If you have ever read any of my material, you know I believe the first three weeks of the fall semester are "solid gold" or "If you don't do the first three weeks of the fall right, nothing else matters".
So, what about the start of the Spring Semester or Winter Quarter? Many just see it as an extension of the previous semester and just see the Christmas Holidays as a break and we pick up right where we left off. I don't believe it works that way. In many ways there is the good and bad of a new start.
First, I think utilizing the first couple of weeks in serious outreach can be valuable and be about 25% as beneficial as the Fall Startup. Here are three groups for which it can make a difference.
1. There are Christian students who came to your campus last fall as freshmen who did not live as Believers.....and they have realized it and regretted it. What can you do that might connect to them and give them a new entry point to your ministry? And, a new walk with the Lord.
2. Transfer students often come in January from Junior College or Community Colleges. No body is much doing all the "Welcome Glad You Are Here Events" that fall offers. Is there something you might do that would reach into the group of transfers coming to your campus and bless their lives....and help them survive?
3. Students who were in and out of your ministry during the fall often need encouragement or help to reconnect in the Spring Semester. Make a list and consciously check on them or assign them to some upperclass leaders.
One More Thing: I have observed a "magic thing" happens with several freshmen when they come back from Christmas Break.....they are not "such a freshman" anymore. I have no explanation for it. It seems they have turned a corner in maturity or at least are ready to turn that corner. Put a group of them together for a Bible study group you might lead for potential new leaders. Or, start meeting one to one with a few of them. Help them have a vision for how God might use their life on campus in the next few years. Plant a dream and a God sized goal in their heart.
Are the first three weeks of Spring Semester 25% as valuable as the first three weeks of fall? We will see.