshman year.
Chandler-Gilbert Community College (CGCC) hosted their Fall 2022 New Student Welcome on Saturday, August 20, 2022, with 312 students converging on the Pecos campus to kick off their freshman year. The new Coyotes were encouraged to meet their peers, interact with staff and faculty, and learn how to navigate their new campus.
This event is part of the CGCC First Year Experience to get students engaged early in their first year of college. And engaged they were! The Welcome started off pep-rally style in the gym, with a visit from Cody the Coyote and the wave led by CGCC President Dr. Greg Peterson.
CGCC, part of the Maricopa County Community College District, is known to bring the fun to their events, but there was much more to it than that. “The event’s goal was to provide community and connections to the college for increased student success and retention for 2022-2023,” said Dr. Anne Suzuki, Dean of Student Development. “The Fields of Interest (FOI) breakout sessions involved Faculty, Advisors/Analysts and Student Success Coaches providing advice and support for students to thrive in their first semester,” she said.
Before they moved to the breakouts, there was one more fun event in store. Dr. Keziah Tinkle-Williams and the Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) International Honors Society held Coyote Kart, a Mario Kart-themed competition where students and staff competed for prizes—because nothing breaks the ice like a fire flower!
But the game theme was part of something larger going on with PTK. “The PTK Honors In Action theme this year was the Art and Science of Play,” said Dr. Tinkle-Williams. “The Alpha Sigma Nu chapter chose to work with the theme ‘Nostalgia as play’ and explored how play can evoke memories that inspire, unite, and promote a sense of belonging.”
“A sense of belonging and a sense of connectedness in higher education are linked to critical outcomes, including motivation, academic achievement, and well-being, regardless of a student’s background (Felten & Lambert, 2020),” noted Dr. Tinkle-Williams. “This connection, however, is of particular importance for minoritized and first-generation students. A team-based, gamified learning environment provides a highly interactive, challenging, and enjoyable social learning experience that allows students to build rich relationships with their peers, administrators, and instructors through positive experiences of play.”
Student Services Director Ryan Cain said students expressed a lot of excitement during their exit surveys, sharing comments such as, “Everyone is very welcoming, and I’m excited to start!” The new students also shared feedback about their feelings of connectedness:
- 93.6% reported that attending the New Student Welcome made them feel more connected to their peers at CGCC
- 96.8% reported that attending the breakout session (FOI or Career Services) allowed them to identify a lesson learned and/or a strategy to be successful in their first semester
- 98.4% reported that attending the New Student Welcome made them feel more prepared for their first semester at CGCC
Feedback from a student noted that “The part that was best was when they let the group know that it is okay to take different paths throughout the journey. Everyone's path is different but we will all end up where we need to be.”
Howl yeah. Here’s to a great semester, Coyotes! See all the photos from the event at https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10159947981619643&type=3.