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Helping first year students Get Started at UTSC

Incoming UTSC students mingle with a student mentor at a recent Get Started session. Photo by Ken Jones.

A unique orientation event offered at the University of Toronto Scarborough (UTSC) is helping incoming university students to get started on the right foot.

The Get Started program is a first-year academic orientation event designed to help students use all of the tools necessary to have a successful first year in university. Run by Academic Advising & Career Centre, the event includes mentorship from senior students and an opportunity to ask academic and career-related questions. 

 “The program provides a framework for students to make good decisions about course selection, while discussing their academic and social transition as they enter UTSC,” says Fiorella Shields, manager of resource centre and services at UTSC.

The event allows students to meet staff members and other first year student while also spending time with a senior student who acts as a guide and mentor. She says the mentorship aspect is important because it gives incoming students an opportunity to properly choose their courses and get tips and advice from an experienced student about university.

“With more than 40 programs to choose from, some students are unaware of all the course options available at UTSC and selecting courses can become a source of stress and worry,” says Shields. “Get Started is designed to help students navigate the calendar and make informed decisions for their first year course selection and future academic and life goals.”

Many incoming students not only have questions about courses, but often have questions about professional or graduate school and career options related to their degree, adds Shields.

In addition to being shown the ropes, there are many social activities while students also get an opportunity to pick up their student card. Meanwhile, Academic Advising & Career Centre has created two videos to help promote the program and show first-year students that there are services available on campus to assist them.

“Get started has become a staple in student programming. Hopefully we can build on this success and keep growing and expanding the program in the years to come.

Click here to view the Get Started video or for more information about the program visit,

© University of Toronto Scarborough