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Western orientation

Orientation Programs

Learn about our Orientation Programs

New Student Orientation is a hybrid of in-person and an online course.

In-person: Over four days, students will rotate through four blocks of programming, which include Headwaters 100 service learning project, an introduction to academic resources, “Life at Western” to learn about college life and the social issues that come with it, and community trips to check out the Gunnison Valley.

Activities also include a Welcome Barbecue and evening events hosted by student clubs and organizations.

  • The four-day New Student Orientation program is required for all first-time students that are under 21 years old (at the time when fall classes begin.) First-year students who are over 21 have their choice to attend either New Student Orientation or Transfer & Nontraditional Student Orientation. The Orientation Office or an EPIC Mentor will reach out to ask what program you prefer.
  • The fee for this program is $250 and is required; it will be applied to the student’s account.

This program is required, but we still need students to sign up.

Fall 2024 New Students Register Here

Online Orientation: Mountaineer U and the Student Success & Healthy Campus courses are also required. Access to these online programs will be sent out after July 15.

  • You will receive separate communications via Canvas and email for online orientation

Fall Transfer & Nontraditional Student Orientation will be a hybrid of in-person and an online course.

In-person: A day to have your personal questions answered, learn about clubs and activities, meet your academic advisor, and take a tour to learn where your classes will be held with an optional social afterward.

If you’ve decided to live on campus, you will be able to begin move-in on the morning of orientation.

P.S. feel like you’d rather attend the four-day New Student Orientation? Please contact Sara Phillips, director of Orientation, at 970.943.2469 or sphillips@western.edu.

  • The fee for this program is $50 and is required; it will be applied to the student’s account.

This program is required, but we still need students to sign up.

Fall 2024 Transfer & Nontraditional Students Register Here

Online Orientation: Mountaineer U and the Student Success & Healthy Campus courses are also required. Access to these online programs will be sent out after July 15.

  • You will receive separate communications via Canvas and email for online orientation

Spring Orientation will be a hybrid of in-person and an online course for new, transfer, and nontradtional students.

In-person Orientation: A day to have your personal questions answered, learn about clubs and activities, meet your academic advisor, and take a tour to learn where your classes will be held, with an optional dinner afterward.

If you’ve decided to live on campus, you will be able to begin move-in on the morning of orientation.

  • The fee for this program is $50 and is required; it will be applied to the student’s account.

This program is required, but we still need students to sign up.
Sign Up Coming Soon

Online Orientation: Mountaineer U and the Student Success & Healthy Campus courses are also required.

  • You will receive separate communications via Canvas and email for online orientation

Mountaineer U is an online orientation course designed to complement the in-person program. Mountaineer U includes seven different modules, ranging from The Mountaineer Way, Student Success, The Secret Sauce (student activities), and more. This course is in Canvas, Western’s learning management system, and you will receive an email to your Western email account with access instructions for the course once it becomes available.

Western also requires that all incoming students take Student Success & Healthy Campus courses before they arrive on campus. These required courses address critical life skills, such as making healthy choices outside of the classroom, reflecting on your knowledge, attitudes, and experiences related to these issues, and supporting your peers when faced with tough decisions. The courses cover the following topics: alcohol education, sexual assault prevention, mental well-being & diversity, inclusion, and belonging. You will receive access to complete them through your Western email, and we expect you to complete these courses before you arrive on campus for Orientation. You will not be able to receive your Mountaineer ID Card without having completed it.

To help parents understand their students’ new home, we have an online orientation prepared just for parents and families. This explains several aspects of Western through information and videos. This program will be accessible by mid- summer. Please sign up here to receive the link. In the meantime, if you have any questions, please contact Orientation at 970.943.2469 or orientation@western.edu.

In-person Orientation

Date: August 21, 2024

If you are bringing your new student to campus, we encourage you to join us for College 101 for Parents & Families. This program will feature a panel with members from Western’s Senior Cabinet and our Dean of Students, Gary Pierson. This will be followed by an optional reception to celebrate your family’s transition. This is also an opportunity for parents to meet Western faculty & staff who will play important roles in your student’s time at Western. Light appetizers and beverages will be served.

Note: This program is only offered during New Student Orientation for First Year Students. If you will be coming to campus for Transfer or Spring Orientation, we welcome you to join your student for their program.

This OPTIONAL program, taken IN ADDITION to one of the New Student Orientation programs, gives you the ultimate unique experience before the Fall semester! Join other new students on courses varying in time and difficulty that venture into the Colorado backcountry. Each course is led by some of our finest student leaders who give you instruction on adventure activities and beginning college. There is an additional fee for this program. Learn more about Wilderness Based Orientation.

PLEASE NOTE

All new students entering Western are REQUIRED to participate in one of the Student Orientation programs (not including WBO).

Orientation FAQs

  • All new, transfer, and nontraditional students are required to attend one of Western’s Orientation programs.

Orientation is a wonderful opportunity for new students to get acquainted with one another, Western, and the community. Most programming is mandatory; however, there are some parts of the program that are optional. This will be shared once you are registered.

The orientation schedule will be emailed to you and posted with Mountaineer U, the online orientation.

As we have mentioned, orientation is REQUIRED for all new students, but we still need you to sign up. Do it here!

Fall 2024 New Students Register Here

Fall 2024 Transfer & Nontraditional Students Register Here

Spring Registration Coming Soon

  • Students will select an assigned move-in time with Residence Life. New students also need to visit the University Center between 8 am-2 pm to check in for Orientation at some point that day, as well as get their photo taken for the Mountaineer ID if they did not submit one online or are living off-campus. Orientation programming begins at 3 pm in Quigley Bandshell.
  • Students attending the Transfer & Nontraditional Student Orientation may begin moving into their assigned residence hall beginning at 8 am the same day as Orientation. A Western Resource Fair is hosted from 12-1:30 pm, and Orientation programming begins at 1:30 pm in the University Center.
    Please arrive early to check in for the program and pick up your Mountaineer ID if you are living off-campus.

The fee charged for Orientation covers the cost of programming.

For students living in the residence halls, meal & housing plans are activated on day one of orientation.

You will already be moved into your room in your assigned residence hall during Orientation, so you should have everything you need. Some of the Orientation programming will be on campus, and just everyday attire is all you need. However, some Orientation activities are quite active, and you will be spending time outside while you give back to the Gunnison community by doing a service project with your Headwaters 100 class and exploring the area on a Wilderness Pursuits trip. When you check in for Orientation, we’ll make sure you know what specific clothing you will need to wear for those activities.

Orientation is required for all students entering Western because we believe our programs offer important information! However, we also realize that there may be other life circumstances that prevent you from attending our program. If this is the case, please call Sara Phillips, director of LEAD & Orientation, at 970.943.2176 to make special arrangements.

Yes and no. Parents and family members are welcome to help you move into your residence hall and come to the Orientation Welcome. The rest of the program is just for students.

For Fall New Student Orientation, parents and families are invited to attend College 101 for Parents & Families. This is immediately after the Orientation Welcome and is followed by a Welcome Reception with the President, faculty, and staff. If your parents/families plan on bringing their students to campus and would like to attend, please let us know. Sign up coming soon!

There is also a free online Parent & Family Orientation. This program will discuss several aspects of Western through information and videos. You will receive an email once your student is registered for Fall New Student Orientation. 

As you arrive on campus, there will be signs pointing in the direction of resident halls and Orientation Check-in.

Separate instructions will be sent to students starting during the Spring semester or if they’re attending Transfer & Nontraditional Orientation. 

Gunnison doesn’t have a taxi service or Uber, but don’t worry; the Orientation Office is here to help. Please email (orientation@western.edu) or call Orientation (970.943.2469), and we will be happy to coordinate a pick-up for you.

Yes! Orientation is required for all students entering Western because we believe our programs offer important information!

Department Information

Orientation Department

Director

Sara Phillips

Director of LEAD & Orientation

Campus Location

Western Colorado University
University Center 118
1 Western Way
Gunnison, CO 81231

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