Before First Class, Freshmen Kick Off College Career With Volunteer Work

Ann McClure's picture

For incoming freshmen, summer orientation used to be focused on meeting roommates, buying books and finding the way to the dining hall.

But at a growing number of colleges, orientation is also about doing farm work, visiting the elderly, scrubbing classrooms and feeding the homeless.

Several local colleges โ€” including Caldwell College, Centenary College, Richard Stockton College and Princeton University โ€” are starting the school year by sending students into the community to do volunteer work. The idea is to introduce students to "service learning" before they take their first class.

Campus officials say a day of manual labor also gives freshmen a chance to meet each other and get exposed to something new โ€” whether they like it or not.

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