Eagle Guides help new UW-L students make transition to college

image of several eagle guides playing a game.

UW-L Eagle Guides participate in training. Photo by UW-L student Hanqing Wu.

New UW-L students will be guided through their first few days of college by about 80 UW-L student experts — called Eagle Guides.

These guides are in training Monday-Thursday, Aug. 25-28, learning how to facilitate group discussions, and serve as a campus resource for incoming freshmen and transfer students.

Those skills will be put into action when new students arrive on campus for New Student Orientation, Friday, Aug. 29 – Monday, Sept. 1. During orientation, Eagle Guides will lead groups of about 40 students in discussion about the transition to college. They’ll help them build friendships, find their classes and learn about campus resources.

“Being an eagle guide is a great way to connect with new students in a small, but important way,” says Eagle Guide Ali Ward, a UW-L student.

Ward recalls how her first day of college became frustrating after her class schedule included one class she really didn’t want. But she also remembers meeting a current student in the hallway who listened to her worries and provided much-needed reassurance.

“She said that she loved UW-L and told me it would be fun,” she remembers. “I think support coming from a student is different than support coming from someone else. You kind of expect a faculty member or adviser to say you’ll have a good time, but it means a lot more coming from a peer.”

Ward will always be thankful for the student who lent a listening ear during her first day on campus. She hopes to do the same for future students.

In addition to activities led by Eagle Guides, New Student Orientation, Friday, Aug. 29- Monday, Sept. 1, includes a midnight fun run, a performance from the chancellor’s band, dinners, movies, programs and more — all designed to welcome and introduce students to all of the engagement opportunities at UW-L.

UW-La classes start Tuesday, Sept. 2.