Penn State orientation program recognized

October 22, 2012

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Penn State’s First-Year Testing, Consulting and Advising Program (FTCAP) received a 2012 National Academic Advising Association (NACADA) certificate of merit during ceremonies at the association’s annual conference Oct. 4 to 7 in Nashville, Tenn.

NACADA sponsors the Outstanding Institutional Advising awards to honor academic advising programs that are exceptionally innovative, creative and committed to student success and institutional outcomes.

FTCAP’s certificate of merit recognizes its 55-year history of presenting the University’s orientation curriculum to new first-year students and their families. The program specifically earned special acclaim for serving as the first stage of academic advising, teaching students about the University’s academic structure, and introducing the importance of reflective, informed educational decision making. Separate sessions for families introduce similar topics and orient parents to the new role they will play in support of their students’ collegiate success.

“The team responsible for presenting Penn State’s award-winning FTCAP includes all staff members within the Division of Undergraduate Studies at University Park, along with colleagues in Student Affairs,” said Linda Higginson, FTCAP program director and assistant dean for advising. “This program is truly a group effort, and its high quality reflects the dedication and expertise of many academic advising professionals.”

To better address the needs of today's students, FTCAP will expand into a more comprehensive New Student Orientation (NSO) beginning summer 2013. Through NSO, students will take part in sessions introducing them to campus life and will stay overnight in residence halls as well as participate in the full day of academic advising activities traditionally offered via FTCAP. The new orientation program represents a collaboration between Undergraduate Education and Student Affairs.

FTCAP at Penn State is provided by the Division of Undergraduate Studies, a unit within the Office of Undergraduate Education. The division's mission also includes student enrollment, the University-wide academic information network, and general academic advising for current and prospective students.

For more information about the Division of Undergraduate Studies, visit or contact Deborah Oakes, communications director, at or 814-865-7576.


Last Updated June 17, 2014