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Identifying Essential Back-to-School Materials for Colleges and Universities

Summer may be heralded by a campus that’s missing the majority of its student population, but the exodus of people at the end of the spring semester by no means signals the end of college activities. In fact, summer vacation and the summer months are the prime time of year for colleges to start preparing for the next crop of students who will be seeking higher education come the fall.   One of the most important parts of prepping for the upcoming school year is getting the right materials in line for students seeking information, resources and guidance as to what classes they’ll be enrolling in, where they need to be on campus and what facilities they need to familiarize themselves with. In a nutshell: one of the biggest tasks of any college during the summer season is making sure it has materials designed, printed and ready to go before classes start up again.   Enrollment materials   The most essential of all the printed materials that a college will require are those materials that pertain exclusively to new students. For people enrolling in college for the first time, the campus and its courses are a fresh experience that can be heavily confusing, which is why it pays to have a myriad of resources on hand to make the experience smoother and more coordinated for newcomers. Take a look at a few of the essentials that encompass enrollment materials:   - Campus maps: It’s easy to get lost on any college campus and with courses spread out throughout the length of the campus, a campus map is going to be the most valuable tool for any first-year student. Creating pocket-sized maps or folding maps is a great way to give people a handy visual of their environment and can even help students learn the best routes to and from classes. - Course catalogs: In the age of the Internet, why would anyone print course catalogs? Well, for the simple fact that it’s much easier to thumb through a book and pick classes you’re interested in, rather than navigating between several webpages! What’s more, course catalogs allow new students to see every class available to them in one singular place. - Student handbooks: For many first year college students, the student handbook is a bible—it contains absolutely everything they need to know about anything they might have questions about. Handing out physical copies of the student handbook can also put newcomers at ease because it gives them a reference guide right out of the gate.   These are just a few of the printed materials that can facilitate a much easier transition for brand new college students—the opportunities to provide incoming students with resources are virtually limitless!   Course materials   For new and returning students alike, there’s nothing quite so important as all of the necessary course materials that will help enrollees get the education they’re here for. Taking the time to print up a full gamut of course materials before the school year officially starts will save both teachers' and students' precious time in getting started with their classes and ensure everyone has the appropriate information and resources to succeed. A couple essential printed materials that any course can benefit from include:   - Reading lists: Complete with ISBN numbers and even QR codes that link to official book retailers, having reading lists printed up eliminates confusion that might come from buying the wrong title or edition of a book. - Syllabi: Having a course syllabus sets the tone for the semester ahead and gives every student in a course the schedule and expectations of the course upfront, so they can adequately prepare themselves. Handing out printed copies will also ensure that every student has one, rather than relying on them to find it online, download it and print it.   Depending on the course being taught and the materials required from each student enrolled in that course, a nearly infinite number of other printed materials might be necessary—it’s important to take stock of what these materials are before classes start so they can be appropriately designed and printed for use on day one.   School resource materials   On a college campus you’re bound to find a variety of different buildings, each with its own purpose. Some buildings are strictly for classes; others are sports and training facilities; still more are health and wellness centers; some are advisory buildings; many are study locations; the list goes on and on. To make sure every student gets the most out of their time at the school, it’s important to have materials located in these buildings that help enrollees to tap all of the resources available to them:   - Pamphlets: Whether it’s giving students an overview of the computer lab or outlining the various advisors located in a certain building, pamphlets are some of the most informative printed materials you can give your students and customizing them by building means getting the right information into the right hands. - Flyers: Promoting student events? Raising awareness about a campus policy? Announcing information within a certain building? A flyer is absolutely the way to do this! Whether it’s read by a student waiting for their classroom to open up or it’s noticed by someone walking down a corridor, flyers will definitely get the word out. - Handouts: Handouts are a great way to make sure your information gets into the hands of students and that they can’t possibly ignore it. Whether you’re alerting dorm residents of a maintenance day or you’re handing out revised parking guidelines for campus parking lots, handouts can save you the trouble of hoping someone sees your information by giving you peace of mind that you literally put it in their hands.   Get ready for the school year   When you truly consider how many printed materials are needed to make a school function, it’s no wonder that many colleges and universities start the printing process during the summer months! Take stock of what your school needs and make sure you’re working to get these items printed quickly because the new school year will be here before you know it!

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