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Welcome Parents and Families to West Chester University of Pennsylvania! We are excited to welcome both you and your student to campus. We have created an orientation program that is the first step toward success for your student. We value your involvement and support of this program which is designed to ensure your first-year student's success as they transition from high school to college or your transfer student's success as they transition from another school to West Chester University.
All first-year (freshman) students new to West Chester University are required to attend a two-part orientation program: a one-day program held in June, and August orientation held the weekend before classes start. Transfer students who have taken fewer than 60 credits must attend a mandatory one-day orientation session held in August. We encourage you to explore either the First Year tab or the Transfer tab. These tabs will provide you with information to review with your student as they prepare to attend orientation.
What to Expect at Orientation
On all the first-year and transfer orientation days we also offer a parent/family orientation session. If you attend the parent/family program you and your student will follow different schedules for the day. Both the parent and the student programs have valuable information you and your student will need as your new student transitions to WCU.
At check-in you will be provided with a schedule for the day and a parent folder with information and an overview of WCU. 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 both the First-Year Student and Transfer Student tabs for more information about their orientation day, registration, and experience.
When should my student choose a day to attend an orientation session? As soon as possible. Discuss a date that works for you and your student and register for the date online. Sessions fill up quickly so the sooner a date is selected and confirmed the better. Requests to change a scheduled orientation date can only be honored if space permits, and students must stay for the entire program, so please choose an orientation date that will not conflict with other commitments.
Why is orientation mandatory? Orientation is mandatory for all new first-year (freshman) students and all transfer students who have earned fewer than 60 credits prior to the start of their first academic semester at WCU. The program is mandatory because we have found that orientation is a crucial first step toward a student's successful experience at WCU. Orientation is an opportunity to learn about the campus, review a student's academic plan, meet other new students, and learn about the many resources available to add to the success of all new students.
Does WCU offer overnight housing the day before our orientation program or are there hotel accommodations in the area? A list of area hotels can be found on our Lodging page.
Will we see a residence hall? At the end of the day there will be optional tours for you and your student to see a residence hall room.
Will I have time to visit other offices on campus? Yes, most offices will stay open until 4:00pm on orientation days
How much is the orientation fee and will it appear on my student's tuition bill? The orientation fee is $155.00 for first-year students and $68 for transfer students. This fee covers the cost of the program including staffing, food, business expenses, and your student's ID card. The first-year orientation fee is higher because it includes the cost of the June program as well as the programming for the August orientation which is also required for first-year students. This fee will NOT appear on your student's tuition bill.
Where do I park for orientation? First-Year Orientation parking is available only in the Sharpless Street Parking Garage (15 Sharpless Street).
Transfer Orientation parking is available in STUDENT DESIGNATED SPACES in M Lot located behind the E.O. Bull Center for the Arts and the Swope Music Building just south of the intersection of High Street and Rosedale Avenue.
Please do not park in other campus lots and do not park in spaces designated faculty/staff parking unless directed to do so by the orientation staff as you may be ticketed. Street parking is controlled by the Borough of West Chester and is strictly enforced. View our Campus Map.
Why do my student and I have different schedules for the orientation day? During orientation, students are placed into small groups according to their major and/or housing. These groups are facilitated by orientation leaders who are trained to specifically focus on the needs of the incoming students, to answer their questions, and to give them the opportunity to meet other new students. The parent/family program consists of a mix of group presentations and conference-style "workshops" where you can select a session to attend based on your interest. The program will also offer opportunities for parents and family members to have their questions answered.
What if we cannot attend any of the scheduled orientation days? 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 his or her scheduled orientation day? While we ask that you make every effort to attend your scheduled orientation session, we do recognize that unexpected events such as illness occur. If your student is unable to make their scheduled orientation, please 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.