Thursday, August 13, 2009

Welcoming Students Through Convocation

Provost Hackett has asked the Division of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management to take the lead in coordinating the UMKC Convocation this fall with the new student Welcome Day. The outcomes for Convocation are to welcome our new undergraduate students to UMKC, introduce them to campus traditions, and help them engage with the campus and faculty to support their transition to UMKC.

While Welcome Day has been historically a social celebration, this year Convocation will be a more formal event designed to officially welcome new freshmen, transfers and international students to academic life at UMKC. As this will be the first step towards their graduation, Deans and faculty will wear regalia to the welcoming pinning ceremony.

As a part UMKC’s vision to place student success at the center, Convocation provides an opportunity for faculty to provide a “high impact” educational experience associated with student engagement and retention. One of the most important foundations for success is forming professional relationships between students and faculty. According to Dr. Richard Light, in his book, Making the Most of College: Students Speak their Minds, faculty-student interactions are some of the most important experiences students will have in college. He confirms that “students who get the most out of college, who grow the most academically, and who are happiest organize their time to include activities with faculty members, or with several other students, focused around accomplishing substantive academic work.” New Student Convocation gives students the perfect opportunity to engage with their peers and faculty prior to the start of classes and begin their experience at UMKC with the best chance of success.

Convocation will be held August 23rd at 1:00 in the Swinney Recreation Center. Following the formal event, students will be escorted to Academic Unit specific events, wrapping up with a Barbecue at 4:00 p.m. All faculty members are welcome to join in this new tradition in Swinney and you can contact your Dean for the academic unit specific portion of the program.

If you would like to learn more about Convocation and the other planned Welcome Week activities please visit

-Written by Eric Grospitch, Ed.D., Assistant Dean of Students

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