SUNY Cobleskill Ready to Welcome Students

August 16, 2012

Nearly 2,600 students, including 1,100 first-time students will begin arriving at SUNY Cobleskill on August 23, signaling the start of a new academic year.


SUNY Cobleskill is enjoying a new period of growth with applications and deposits increasing by four percent, according to Tara Winter, Dean of Academic Services. Applications have increased four percent this year. Baccalaureate program enrollment continues to expand with this fall marking the introduction of a new four-year degree in Applied Psychology. The Cobleskill student body will also include more than 30 international students representing 11 countries.


First-year and transfer students will complete an intensive four-day orientation starting Thursday. The program is designed to help students make as many connections on campus as possible. That's why the theme of this year's orientation is "Connections to College Life." The goal is to assist students with their transition to college life and help them connect with the college, faculty, staff, and their classmates, according to Cobleskill Vice President for Student Affairs Steven Ackerknecht.


The highlight of orientation is the "Steps to Success" transition ceremony which will be held August 23 at 3:30 p.m. in the Bouck Gymnasium. Modeled after graduation, it will help new students understand what they will experience over the next two to four years. Speakers will include: Candace S. Vancko, Officer in Charge; Christina Trees, Associate Professor of Liberal Arts and Sciences and keynote speaker; Debra Thatcher, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs; Dean Winter; and Vice President Ackerknecht.

The ceremony concludes with students walking across stage, in the opposite direction of how they will walk at graduation. Ackerknecht said this signifies acceptance into the campus community and the opportunities that wait upon graduation.


Orientation weekend will also help students get acclimated to academic and college life. Each night has something fun, including an August 24 performance by comedian Pete Dominick, a 1996 Cobleskill graduate.
Returning students arrive August 26, with classes beginning the following day.


Incoming freshmen and returning students will be greeted by a variety of campus upgrades, including a multi-million dollar beautification project to improve pedestrian access and campus green spaces. One of the centerpieces of the project is a courtyard between Knapp Hall and Bouck Hall. The area will have a space that will recognize those who have served in the United States Armed Services. It also includes green spaces, trees, walkways and reconstruction of the pedestrian bridge to the main entrance of Knapp Hall.


Other improvements throughout campus include new concrete walkways, outdoor gathering spaces, stone seating walls and landscaping. In addition, construction has begun on the $38.7 million Center for Agriculture and Natural Resources, which will bring three major academic programs--Plant Sciences, Fisheries and Wildlife, and Animal Sciences together and create new synergies for student learning. The Center is scheduled to be ready for the fall 2014 semester.

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