UMass Dartmouth kicks off a new academic year

University welcomes new students, programs, and facilities

Students moving into housing

On Sunday, September 2, first-year students will move into residence halls and begin their educational journeys. Current student volunteers will be available to help new students with the move-in process and Chancellor Robert E. Johnson will greet students and their families. This incoming group of 1,425 students are from 289 Massachusetts cities and towns, 22 states, and 9 countries outside the U.S.

New students have been engaging with their peers on the university’s This We Believe blog. This UMass Dartmouth tradition gives new students an opportunity to reflect on their experiences and learn about the lived experiences of their peers. The posts focus on family, friendship, love, loss, faith, gratitude, justice, perseverance, and self-esteem. Many of these posts helped to form essays that were entered in the Provost's Essay Contest.

The winners for 2018 were:

The first prize essay was written by Saheedat Bello, a Computer Science major from Brockton, Massachusetts by way of Nigeria. Her essay ‘A Letter to My Dear Friend Fear’, chronicles being new to America and how confidence in herself overcame fear.

Second place was awarded to Lydia R Touchette, a Nursing major from Southampton, Massachusetts. Her essay ‘Restorative Stillness’ reflects on her time working at a summer camp with children from different backgrounds. Touchette discusses her ability to reconnect with herself through faith and the power of nature.

Third Place went to Ny’Asia Ashley President, a Medical Laboratory Science Major from Dorchester, Massachusetts. Her essay “I Believe in Self-Confidence” details her personal struggle with confidence and self-image. Spending much of her life chasing what she thought was beauty; President eventually realized that being yourself is all that matters.

These students and their new peers will be able to hear from school administrators and the Chancellor about how their personal stories will fuel their academic ambitions at Convocation for the Class of 2022 on September 4 between 11 am and 12noon. This annual ceremony is the official beginning of the academic year as student’s process into the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Amphitheater

Students moving into housing

The new first-year students will be joined by nearly 500 transfer students, more than 200 former Mount Ida students, and 94 new law students.

The UMass School of Law, which started classes in late August, saw a 17.5 percent increase in its first-year student enrollment, from 80 to 94 students, while continuing its steady improvement in the LSAT scores and undergraduate GPAs of incoming students. The 2018 first-year enrollment is a 42 percent increase over 2016, the year the school received full American Bar Association accreditation.

In November, the University is planning to break ground this fall on a $107.8 million, 267,500 square foot housing development project that will serve 1,210 first-year students. The new housing will feature academic classrooms, multimedia and study lounges, demonstration kitchens, and recreation space.

The housing will be co-located with a $26.1 million, 38,000 square foot student dining commons with a capacity of 800.

This academic year will also see the start of renovations to the 177,000 square foot science and engineering building. The $54 million project will focus on the building systems, including roofs, windows, heating, and ventilation.

Nursing students will be able to take advantage of the new Clinical Skills Laboratory. The $250,000 investment in laboratory renovation ensures innovative and meaningful learning experiences and complements the College's separate simulation and assessment laboratories.

To support students better, a newly aligned STEM Tutoring Center was created to provide tutoring space, technical resources, and storage capacity for academic needs. The $200,000 investment has the capacity of supporting 70 students at one time, with computer stations as well as space to offer both group and individual tutorial support.

The Multiliteracy & Communication Center is a free tutoring service for all students. The goal is to help all students grow as independent and confident communicators on the written page and across a variety of current and emerging platforms and technologies.

UMass Dartmouth is launching four new degree programs, including a Ph.D. in STEM Education, a Master’s of Science in Finance, and Bachelor’s degrees in Health and Society, and Public Administration this fall.

To cap off the opening week and to display the university’s commitment to service, UMass Dartmouth students, faculty, and staff will participate in the 9/11 Day of Service and Remembrance at Sharing the Harvest Community Farm on Sunday, September 9, 2018.

Hosted by the UMass Dartmouth Leduc Center for Civic Engagement, the event will result in the harvesting of thousands of pounds of fresh produce for local food pantries.

Students moving in and Arnie lounging

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