Summer START Scheduled for Incoming Students and Families

Incoming freshmen and transfer students and their families will participate in PhilaU’s summer orientation program, START. The program is designed to help ensure students and their families make a seamless transition into the PhilaU community.

The START sessions for first year students will be offered on the following dates:

  1. Tues., June 15 to Wed., June 16
  2. Tues., June 22 to Wed., June 23
  3. Tues., June 29 to Wed., June 30
  4. Wed., July 7 to Thurs., July 8
  5. Tues., July 13 to Wed., July 14
  6. Tues., Aug. 17 to Wed., Aug. 18 (*)

The START sessions for transfer students will be offered on the following dates:

  1. Thurs., June 24
  2. Thurs., July 15
  3. Tues., Aug. 17 (*)

(*) Please Note: The August sessions are intended for students traveling from more than 250 miles away who are unable to make two trips to campus over the summer.

During START, students will be introduced to the campus, receive schedules, meet other incoming students and participate in numerous activities to get acclimated to the University and surrounding community. Click here for the schedule of events.

START Leaders will lead the sessions and are actively involved in assisting all new students with their transition. “The success of the summer START program is due in large part to the contributions of some of our best students as START Leaders,” said Aurelio Valente, assistant dean for student development. “They serve as wonderful role models to incoming students and reassuring ambassadors to their parents and families.”

Space in the summer orientation program is limited and on a first-come, first-serve basis. Students should complete the reservation process as soon as possible to help ensure the most convenient session.

Incoming students and their families can also arrive the day before the scheduled START session and participate in “Finding Philadelphia” excursions to the city. A $60 fee includes a Duck or Trolley Tour of Philadelphia; a walking tour of the Manayunk section of Philadelphia, including a stop at Rita’s for water ice; a selected new release movie, dinner and breakfast; and an additional night in Ronson Hall.  Students who would like to participate in this opportunity should plan to arrive on campus at approximately 3:30 p.m. the afternoon before the scheduled START session.

Summer Reading
At the closing resource fair during each START session, students will receive the 2010 First Year Experience Summer Reading Program book, The Complete Persepolis, along with a reading guide. Students are expected to read the book before returning to campus on August 19.

The Complete Persepolis is a graphic novel rich in detailed, crisp black-and-white imagery offering readers a distinctive perspective and understanding of Iran’s political subjugation, the dynamics of a family in turmoil, and one woman’s story of being an outsider both at home and abroad.

This book will be used in many of the courses taken in the first semester including Writing Seminar I and American Transitions, and faculty will expect students to have a knowledge and understanding of the work.

Students can qualify for a weekly $50 drawing by responding to posts about the 2010 summer reading on the blog available at
Post by July 16: Critique the text as a Political Reportage
Post by July 23: Critique the text as a Portrait of Culture
Post by July 30: Critique the text as a Memoir
Post by August 6: Critique the text as a Coming of Age Story
Post by August 17: Critique the text as a Graphic Novel

For questions regarding the Freshman START and Family Orientation Program, please call the Office of Student Development Programs at 215-951-2634.

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