11:09 AM

Gator Gateway Acquaints Incoming Freshmen to UHD

When we first met incoming Gator freshman Lydia Michael she was only an hour into Gator Gateway and was just getting her feet wet at the University of Houston Downtown (UHD).

By the time we caught up with her on the final day of the required freshman student orientation, Michael was navigating her way around campus as if she had been here for several semesters

“Gator Gateway has been really helpful and I feel like I understand this school a lot better now. I know there’s a bunch of resources that will help me be successful in college,” Michael said. “It makes me feel more comfortable about my first year here.”

As a first-generation college student, Michael said she was attracted to UHD because of its affordability, diversity and ease of transferring her college dual credits hours she earned at Houston Community College.

“Transferring credits was very easy and the process was smooth,” said the recent Stafford High School graduate.

Michael plans on majoring in political science with aspirations to be a human rights attorney.

Mandatory for all incoming freshmen, Gator Gateway—uniquely tailored to each students’ college academic major—is facilitated weeks before the beginning of fall classes. Through the course of this four-day program, students get acclimated with all that UHD has to offer while making new friends, meeting faculty and staff, and settling into their new community.

Incoming freshmen also participate in numerous activities and events, including informative and interactive sessions. Additionally, students get a look inside real UHD college classes through a simulated classroom experience. They also learn tips for success, and participate in an actual UHD community service-learning project.

Ed Hugetz, UHD provost and senior vice president for Academic & Student Affairs, highlighted the week’s activities when he delivered the keynote address on Gator Gateway's final day.

“I hope you've found the last few days to be helpful in building a bridge in getting to know UHD so that on the first day we won’t be strangers,” said Hugetz.

He applauded the College of Humanities & Social Sciences freshmen on successfully concluding their week at UHD.

“I congratulate all of you because for me it represents that you want something better,” he said “You're looking for something that will improve your lives.”

Since early July similar events have been held for the College of Sciences & Technology, College of Public Service and Marilyn Davies College of Business. The final Gator Gateway is slated for August 6-9 for multidisciplinary students and for make-up orientation.