Campus & Community

Palm Beach State presents high-energy welcome for new students

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Palm Beach State College held New Student Convocation at the Palm Beach Gardens and Lake Worth campuses today, continuing a series of celebrations being held across the College to formally welcome thousands of first-time students and mark the start of their academic journeys.

Dressed in academic regalia, faculty and staff greeted students and their families, creating a ceremonial experience similar to what students will get when they graduate. Students heard motivational remarks from various speakers, information on PBSC services and tips on how to succeed in college. They also recited the student pledge. The festivities included food, music, and information tables about academic programs, giveaways and more.

“Just like graduation is to celebrate the completion here at Palm Beach State, Convocation is to celebrate the beginning,’’ said Chelsea Carroll, First-Year Experience representative. “The more connected they are to the College, the better their College experience. It’s our first chance to really connect with the students here, and it’s to kick off a good start for the first year.”

New Student Convocation was held at the Boca Raton campus Thursday, and Belle Glade will hold its event on Sept. 10. The College began holding Student Convocation three years ago as part of its new First-Year Experience program designed to help ease the transition to college for students who are starting college for the first time. The program’s initiatives include the development of a comprehensive First-Year Experience website and a Passport to Success program, both designed to enhance students’ experience. Colleges and universities around the nation have implemented such programs, which research shows helps with retention.

Last fall, Palm Beach State had 4,689 first-time-in-college students. Carroll said more than 7,100 students were invited to this year’s events, including those who started college for the first time last spring and this summer. Convocation is only held during the Fall Term.

Katchee Vedrine, one of this year’s attendees who is pursuing an Associate in Science degree in human services, said Convocation was a welcome boost. “I think it’s great that they have this event at the beginning because it’s your first college year. You have guidance. You’re not overwhelmed,’’ she said. “It’s kind of cool that you’re meeting different people.”

Dawayne King, an aspiring investment banker who is pursuing an Associate in Arts degree, agrees. “I think it’s a good way to get acclimated to school. You actually see things about Palm Beach State and [all] the possibilities.”

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