The Cal State San Bernardino Palm Desert Campus orientation team, which consists of staff members Avisinia Rodriguez, Vanessa Rojo and Jazmin Vera, as well as student leaders David Garcia and Angelique Melendrez, has been selected to speak at the 2021 NODA Annual Conference in October about the PDC Pack Prep program they developed for incoming students. The title of their presentation is “Creating a Sense of Belonging Before Orientation.”

PDC Pack Prep supports the transition of first-year and continuing college students to a four-year university by providing opportunities to engage with current students and fellow peers. The PDC Pack Prep team communicates with students prior to their orientation experience to guide them through the next steps in order to prepare them for orientation and establish connections prior to orientation.

Objectives of the program include:

  • Meet orientation leaders and fellow classmates;
  • Learn how to navigate important features of Zoom and the myCoyote portal;
  • Learn basics about the PAWS Report, Roadmaps and Schedule search;
  • Inform students about important upcoming deadlines and to-do items before enrolling for fall courses;
  • Prepare for virtual orientation;
  • Inform and connect students to campus resources before attending orientation; and
  • Build PDC Pride and a sense of belonging.

“Whether a new student is excited or anxious to attend orientation, a pre-orientation program can support and prepare them for orientation,” said Rojo. “This virtual pre-orientation program led by orientation leaders supports the transition of all incoming students to a four-year university branch campus. New students are given the opportunity to engage and establish connections with current students and peers all while learning about student resources and recommendations to best prepare for orientation.”

About NODA
NODA was chartered in 1976 (originally as National Orientation Directors Association) and continues the tradition of orientation, transition, and retention professionals who have met annually for over 40 years. In 2013, in order to better reflect the membership, NODA Board of Directors changed the association name to NODA – Association for Orientation, Transition, and Retention in Higher Education. Today, NODA is an international association comprised of professional administrators, students, faculty, and related organizations. The association strives to attract a pluralistic membership and leadership, which endeavors to facilitate the professional development of its members. NODA is further dedicated to inter-association cooperation, the advancement of professional and ethical standards, and the production of scholarly works.