NCCC orients 250 new students in Saranac Lake

SARANAC LAKE – New students at North Country Community College have been busy this week learning about everything that is available to them at the college and how to succeed there.

Bobbie Karp, the college’s director of campus and student life, told the Enterprise the college’s orientation activities this year are following a theme of “building your pathway to success.”

On Tuesday, about 250 new students spent all day in orientation activities, starting with a keynote address from Frank Pastizzo, a speaker nationally known for his team-building and leadership talks.

Then students broke out into various workshops. They included a financial literacy workshop, one on the library, and a “Faculty Tell-All,” in which professors talked about things like their backgrounds, their pet peeves and their likes and dislikes to humanize them a little to students.

There was also a math anxiety workshop, and one meant to help new students who are overwhelmed with things like note taking, test taking and study skills.

There were also break-out sessions that focused on students older than 25.

“They’re always feeling like the odd person out, and yet the reality is that the traditional students are looking up to them for guidance,” Karp said.

Non-traditional students are also often energized by the youth of the younger students, and faculty enjoy teaching them.

“They add a really rich dynamic to the classroom,” she said.

NCCC also brought the mobile veterans unit to campus so representatives there could meet new students who are veterans.

After the workshops wrapped up for the day, there was a barbecue, then students gathered in the gym for the Orientation Olympics. They included relay races and obstacle courses, and students did things like wear inflatable sumo outfits and battle each other with huge foam sticks.

“They had a ball,” Karp said. “The music was blaring.”

Students who are living on campus moved in on Monday. Classes began Wednesday, but orientation activities are set to continue into next week. Karp said she’s planning a sexual assault prevention program that will bring in resources like local police and Planned Parenthood to talk about how students can protect themselves and how to be a good bystander if someone else is in a difficult situation.

“We’re trying to get a lot of information out to the students over a very short amount of time,” Karp said.

Contact Jessica Collier at 518-891-2600 ext. 26 or