SALISBURY, MD---Kevin Birch, History faculty and director of the Algonquin Wilderness Program at Salisbury University, recently presented “Wilderness Programs and First Year Success: the Algonquin Wilderness Canoe Experience” at the Freshman Success Conference at the University of Maryland, College Park.
The presentation revealed how SU’s 23-year-old New Student Orientation Program, which includes a canoe trip and other outdoor activities, enables an easier transition to college life for its participants by fostering challenges that are not faced in a classroom setting. Organizers hope the skills learned from these challenges will stay with students for a lifetime.
“Students who take part in this outdoor orientation along with faculty, staff and upper class peer leaders are exposed to a curriculum including topics such as handling finances, Career Services, time management, diversity, alcohol abuse, academic success, social adjustment, community service and much more,” said Birch. His presentation used Algonquin as a model for experiential and wilderness programs.
Algonquin is one of 13 New Student seminars that new SU students may take to fulfill their University orientation requirements. Other opportunities this year included the Alaskan Experience; Acadia Adventure; West Virginia Whitewater Adventure; Nantahala Whitewater Rafting; Stars-Habitat for Humanity; Mosaic; Champs Life Skills; New Questions, New Choices, New York: Understanding the Transition to College in the Context of Arts and Culture; Beyond the Books Ropes Course; Freshman Commuters; Bellavance Honors Program; and Achieving Social, Academic and Personal Success (ASAP).
For more information call 410-543-6030 or visit the SU Web site at www.salisbury.edu.