Notre Dame College Hosts Welcome Week to Optimize New Student Success

To continue gains in student engagement, persistence and completion, Notre Dame College is honing its Welcome Week for incoming traditional-aged undergraduates with a focus on the first of a four-day experience prior to the start of the fall semester.

Notre Dame's formal greeting for first-year and transfer students begins Thursday, August 24, with an orientation session for all new undergraduates from 8 a.m. to noon throughout campus. The day continues with an all-College picnic on the lawn at 3 p.m. and academic Opening Convocation at 6 p.m. in Regina Auditorium. An information session for commuter students is included and residence hall move-in will take place in between the orientation and picnic. Parents and families are invited to all events.

Welcome Week activities continue through Sunday, August 27. On-campus classes for the 2017-2018 academic year begin Monday, August 28.

Based in higher education best practices, including information from the National Orientation Directors Association that has been tailored to fit Notre Dame and its student population, the welcome experience engages undergraduates in the culture of the College immediately upon their arrival to campus. Research indicates the first three weeks of a first-year student's experience are the most critical in their transition and success.

Notre Dame extended its historical weekend of welcome activities into the week in 2016 to aid in the transition, persistence and completion of new undergraduates and saw overall gains in its retention rates for the year.

Following feedback from students and staff, the College is streamlining last year’s five-day greeting to four days in 2017 to better maintain student engagement, especially for those who live off campus, across the experience. The emphasis on the first day of Welcome Week also facilitates integration among residential and nonresidential members in the Class of 2021 while reducing competing demands on commuters, in particular, to further aid in their successful transition to and retention at the College.

Additionally, studies show students who live on campus their first year at a four-year college are more likely to persist and complete their bachelor’s degrees, while commuters can be at greater risk for retention. About 40 percent of Notre Dame undergraduates live off-campus.

According to research, commuters often are nontraditional students from groups considered underserved in higher education, like low-income households and underrepresented minorities. Nearly 100 percent of students at Notre Dame receive financial aid, nearly 40 percent are the first in their families to attend college and about 30 percent are diverse.

Welcome Week assists in the successful transition of new students to Notre Dame through intentional academic, social and community-building activities, structures and programs. New students, first years, and transfers, are the primary participants. Returning students also participate with weekend social activities.

Notre Dame charges a cross-functional campus team comprised of staff, faculty and students with planning the activities for first-year undergraduates. A detailed schedule is forthcoming.

August 2017

About Notre Dame College

For almost a century, Notre Dame College has educated a diverse population in the liberal arts for personal, professional and global responsibility. Founded by the Sisters of Notre Dame in 1922, the College has grown strategically to keep pace with the rapidly changing needs of students and the dramatic changes in higher education. But it has never lost sight of its emphasis on teaching students not only how to make a good living but also how to live a good life.

Today, the College offers bachelor’s degrees in 30 disciplines plus a variety of master's degrees, certification programs and continuing and professional development programs for adult learners on campus and online. Notre Dame College offers NCAA Division II intercollegiate athletic programs for men and women and is located in a picturesque residential neighborhood just 25 minutes from the heart of Cleveland. Hallmarks of the Notre Dame experience include stimulating academics, personalized attention of dedicated faculty and staff, and small class sizes.

Notre Dame College is located at 4545 College Road in South Euclid. For further information contact Brian Johnston, chief communications officer, at 216.373.5252 or



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Christ the King Chapel, 3rd Floor Admin Bldg.
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E.g., 06/23/18