For the first time, Bridge Week will be open to the entire IUPUI freshman class. The event, which runs Aug. 17 to 21, teaches new students the ins and outs of being a Jaguar. This year's version will be primarily virtual, with optional in-person events as well.
"The change in format this year allows us to expand the program to serve all students after serving about one-third of the freshman class last year," said Heather Bowman, director of first-year programs. "It will also allow us to deliver a robust program that is flexible enough to meet the needs of all students, regardless of circumstances."
Bridge Week is coordinated by the First-Year Experience office within the Division of Undergraduate Education, and this year, students will have the opportunity to connect with classmates and faculty/staff virtually. Participants will be involved in a "choose your own adventure" in which they can choose from multiple options in regard to what they want to learn.
The program will open with an interactive kickoff session featuring Dean of Students Jason Spratt, and sessions throughout the week will include such topics as how college works, getting involved in student organizations, what professors expect from students, and finding opportunities for physical and mental wellness on campus.
There will be small-group "gatherings" to help students get to know their classmates and make friends, as well as sessions specifically designed for parents and families to network and learn how to best support their student. Toward the end of the week, there will be opportunities to physically explore the campus and meet peers in person.
The flexibility of virtual presentations will allow students to choose when they want to participate; the sessions will be recorded so they can be watched later.
"We are excited to expand Bridge Week to all first-year students this year, to provide them with IUPUI's highest level of support during this challenging time, and we look forward to providing a fun and valuable experience to all freshmen," Bowman said.