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
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.
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
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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