How Radford and Jefferson Welcome New Students to Campus

Quest and BLUE Week

The summer of 2018 is quickly passing and new students are getting ready to head to campus at both Jefferson College of Health Sciences in Roanoke and Radford University in Radford. Regardless of where these first-year students plan to attend classes, they may face challenges as they transition to college life.   

To help first-time students adjust to college life, both Jefferson College and Radford University offer programs that help students excel in the classroom and in their daily lives on and off campus. The programs are surprisingly similar in their approaches. This story, as well as future stories about the merger and the two institutions, will illustrate how students, faculty and staff at Jefferson and Radford University have more in common than you might think.

Quest Assistants at Quest new student orientation 2018 at Radford University
Quest Assistants at Quest, the new student orientation, 2018 at Radford University

Quest at Radford University

Radford University's Quest New Student and Family Program is an opportunity for new Highlanders to spend time at the university, learning about campus life, exploring their academic programs and working with academic advisors to create their class schedules.  

Quest is offered for both freshmen and transfer students with unique content for each group. The first year Quest program is designed to allow participants to accomplish everything they’ll need to take care of leading up to move-in day in August. This orientation program provides an excellent opportunity to meet other new students in a relaxed setting. It features:

  • In-depth advising with a faculty advisor.
  • Comprehensive guest/parent program.
  • A 45-minute play, performed by Quest Assistants, that provides an overview of some common new student scenarios.
  • A student social with a DJ, bowling, billiards, a climbing wall and snacks.
  • The option for students and parents to stay overnight in residence halls to get a feel for what it will be like living on campus.   

The transfer Quest program is a single-day experience designed to help students in their transition to Radford University. Students:

  • Register for classes.

  • Obtain ID cards. 

  • Learn about campus services. 

  • Familiarize themselves with the campus. 

  • Interact with their fellow transfer students and student leaders in a relaxed atmosphere.

You can learn more about Quest, new student orientation, online and check out this video for a short introduction to the overall program.

BLUE Week, new student orientation, at Jefferson College of Health Sciences
BLUE Week, new student orientation, at Jefferson College of Health Sciences

BLUE Week at Jefferson College of Health Sciences  

Jefferson College’s BLUE Week is a nearly week-long orientation for first-time students, welcoming them to campus and to the city of Roanoke. BLUE stands for: Building Loyalty, Understanding and Excellence, and also pays tribute to the college’s school colors.

Founded in 2014, the program takes place every year in mid-August from Sunday to Tuesday. Some participants stay in the college residence halls at The Patrick Henry in downtown Roanoke while participating in activities to help them adjust to being away from home and feel more comfortable as part of the Jefferson community.   

Most days begin early and continue well into the evening. Activities include:

  • A picnic for students and their parents where they can socialize with faculty and staff.

  • A college tour with a Student Ambassador.

  • A chance to get ID cards, parking passes and other materials they will need for life on campus.

  • An Amazing Race game, where students team up to find landmarks and items on campus from clues.

  • The Star Trek hike from the college campus to the Roanoke Star at the top of Mill Mountain.

BLUE Week ends with Convocation, where students hear from the President and are formally welcomed as students by signing in the Jefferson College Student Registry.

The goal for both Quest and BLUE Week is to welcome new students to campus and help them get prepared intellectually for college. While Radford University and Jefferson College may take slightly different approaches based on the opportunities our respective cities offer, all of us at both institutions want new members of our communities to feel comfortable, prepared for college life and ready to excel in the classroom.

Watch for more stories like this spotlighting our communities and shared values.

Jul 25, 2018