Welcoming Traditions for New Students and Parents

SMU helps incoming students and their families transition from high school to college with Academic Advising, Registration and Orientation (AARO). The two-day orientation sessions run from July 8 to August 19, and will be followed August 22-24 by Mustang Corral, a three-day off-campus retreat.

At AARO, new and transfer students and their families learn about campus resources and academic expectations, while connecting with faculty, staff and current and incoming students, says Ashley Stone, director of New Student Orientation and Student Support. During their AARO sessions, students:

  • Meet faculty members and other new students
  • Meet and have one-on-one meetings with their academic adviser
  • Register for fall classes
 in enrollment labs with their adviser
  • Receive their SMU ID
  • Meet their AARO leaders, who are current SMU students
  • Spend the night in Cockrell-McIntosh Hall, one of SMU’s residence halls
  • Learn about campus involvement opportunities
 and employment
  • Receive this year’s Common Reading selection – The Other Wes Moore by Wes Moore.

Along with their students, parents will learn about SMU academics and resources, Stone says, and are encouraged to attend a special parent and family perspective panel.

mustangcorral-01At Mustang Corral in August, during the second step of the orientation process, incoming students will participate in team-building games, diversity activities and self-assessments. They will learn about University traditions and interact with faculty, staff and students. All of these interactions will help students to make meaningful bonds with one another before the semester begins, Stone says.

Students participating in Mustang Corral move into their residence halls August 21. They will be assigned a move-in time in August. The deadline to register for Mustang Corral is August 15.

Get ready for AARO: 

– Alyssa Eubank

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