Thousands of students, families on campus for 2015 orientation

contact: Jeanne Baron
| WMU News
Photo of students at an orientation session.

Students gather for an orientation session.

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—Some 8,000 people, including transfer students as well as beginning students and their families, began making their way to the Western Michigan University campus last week for summer orientation sessions.

Two types of orientation programs are offered. The biggest one, New Student Orientation, is for incoming first-year students. A smaller but no less important set of activities, the Transfer Transition Program, is tailored for new transfer students.

Registration forms and a complete schedule of events for both programs are available on the First-Year Experience website at

First-year students

All incoming first-year students are required to attend one of the 10 day-and-a-half sessions being held at various venues on campus for New Student Orientation. Students are urged to register now for one of those that remain open.

As many as 3,200 incoming freshmen and 4,100 of their parents and other family members are expected to participate in the sessions, which began June 3-4 and run through Sunday and Monday, June 28-29.

Photo of people gathered at a parent mixer.

President John M. Dunn visits with parents during a mixer.

While on campus, students are divided into small groups and learn about college life and the people, educational options, services and resources at WMU. Most of their time is spent touring campus, taking placement tests, meeting with academic advisors, registering for fall classes, finalizing financial aid, getting school ID cards, connecting with faculty and staff members, and engaging in student development and social activities.

Parent and family orientation sessions run concurrently with the student sessions and cover topics such as academics, financial aid, campus safety and on-campus living. Included is a workshop on effective student support. Participants leave the workshop with a better understanding of the issues college students face and how they can support and meaningfully interact with their college student throughout the student's time at WMU. In addition, a special mixer provides opportunities for families to talk one-on-one with faculty members, staff members and administrators.

Transfer students

The Transfer Transition Program is designed specifically for admitted transfer students. Attendance is not mandatory, but those who choose to participate in this orientation gain important knowledge about WMU and have an easier time transitioning to the University.

About 700 transfer students are taking part in the five half-day sessions that already are underway.

Two remaining sessions will be held on upcoming Fridays in the Bernhard Center. They run from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. July 24 and 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. Aug. 14. Options are available for attendees who want to have lunch at the University or participate in a campus tour.

During orientation, participants get their student IDs and learn about a variety of services and resources. Topics covered include student life, study abroad, employment, career development, financial aid and scholarships, and living and dining on campus.

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