Q.

How does ASCENT help "ease the transition to College?"

A.

We have two primary ways in which we attempt to assist students transition to Gettysburg:

By providing a forum in which first-year students may meet and interact with other first-year students in a supportive, challenging, and exciting environment.  In this way, students have an opportunity to share experiences with other students before the full college orientation program begins. And you'll have a few familiar faces once you arrive back on campus!

By providing students with a cross-section of varying perspectives on the Gettysburg College experience by way of interaction with current students, faculty, administrators, and/or alumni of the college.  While on ASCENT, first-year students will have a great opportunity to learn about academics, student-life, and life after Gettysburg from those who know it best!

Q.

Can every first year student go on an ASCENT trip?

A.

Registration for ASCENT trips is first-come, first-served. Space is limited and these trips are popular, so it's important to send your information in as early as possible if you would like to participate!

Q.

If I am trying out for a sports team, can I still attend ASCENT?

A.

Usually, the dates of ASCENT conflict with tryouts for fall sports such as football, field hockey, and soccer.  ASCENT does not often conflict with tryouts for winter and spring sports, but the best thing to do if you are planning on trying out for ANY sport is to check with the coach to confirm the date(s) of tryouts.

Q.

When will I know if I have been placed on an ASCENT trip?

A.

All completed registrations will be forwarded to our office by myFirstYear by June 21 and we will contact you via email letting you know of your status.  As we receive registrations, we will do our best to match you with one of your top three choices. It's best to register early because space is limited.

Q.

What type of equipment will I need for ASCENT?

A.

Part of this answer depends upon your trip. For example, ASCENT participants going kayaking will not need the same gear as those who are going backpacking. Once you are confirmed on a trip, we will send you a mailing that you will receive by June 27 that will detail the equipment you will need for your specific trip.

Q.

Is equipment available to rent?

A.

If you are interested in renting equipment from our office, we do have a limited supply of internal frame backpacks, sleeping pads, and sleeping bags available for a rental fee of $5 per item.  This gear will be rented on a first-come, first-served basis and must be reserved prior to your arrival at Gettysburg.  Due to limited supplies, we cannot guarantee that each person who desires to rent equipment will be able to receive it.  When you make arrangements to rent gear from the program, you will receive a confirmation number.

It is important to note that if a participant arrives on the day of ASCENT and is in need of a piece of equipment (i.e. sleeping bag), but did not reserve the item with our office prior to arrival (and we do not have it in stock), we reserve the right to charge full retail price of that item if we have to purchase it in order to properly outfit that participant.

Q.

How many first-year students are there on each trip?

A.

On average, there are 6-7 first-year students on each trip, depending upon the trip and the location.  We keep the number of students on each trip small for a few reasons: First, students are able to interact more openly with one another in smaller groups.  Secondly, backcountry permit regulations and travel policies limit our total number of people allowed on each trip to 10.

Q.

Who will be leading my trip?

A.

Each trip will be led by 3 of our qualified trip leaders (see below for information on trip leader qualifications).

Q.

What qualifications do the ASCENT trip leaders have?

A.

Each ASCENT trip leader is either a sophomore, junior, or senior student at Gettysburg.  Each leader is currently an active member of the Office of Experiential Education and the Center for Public Service.  Facilitators have received between 350 and 1,000 hours of both field and classroom training in the following areas.

Group Facilitation and management
Wilderness Medicine - All of our student facilitators are certified as either Wilderness First Responders (72-hours of training), or EMTs (126-hours of training)
Ropes Course Programming
Backcountry Living Skills
Rock Climbing / Top-Rope Anchor Building
Kayaking Certifications
Risk-Management
Driver Certification Training