The sun shining brightly and the flowers in full bloom provided the perfect backdrop for Chestnut Hill College's Accepted Student Day on April 14.
The day began with an academic and resource fair in Sorgenti Arena, which allowed the future Griffins and their families to learn all about the majors, minors and services the college offers to its students. Faculty, and staff representing departments including career development, global studies, financial services, the bookstore and many others, were on hand to answer any questions or concerns the students.
From there it was on to the official welcome offered by President Sister Carol Jean Vale, SSJ, Ph.D. As president of the college for over 25 years, Sister Carol shared her experiences with CHC and talked about the continued growth and change the college continues to esperience. Sister Carol spoke passionately about the opportunities available for future Griffins and shared stories about some of the great things CHC students and alumni are doing every day.
Also offering a welcome was Kevin Hearn, Ed.D., the college's interim vice president for enrollment management. Hearn gave updates about all things Chestnut Hill College, including information about new programs, campus construction and upcoming events that will be provided for the Class of 2022. Additionally, Hearn talked about a new initiative that will be launching this fall called the Academic Discovery Program (ADP).
ADP is a two-semester program designed for first and second-year students who are uncertain about their course of study. Formerly referred to as "undeclared" students, those in the ADP program will meet regularly with their Student Success advisor to discuss academic interests, potential career paths and course registration. Students in ADP have a shared experience; taking courses together, participating in a variety of career discovery initiatives, and, if residents, living together in a learning community so discovery activities, efforts and conversations can continue. The program is structured to encourage students to choose a major by the end of the second semester and to complete a Career and Academic Success Exercise (CASE), leading to graduation in four years.
The next portion of the day allowed students to choose from a variety of "CHC Talks." Inspired by the popular TED Talks, Lauren Barrow, Ph.D., assistant professor of criminal justice, Lakshmi Atchison, Ph.D., professor of biology, Pam King, M.S., instructor of digital forensics, Joseph Bucci, Ed.D., assistant professor of business and chair of the department, Jacqueline Reich, Ph.D., associate professor of political science and coordinator of the political science and global affairs majors, and Ian Sharp, Ph.D., assistant professor of psychology, presented on topics ranging from the biomedical lecture speaker series to the cybersecurity program, to leadership opportunities at the college and teaching the 'today' student within the context of criminal and restorative justice, as well as a talk on "America the Unusual." All of the talks were compelling and informative, and allowed the professors to explain some of the interesting programs that are happening at the college.
Perhaps the most valuable portion of the day, however, was the student panel, which featured six current students, who answered any and all questions. Some of the topics covered included internships, the honors program, student success, the Fall in Love with Philly ticket program, study abroad, life as a commuter and most importantly, favorite traditions at the college.
"I don't know if you noticed but right outside, we kinda look a little like Hogwarts," Jaida Zabala '18 said, talking about her favorite tradition on campus, Harry Potter Weekend. "We transform this campus into little Hogwarts and have Quidditch played outside. The town of Chestnut Hill is transformed. Last year we had so many around and it's one of our biggest events and everyone just loves it."
Other favorite traditions included Cold Stone and Karaoke, Open Dome Night, Midnight Madness, Holiday on the Hill, and the pancake supper, which is coming up in just a few weeks to celebrate the end of the semester. "They have any type of pancake you can imagine," said Kristian Hernandez '18. "I don't know about you but I love pancakes. Just some advice though, get there about 45 minutes early because there is a line going down the hall."
Following the student panel, our future Griffins headed outside where the Kona Ice truck was waiting to give everyone free snow cones. While enjoying the refreshing treat, the attendees were greeted with a club and activity fair. Similar to ones that are held each semester on campus, representatives from the college's close to 30 clubs and organizations, were on hand to show the future Griffins some of the great things they can get involved with while on campus. During this time, attendees also had the opportunity to tour campus and to see what first-year residence halls look like, as well as attend optional information sessions on the Academic Discovery Program, Interdisciplinary Honors Program and Tichenor Greer Scholarship Program.
"Accepted Student Day was a success," says Jacqueline Trujillo, admissions counselor and one of the point people for the event. "We wanted to provide students with a snapshot of what it means to be a Griffin by highlighting each aspect of what we do best. It was important that we show our future Griffins the level of academic excellence we provide here at CHC and how we embrace our mission in everything that we do. Every department had a part to play and the admissions team cannot thank them enough for their efforts! We can’t wait to welcome the class of 2022!
Marilee Gallagher '14