UC Berkeley is hosting Golden Bear Orientation (GBO) from August 15 to 22, 2017.
GBO replaces the brief Cal Student Orientation (CalSO) sessions that occurred throughout the summer. The new GBO program offers all 8,500+ incoming undergraduate students the same opportunity to participate, and to participate together. This new orientation model has been designed to build community; to create opportunities for new students to engage with each other and the campus community; to learn about academic requirements and campus resources; and most importantly, to welcome students into the Berkeley scholarly community and lay the foundation for fostering each student’s intellectual identity.
Faculty involvement during the week of GBO will signal to new students the priority we place on their academic growth, as faculty members — and the academic rigor that they foster — are why many of our new students chose UC Berkeley over other opportunities. This also gives students, even before they start classes, a chance to connect with faculty.
Below is a list of some ways faculty can become involved in Golden Bear Orientation. More details about dates and events are included in the "Golden Bear Orientation Program Overview."
How to Volunteer
If you are a faculty member who would like to participate, please complete this Volunteer Interest form. Also, faculty may contact their College deans, department chairs, and academic advisers to get involved in College-specific programming.
Faculty TedTalks are inspired by the globally recognized brand TED: Ideas Worth Spreading and are similar to Stanford University’s “I Screwed Up” presentations.
For this activity, faculty members can tell a story about a time they faced a personal or professional setback, particularly in academics (examples: failing an exam, losing a job opportunity) and how they used mental toughness, self-efficacy, and resilience to continue moving toward success. Sharing these stories can help students identify ways to cope with their own setbacks while also instilling in them a sense of belonging and bravery. The main objective is to push the concept and change the perception of setbacks from something to be avoided or defining to a life experience with purpose and value. This activity has a second value, in presenting our stellar and renowned faculty with many dimensions, and thus more relatable to students. This would require a minimum of three faculty members to participate during all six sessions.
First-year students will have the opportunity to travel off campus, in small groups, to experience the Bay Area, engage with the local community, and connect to the world outside of the classroom. Faculty can travel with the orientation groups as part of these experiences.
Transfer participants will go on company visits throughout the Bay Area to expand their ideas of career possibilities, to engage with the community, and to network with alumni. Faculty can spend time with the orientation groups as part of the office visits, and perhaps even facilitate connections with various companies (example: a film professor connecting us to Pixar).
Students can master some engineering concepts by building simple robots and exploring the field of robotics through hands-on activities. A faculty member and/or department may provide instruction and materials for this late-night activity. (New Student Services staff can be available to support faculty in program implementation as needed.)
A faculty member and/or department can give a brief lecture (approximately thirty minutes) on astronomy, followed by a forty-five-minute time block in the observatory to view the stars with students and engage those students who aren't even pursuing a science major with new ideas.
The incoming class will be officially welcomed to UC Berkeley by the Chancellor, senior administrators, and student leadership. Faculty are invited to serve as greeters and/or participate in the ceremony as part of the faculty procession and official stage party.