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New Student Orientation


Contact New Student Orientation  

New Student Orientation

202 Lawrence Center
West Chester, PA 19383

Phone: 610-436-3305
Fax: 610-430-5945



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Families & Friends

Welcome parents, family members, and friends to West Chester University! We are excited to welcome your new student to our campus, and we value your involvement and support. Our programs are designed to ensure your student's success as they transition from high school to college or from another school to West Chester University. The information on this page will help answer some of the most frequently asked questions about our programs, but if you need additional assistance, please don't hesitate to contact us at or (610) 436-3305.

Why Orientation?

Orientation is an important first step in ensuring students will be successful at West Chester University. Because we believe so strongly that orientation is an integral part in a new student's transition to WCU, all new students are required to complete orientation programming. 

New first-year (freshman) students are required to attend a two-part orientation program: a one-day program held in June, and a three-day orientation that's held during move-in weekend in August. Transfer students who have earned fewer than 60 credits must attend on-campus orientation in August. Transfer students who have earned 60 credits or more can either attend on-campus orientation OR complete an online orientation. 

We encourage you to explore the first-year and the transfer student tabs for more information and to review this information with your student as they prepare for orientation.

What to Expect at Orientation

On all first-year and transfer orientation days we also offer an optional family and guest orientation for you.  If you attend this program, you and your student will follow different schedules for most of the day.  Both the family and guest and the student programs offer valuable information for you and your student as they transition to WCU.

At check-in you will receive the day's schedule and other information about WCU. After attending the morning reception, welcome and overview together, you and your student will then follow different schedules. During the day you will learn about the resources available for you and your student, network with faculty and staff, and have some of your unanswered questions resolved.

Please refer to the first-year and transfer tabs for more information about the orientation day, how to register, and what your student can expect from their orientation experience.

Sample Orientation Schedules

The following schedules are for illustrative purposes only and are subject to change. 

June 2019 Student and Family & Guest Schedule

Sample August Transfer Student & Guest Schedule

Parent FAQs  

  1. When should my student choose their orientation session?
    We encourage your student to register as soon as possible once registration opens in early May. If you plan to attend the family and guest program, discuss a date that works with both of your schedules then register online. Sessions can fill up, so the sooner you select a date and register the better. Requests to change an orientation date can only be accommodated if space permits. Family members and guests are free to attend the full day or a portion of the day as their schedule permits; however students must stay for the entire program to meet their orientation requirement. Choose a date that will not conflict with other commitments or appointments as students who leave early may be required to repeat their orientation program.
  2. Why is orientation mandatory?
    Orientation is mandatory because we have found, and research confirms, that completing an orientation is a crucial first step toward a student's success in college. At WCU, orientation is intentionally designed to give new students an opportunity to learn about the campus, connect with other new students, meet University faculty and staff, and find the many resources available to foster their success as a Golden Ram.
  3. Will we have time to visit other campus offices?
    Most offices will stay open until 4:00 pm on June and August orientation days so there will be time to visit after the program. Family members and guests are also free to visit campus offices throughout the day as time permits; however, students must stay with their orientation group for the entire day and will only have time after the program.
  4. Why is there a New Student Fee?
    The New Student Fee covers all the costs associated with the orientation program including staffing, mailings, business expenses, materials, presenters, student ID cards, and students' meals. This one-time fee will appear on your student's first semester bill.
  5. Where do I park for orientation?
    Parking for First-Year Part 1 orientation in June is in the Sharpless Parking Garage and is free on orientation days.  Parking for transfer orientation in August is located behind Sykes Student Union or in M lot behind the Swope Music Building in student spaces only.  Please do not park in faculty/staff lots or spaces as you may be ticketed or towed. Metered street parking is controlled by the Borough of West Chester and is strictly enforced, even during the summer months. Information about parking and a campus map can be found by clicking the Parking icon on the New Student Programs homepage.
  6. Why do my student and I have different schedules?
    During orientation, students are placed into small groups according to their major. These groups are facilitated by orientation leaders who are trained to focus on the needs of the incoming students, to answer their questions, and to give them the opportunity to meet other new students. The family and guest program is a mix of group presentations and smaller sessions you attend based on your interest. This program also offers opportunities for parents, family members and guests to have their questions answered.
  7. What if we cannot attend any of the scheduled orientations?
    If you are unable to attend one of the scheduled orientation days, please call the New Student Programs Office at (610) 436-3305 to discuss arrangements for your student to fulfill their orientation obligation.
  8. What if my student misses their orientation?
    While we ask that you make every effort to attend your scheduled orientation, we realize that unexpected events do occur. If your student is unable to make their scheduled orientation, call New Student Programs at (610) 436-3305 to reschedule for a later session or to make other arrangements for your student to fulfill their orientation obligation.

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