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New students get a Step Ahead

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (June 18, 2014) -- The 2014-15 school year hasn’t started yet, but new students are already finding their way around California Baptist University with Step Ahead.

The Step Ahead events help prepare freshmen and transfer students for the new college experience. At the event, the students register for classes, learn about financial aid, get their student ID picture taken and learn about the resources available to them, such as free tutoring, the Wellness Center and the Recreation Center.

Step Ahead gets the students ready for the fall and also helps them and their parents be comfortable with their college choice, said Rhonda Shackelford, undergraduate admissions visit and events coordinator.

“It’s a great day to get them on our campus, get them registered for classes,” she said. “We try to do our best to make it very welcoming and very inviting, and for them to feel settled that this is the right choice. We want parents and students to be assured that ‘yes, CBU is the right choice for me and my student.’”

They also get to experience college dining by having lunch at the Alumni Dining Commons. At the end of the day, the participants have the option of touring the living areas.

Parents join their student on some of the informational sessions, and they also have their own sessions, such as on school policies and a Q&A with a panel from various areas of student services.

“I think it’s a good transitional point for parents to feel comfortable,” Shackelford said. “Once they leave there, we want parents to feel comfortable about dropping off their students for orientation.”

Although Step Ahead is about a beginning, students and parent will get a glimpse of what the end will look like, Shackelford said. This year, the participants watch a video of students who attended Step Ahead, have graduated and are working.

“We’re really excited that we can showcase people that came to Step Ahead and that now have a job,” she said. “We wanted to be able to show parents at the end of this journey, it works. Our goal is to have that child graduate and get a job and be successful, not only in their career, but growing in their faith and being able to contribute to the body of Christ.”