News Releases

Camaraderie Before Classes for Incoming Ithaca College Students

 ITHACA, NY — Some 200 first-year Ithaca College students, along with 60 upper-class team leaders, will be arriving on campus several days ahead of their classmates to participate in one of four Jumpstart Programs: Community Plunge, ECHO (Experiencing Connections by Heading Outdoors), Lead-In, or SCC (Sustainable Community Challenge).

Now in its 14th year, Jumpstart provides selected freshman and transfer students with the opportunity to take part in activities ranging from service projects with local organizations to camping to exploring the region’s natural features and history.

“These programs help new students transition into the Ithaca experience both on and off campus,” said Don Austin, assistant director for community service. “They have fun and bond with one another while getting involved in and educated about the local community.”

Each program has a thematic focus and is led by an IC staff member, with current students serving as mentors and facilitators.

Community Plunge
Participants are placed into teams and spend two days working with a variety of local service organizations. Among the locations where students will be rolling up their sleeves and helping out are the Salvation Army, Hospicare and Ithaca Children’s Garden.

ECHO (Experience Connections by Heading Outdoors)
Students head off Ithaca’s campus and into the great outdoors for an overnight camping excursion to the Finger Lakes National Park. Campers stay in tents, prepare their own food, connect with peers and enjoy the night sky.

Participants learn about opportunities to get involved in student organizations and how to take on leadership roles at IC, and take part in team-building activities, including an adventure-challenge course.

SCC (Sustainable Community Challenge)
Students travel by bus throughout the area, with stops at a Native American farm, Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge, Taughannock Falls State Park and EcoVillage Ithaca. Sustainability guides will lead discussions as participants learn about being part of a connected community and understand the impact they have on a local, regional and global level.

The Jumpstart students will arrive on campus on Thursday, Aug. 25, and will gather together again for a closing activity on Saturday, the day before the official move-in date for the rest of the incoming class.

For more information, contact Don Austin at (607) 274-3222 or