FASET is Coming...

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FASET Orientation
404.894.6897

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Summary Sentence:

Yes, it is that time of the year again when incoming students and their parents flock to Georgia Tech for orientation.

Full Summary:

Yes, it is that time of the year again when incoming students and their parents flock to Georgia Tech for orientation. For us in Student Affairs, it is a real time to shine and put our best foot forward. After all, it is a rather unique opportunity to show our stuff to a highly engaged audience. But before the big show commences, there is plenty of hard work to do – especially as the FASET program continues to evolve to address the dynamic needs of our incoming students and guests.

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Yes, it is that time of the year again when incoming students and their parents flock to Georgia Tech for orientation. For us in Student Affairs, it is a real time to shine and put our best foot forward. After all, it is a rather unique opportunity to show our stuff to a highly engaged audience. But before the big show commences, there is plenty of hard work to do – especially as the FASET program continues to evolve to address the dynamic needs of our incoming students and guests.

Recently, I had the opportunity to talk with Bethany Naser, Assistant Dean and Director of New Student & Sophomore Programs, and Jonathan Duke, Coordinator of Orientation & New Student Programs, about the FASET program and what we all can expect this coming summer.    


What is the goal of the FASET program and what exactly does FASET stand for?

Bethany - FASET stands for “Familiarization and Adaptation to the Surroundings and Environs at Tech” – it is very Tech. FASET Orientation provides an opportunity for incoming students and their parents and/or guests to learn about the campus, community and expectations at Georgia Tech. It is the start of their transition to making Tech their home for the next few years.

Jonathan – We are actually celebrating the 40th anniversary of an orientation program at Tech. I actually just learned from a Tech alum, whose daughter is coming here in the fall, that the term FASET dates back to 1978. This alum was actually on the naming committee. 


Can you help describe the different FASET segments you have created for these incoming students?

Bethany – The various FASET sessions really focus on that particular audience’s needs. For instance, there are similarities between the Summer and Fall Freshman FASET sessions. These students and parents really need not only an introduction to Georgia Tech but also an introduction to college life in general. We talk to them about how to be successful in a college environment and do emphasize that life will be different for them now that they are in college. With the parents, we educate them on how to be effective partners while their student is at Tech.

The Freshman FASET program has grown proportionately to Tech’s growth. Last year we greeted over 2,600 students. We have enjoyed a tremendous participation rate – over 96percent – which is fantastic considering that it is not a required program for incoming students.

Jonathan – For the Transfer FASET sessions, we realized that we really needed a different and more intentional approach to address this growing audience in a meaningful way. As the Institute increases the number of admitted transfer students, we have seen an enormous growth in transfer students and guests coming through FASET. Last year, we had over 900 students attend fall and spring Transfer FASET – that is about 142 percent increase from the previous years. These incoming students are unique in that they have been at college but not at Tech. We have learned from evaluations that their needs are weighted toward how to succeed specifically at Tech. I would also mention that with this group, you often see spouses instead of parents. The needs of transfer students and their guests require a very different type of orientation program – one that is quite different from the Freshman FASET sessions.  

We are also focusing this year on how to best address the exchange students. In the past, we rolled exchange students into the transfer FASET sessions. We learned that for most of these students, they have only been in the US for a few hours prior to stepping foot on Tech’s campus. Obviously, they need to know about Tech, but we learned that the need help adjusting to life in the US. We are working with the Office of International Education to develop effective programming and messaging specifically for these exchange students. As this exchange population has grown to several hundred students a year, Exchange FASET has become a sustainable orientation program.


Are there program additions to FASET this year?

Bethany – Yes, we are piloting a new supplementary program to FASET called Wreck Camp. It is an extended orientation camp, which for this year will focus on incoming freshman. It is open to all students including transfer, but we are targeting approximately 150 freshman students for this year. Whereas FASET Orientation is based on Tech’s campus, Wreck Camp will offer an opportunity for students to get off campus, learn more about Tech traditions and the culture, take personal inventory of their strengths, and build connections with other students. In the future, we would like to add faculty and staff to the program to really encourage that interaction between students, faculty and staff.


Are there any particular observations you have about incoming students and their parents? 

Bethany – In all my years of managing orientation programs, I see many similarities between Tech students and other college bound students around the country. All students have transition concerns whether it is about academic performance, social adjustments, campus life, etc.

What I see as unique to Tech students is that they are more future thinking – they have a sense of what they will be doing after college. They also have difficulty being “average” once at Tech. Yes, they are fantastically average, yet it is for most the first time in their life they have had to confront a roadblock.

Jonathan – Adding to that, Tech also provides an environment where these incredibly smart students can be surrounded by like-minded students and really find their niche. 


How can departments and staff get involved in FASET and support your program goals?

Bethany – First, they can participate in the FASET Partners Program which offers many levels of sponsorships including FASET Market Place which is free of charge. It is an excellent way to get in front of these incoming students and parents to inform them about your programs and services. 

Second, know the dates so you aren’t caught off guard about FASET attendees on campus. Also,  expect visitors to walk through your office. The often need your guidance on where departments are located.

Third, get to know the FASET programs by checking out our website www.faset.gatech.edu. There are also session specific schedules posted at www.nssp.gatech.edu/faset/CampusStaff. Staff often receive questions regarding the day’s events. It is also helpful to attend a FASET session or two – so you can talk about the type of information presented. It is a great source of information about Tech!

Lastly, give the FASET office a call at 404.894.6897 if you need or want more information about FASET. We are more than happy to come to your department and discuss the FASET programs. 

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  • Created By: Rachael Pocklington
  • Workflow Status: Published
  • Created On: Apr 30, 2012 - 6:50am
  • Last Updated: Oct 7, 2016 - 11:12pm