New Student Orientation returns to Greater Allegheny as an in-person event

sign announcing New Student Orientation

Penn State Greater Allegheny held its first NSO event on June 15.

Credit: Nick Trunzo

MCKEESPORT, Pa. — Penn State Greater Allegheny kicked off the New Student Orientation (NSO) season on June 15, hosting the first of five sessions for the Class of 2026.

This was the first in-person NSO event held at the McKeesport based campus since 2019. Events in 2020 and 2021 were virtual due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We worked so hard preparing for this event, attending to every detail so the program would be beneficial and memorable,” said Erica Tachoir, academic advising manager and coordinator of the Division of Undergraduate Studies. “I cannot express how excited we were to welcome students and their guests to campus. We realized how much we missed in-person NSO sessions.”

New Student Orientation sessions happen at each Commonwealth Campus and at University Park. It is the standard way that incoming students are welcomed into the Penn State community. Campuses bring individual touches and traditions to the program, but a common experience is an academic advising and schedule planning component.

“Understanding your degree requirements and planning a course schedule that is appropriate for your major is critical to your initial success at Penn State,” said Megan Nagel, associate professor of chemistry, and incoming interim chancellor and chief academic officer at Greater Allegheny. “I stress to the students I meet the importance of working with an academic adviser who understands Penn State and can help them make choices to enhance their experience and keep them on track to earning a degree.”

“Understanding your degree requirements and planning a course schedule that is appropriate for your major is critical to your initial success at Penn State.”

—Megan Nagel , associate professor of chemistry and incoming interim chancellor and chief academic officer, Penn State Greater Allegheny

In addition to academic advising, students and their guests complete a financial aid and billing session, attend a student success fair to meet health services, student life, campus police and other offices; visit with staff from the J. Clarence Kelly Library, the John H. Gruskin Learning Center, and the Center for Academic and Career Excellence; and enjoy a luncheon finished off with ice cream from the Penn State Berkey Creamery.

As part of Greater Allegheny’s Digital Fluency Project, each incoming student received an iPad to use during their first two years if they are part of the 2+2 plan, or for all four years if they will complete one of Greater Allegheny’s 11 degree programs.  Launched in 2018, this project addresses technical equity by providing all faculty, staff and students a device which becomes the common tool providing connections to innovative teaching, learning and service strategies.

Throughout the program, the incoming students are accompanied and mentored by New Student Orientation Leaders James Plez, Austin Livsey, Sidney Przybylski, Elijah Akinade and Aayushi Gandhi.