New Student Orientation to begin virtual ‘NSO… To-Go!’ Program  

April 21, 2020 - Marissa Lucero and Dorene DiNaro

NSO_photoFor more than 50 years The University of New Mexico has welcomed new Lobos through an on campus New Student Orientation (NSO) program, and although the tradition will always remain, this summer, it will look different.

In response to COVID-19 and the University’s efforts to do our part in ‘flattening the curve’, NSO Director, Jose Villar, and his team have been tasked with developing a new and virtual orientation for incoming students and their families.

NSO was originally scheduled to host 22 (11 First-Year, 11 Family Connection & 6 Transfer) in-person orientation programs that encompass information from dozens of departments and programs across campus.

“In recent weeks, we have all been impacted in some way and are now doing things a little differently than before to protect the health and well-being of our communities,” Villar said.  “Like many of our peer institutions and other universities around the country, we will be moving our orientation sessions to an online format.”

University leaders are planning to rollout the new format ‘NSO…To-Go!’ as early as June 1. This summer, it will replace the traditional in-person orientation with a combination of online modules, video conferences, remote academic advisement, and Q&A panels. Villar said it will include everything students need to be successful as they transition into their first semester at UNM. 

“We understand this is not the same experience as an in-person orientation for students,” Villar said. “We’re all having to adjust to a new normal but we will continue to address the challenges as they arise and find creative ways to serve our students.”

Students will be required to complete the online orientation program in order to satisfy UNM's orientation requirement. Villar said his team is taking into consideration things like: internet access, ADA requirements and the cost of the new online format.

“Although this orientation will be conducted remotely, our commitment to having a positive impact on the orientation, transition and retention of our newest Lobos is unchanged,” Villar said.  “At this point, we just need a little time and patience as we revamp our current program and get this new one off the ground.”University leaders are planning to rollout the new format ‘NSO…To-Go!’ as early as June 1. This summer, it will replace the traditional in-person orientation with a combination of online modules, video conferences, remote academic advisement, and Q&A panels. Villar said it will include everything students need to be successful as they transition into their first semester at UNM.  

Please visit NSO for additional details.