Transitions program kicks off college experience for first first year students


Courtesy/Tom Canuel

Transition mentors James Maloney, Amani Clemmons, and Anna Raley assisting first year students moving into Joan of Arc Hall.

Mackenzie Mendoza, Crier Staff

The transitions program is a pre orientation program designed as a gateway to campus life for minorities and first generation students. Though the program targets minority and first generation students, it welcomes anyone who is interested in furthering their connections with the community.

Participants arrive at the nest three days earlier than other freshmen do for orientation. In this three day send off participants are enveloped in not only the college, but also in the Manchester community. Transitions makes it a priority to ensure that students have a better footing in both their education and career goals. Participants meet faculty and staff, learn about what it means to be an Anselmian, learn about the Manchester community, and engage in fun activities. These students are assigned a mentor that will guide them through their first year of college. Along with the monthly check-ins that participants get from their mentors, the program also organizes activities throughout the year.

First year students who participate in the program are likely to feel a sense of comfort because of the opportunity provided to them to make new friends prior to the start of the school year. Being introduced to the many amazing staff that work in your new home is extremely beneficial as well. The comfort formed in this program helps students feel more prepared to further their career pursuits. The program hopes to prepare students for internships and other job opportunities in their sophomore year, as opposed to their Junior year. The connections formed throughout the year due to the program provides more opportunities for first year students.

Anna Raley, a member of the leadership team and a mentor for the program, described the importance of having this program available to first year students. “It harbors a different sense of community among students involved in the program. The entire program is designed to provide resources to students who identify as first generation college students, commuter students, BIPOC students, and more so the transition into college life is easier for them.”

The transitions program also has many fun activities throughout the year. Whether it be bowling, roller skating, karaoke, or some other fun activity, the program ensures that the participants enjoy themselves. Even when there is not an official activity you can find that many members of transitions enjoy spending time together. Due to this sense of family, the group acts as an amazing support system with plenty of good advice.

“This program is unique because it is a year long program. The people who mentored me my freshman year continued to help me throughout the entire school year and gave me good advice the entire year. In that sense, we build up a family” Raley stated.

If you are interested in becoming a member of the program, there are opportunities for anyone. An email is sent out in the summer to all incoming freshmen about the opportunity to become a mentee. Those who are interested in becoming a member their freshman year should apply as soon as possible, for there are only 50 spots available. People who have surpassed their freshman year and are incoming sophomores, juniors, or seniors there is still a chance to be a part of the community. These students have the ability to apply to become a mentor for the incoming student participants. 

“I would not be as involved in the Saint Anselm community if it were not for the Transitions family who supported me last year. It’s a program I would sign up for if I were a freshman again because it opens your eyes to many new perspectives. The transitions program brings the college worldview to a whole other level.”

Raley wants first-year students to know that if they are interested in joining this program, contact Wayne Currie at the Father Jonathon Center for Intercultural Learning and Inclusion.