Tuesday, February 23, 2010

THINK BIG: Tiffany Bellafant

Black History Month at Tennessee State University

THINK BIG: Tiffany Bellafant

*Tennessee State University celebrates Black History Month by recognizing individuals or organizations that have made noteworthy contributions to University’s history and are taking the “Think Big, TSU BIG!” approach to their areas of study and expertise while impacting the campus, community and beyond.

While Tennessee State University celebrated its largest incoming freshman class in recent history last fall, there was a person behind the scenes who created the blueprint that welcomed those record numbers with open arms. Tiffany Bellafant, director for the Center of New Student Enrollment, was determined to create a smoother orientation process for the University that ensured new students - many who are first-time, first-generation freshmen - would be fully serviced and well-adjusted at their new campus.  
A fairly new face at TSU, Bellafant launched a freshly re-designed approach to new student orientation by adding streamlining the traditional process to help guide the registration of and assess the needs of incoming students and their families. The new program featured five one-day registration sessions that included keynote speakers and a financial literacy presentation. With the support of Vice President for Student Affairs Dr. Michael Freeman, along with the Financial Aid and Admissions offices, the University enrolled more than 1,000 new students during the orientation program and received rave reviews on the improved process.
Bellafant knew the success of the new process was a matter of TSU giving a good first impression: “Word of mouth means a lot. Orientation must be a positive first experience for our new students and parents as they have up until the last hour to make a decision to go somewhere else. We have built a high level of self-efficacy and students are more confident with navigating the new process.”

This summer, Bellafant hopes to add a sixth day to the program to accommodate the increasing number of students who plan to attend TSU. 

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