MSU President's Column for Traill County Tribune

July 11, 2020 

Virtual orientation helps new Comets transition to life at Mayville State

Amid all the extra planning required due to the coronavirus pandemic, staff and faculty are busy preparing for the return of students to campus for face-to-face instruction in the fall. Things will look a bit different, but it is our goal to make their experiences as close to what we’re used to as possible. One thing that will remain the same is our commitment to personal service. Students can expect to receive the personal attention they expect and deserve.

Normally, during the month of June, we would host a number of orientation days for new students who will join us in the fall semester. With considerations related to the pandemic, we have decided to forego these face-to-face sessions and opted for a virtual experience.

New Comet Orientation, a virtual version of the traditional face-to-face orientation sessions went live this week. The project is the product of a lot of work by Mayville State employees Susan Cordahl, Remi Herman, Megan Vig, Alissa Perkins, Amy Fuglestad, and Teri Wright. They have poured their hearts and creative energy into creating an experience that will be meaningful for the newest members of the Comet family who will be joining us next semester, not only those who will be studying on campus, but also those who will study online or at a distance. The committee has done their best to mimic the information students and parents would have received in a face-to-face situation.

The orientation materials are set up as a course in Blackboard, the platform used to deliver online course content to Mayville State students. The virtual orientation will serve a dual purpose: to help incoming students prepare and provide them with the information they’ll need when they begin their adventure as Comets, and too give them a chance to work in Blackboard, an online platform they’ll need to be familiar with as they pursue their coursework.

Among the topics students will explore in the virtual orientation are Money Matters, Comet Life, Student Resources, and Campus Technology. When students have completed the orientation, each will earn a certificate showing that he or she is a “Certified Comet.” Students will be able to print their “Certified Comet” documentation and turn it in at the bookstore for a free lanyard when they arrive on campus in August. Lanyards will be mailed to online and distance students. The lanyards will be a great way for the new on-campus Comets to carry their Mayville State students ID cards when they arrive on campus.

As part of the virtual orientation experience, students will be able to submit a photo for their ID cards. The ID card will be needed for access to library materials, the Wellness Center, residence halls, and the dining center/meal plan dollars. The new Comets will upload their photos now and we’ll have the ID cards ready and waiting for them when they arrive on campus this fall.

Mayville State students have access to lots of student resources. To help them know what’s available, information about these resources has been included in the virtual orientation. They will find out about how they can get assistance through the Academic Advising Center, Office of Extended Learning, Student Success Center, Disability Support Services, Writing Center, Counseling Services, Veterans & Military Services, Health Services, Diversity & Inclusion, the bookstore, the library, and Information Technology Services. Those who are interested can learn how they may get a part-time job on campus, and student athletes can learn about athletic eligibility.

Another big piece of information that new students will need to know deals with campus technology. In the virtual orientation they’ll learn what kind or laptop of tablet computer they’ll need. They’ll also learn how to access the computer programs they need, as well as the MSU mobile app.

As you can see, there is lots for our new students to learn. We are excited for their arrival on campus and grateful for this virtual orientation opportunity that gives them a chance to become more familiar with their new college home and transition as members of the Mayville State family.  

It’s not too late to become a Comet in the fall semester of 2020! Contact our Office of Recruitment and Outreach at 701-788-4842 or go to for more information. It’s always a great day to be a Comet!