New Ithaca College Students Get a Jump on the College Experience

By Alexis Forde ’17, August 18, 2016

New Ithaca College Students Get a Jump on the College Experience

One-hundred-and-eighty incoming Ithaca College students have arrived on campus early to participate in Jumpstart, a program designed to ease the transition to college.

Now in its 19th year, Jumpstart gives first-year and transfer students the opportunity to take part in one of four specially designed pre-semester programs. Each of the programs has a different thematic focus: Community Plunge, ECHO (Experience Connections by Heading Outdoors), Lead-In and the GREEN (Gardening, Recycling, Eating, Enjoying Nature) Tour.

Community Plunge allows students to connect with the Ithaca community before the academic year begins. Participants spend two days volunteering with a variety of community projects. Work sites this year include the Finger Lakes ReUse Center, Ithaca Youth Bureau, Youth Farm Project, Ithaca Children’s Garden and Ithaca Waldorf School.

ECHO participants are given the opportunity to head off campus and into the great outdoors for an overnight camping experience along the beautiful Finger Lakes Trail. During this time, campers stay in tents, prepare their own food, connect with peers and participate in activities led by students, faculty and staff.

Lead-In students will participate in team-building and leadership skill-building activities. Unique exercises require the students to brainstorm, plan, implement, evaluate and improvise. The program will also give students the chance to learn about the opportunities offered to them through student organizations at IC. 

GREEN Tour students will take a bus to explore the diversity of food production systems in use on a variety of farms around Cayuga Lake. Other highlights of the trip include a hike in the Taughannock Falls gorge and dinner at Stewart Park.

Jumpstart participants moved in on Thursday, Aug. 18, will spend Friday and Saturday with their program, and gather together again for a closing activity on Saturday evening, the day before the official move-in date for the rest of the incoming class.

For more information on Jumpstart, contact Don Austin, assistant director of community service and leadership development in the Office of Student Engagement and Multicultural Affairs at (607) 274-3222 or