The time is at hand for high school graduates to transition into college life. University of South Dakota officials have everything ready for the incoming freshmen.

Higher education can be described as a launch pad for real life and Dean of Students Kim Grieve says students need to learn a few life lessons before official class time begins.

“During orientation we have four mandatory sessions. In one of them we talk about sexual assault prevention. Another one has them meeting with the University Police Department and the Student Rights and Responsibilities Director to talk about safety. They also talk to the housing person and safety (is addressed there). We also have a new session this year which is called, ‘How to Be a Coyote.’ We groom them right from the beginning to be proud to be a ‘Yote.”

Grieve also sets aside some time for family fellowship before parents release their child to the next phase of life.

“We have Convocation and then we have a nice family picnic. (Afterwards) that’s usually when the families give their hugs and away the students go to be on their own.”

Official enrollment figures are not out yet, but Grieve estimates that the University of South Dakota has around 6,000 students on campus plus another 4,000 students taking on-line courses.

Also to be christened this Sunday will be two athletic venues featuring the first home contest at the new CorTrust Soccer Complex. Plus students will get a first look at the new Sanford Coyote Center volleyball and basketball arena.