High Expectations and Helpful Resources
It is about the third month into the fall semester. For some, this is their first college semester. As a freshman, not only are you moving into one of the first stages of your adulthood, but you are also beginning to face some of the first big obstacles that life will send your way. Having the proper resources and community to guide you towards the best resolutions makes the transition easier and, honestly, more fulfilling. One thing that you will learn from your professors is that it is extremely important to learn and take advantage of all the resources that your university has to offer. Academic advising, internship and career services/support, events and programs, academic and professional development, and tutoring are just some of the resources Towson University offers to help with this new transition.
I didn’t begin my college journey at Towson, but the transition from my community college was extremely smooth because of all the help that I received through the Towson community and the resources I had access to. To get an inside peek at the standards that Towson sets to ensure all incoming students make a smooth transition, I reached out to a few of Towson’s deans.
After contacting Assistant Dean, Dr. Gilda Martinez-Alba to get her take on what Towson stands by when welcoming new freshmen, she had this to say: “I have been working at Towson University for 16 years because it is a warm, welcoming, supportive, and inclusive place where people are down-to-earth while achieving high standards. In fact, I like it so much that I had my daughter attend, starting as a freshman. There are so many opportunities beyond the courses. She joined the Honor’s College, Students Achieve Goals through Education (SAGE), the Latin American Student Organization (LASO), and the debate team. She too found it to be a supportive and inclusive place where she could thrive, network, learn, and establish life-long friendships. Thank you, Towson University for providing a caring environment built to help freshmen succeed academically and in life!”
As you can see, Towson’s assistant dean trusts the community so much, her daughter goes to the school; and not only that, takes advantage of the many resources and clubs offered. The focus on inclusivity, high achievement, support, and networking by Towson’s staff is what Towson students are met with when beginning their college journeys. But I wondered what initial resources make Towson feel so “warm, welcoming, supportive, and inclusive,” as Assistant Dean, Dr. Gilda Martinez-Alba states?
To get more answers, I also reached out to Dean Laurie Mullen, and she directed me to Matt Palmer, the Director of Media Relations and News at Towson. Palmer shared that a Towson article called “Welcome to TU Ready to Help Campus Come Alive” would help me understand what makes Towson’s environment feel so welcoming to incoming freshmen. The article discusses the Welcome to TU event that takes place August 24th thru August 28th, which allows Towson students to meet other students and begin preparing for the fall semester. Events like “Set if Off,” which takes place every August 28th, is an event that provides food, drinks, fun games, and music to returning and new students. This and many other events provided are great ways for students to get to know their classmates and get acclimated to their new environment.
Palmer also directed me to a 2020 article called “Campus Comes Alive with the Start of Orientation.” This article discusses Towson’s orientation sessions which help incoming freshman and transferring students meet some of the staff, get tours of the campus, and maybe make a friend or two. After the inability to be in person during COVID-19, many staff and students were excited to have the option to be in person and to meet face to face again. As Katie Murray, Towson’s Office of New Student and Family Programs Director stated, “We’ve been ready for this for the last 18 months…ever since we left campus.”
Lastly, Dr. Gilda Martinez-Alba wanted to make sure that all of Towson’s incoming students understand that Towson is “welcoming, very supportive, provides a network, and helps you to grow.” With Towson’s high expectations of all their students, they also have expectations for their staff to have the ability to foster the growth of each and every one of their students. Therefore, making their community accessible, warm, and supportive are the main things I found Towson to stand by when welcoming, and gracefully transitioning into their freshman each year.
Basta, H., & Hobstetter, K. (2021, July 22). Campus comes alive with the start of orientation. Towson University. Retrieved October 17, 2022, from https://www.towson.edu/news/2021/inperson-orientation.html
Hobstetter, K. (2022, August 24). ‘welcome to Tu’ ready to help campus come alive. Towson University. Retrieved October 17, 2022, from https://www.towson.edu/news/2022/weekends-at-tu.html?utm_source=news&utm_medium=newsfeed&utm_campaign