BLOG: Admissions Director's Blog Class of 2026

Orientation returns to campus

With the recent end of semester and the graduation of over 2,500 new CMU alumni, summer is settling in on campus. Soon our new freshman and transfer students will be here on campus for orientation. If you haven’t submitted or deferred your enrollment reservation deposit, now is a great time to get that done so you can pick an orientation date and get ready to see what #LifeAtCentral is all about. 

Is orientation mandatory?

Yes. All new freshman and transfer students must attend orientation.

You’ll work with your academic advisor to enroll in your classes for the next year and spend the day learning about campus life from current students who are active in many of our student organizations. It’s an important time to meet your classmates and begin to see how you fit in here. 

What are the key takeaways from orientation?

For you as a student, orientation opens the door to your college career: 
  • You’ll have your class schedule for fall and spring semesters.
  • You’ll get to meet other incoming students and form connections.
  • You can sign up for Leadership Safari and IMPACT and get Fired Up for classes.
  • You’ll understand your financial aid and how it will cover your costs.
  • You’ll learn about your college and how to get around campus.

During the day, you’ll meet some very helpful people who want you to succeed and have the knowledge to help you do just that. 

What do you do at orientation?

While the actual program is one day, orientation is just the beginning of your path to becoming an important member of our community. On your orientation day, you’ll receive a large amount of information, but don’t worry. Just take it all in and use the rest of the summer to get in touch with us about any questions that come up as you process all you’ve learned.

Before arriving, you’ll get an email from our orientation team that outlines a few things you can get done before you come to campus. Things like getting a photo ready for your digital ID card and making sure your account is set up. Plus, you’ll get access to some orientation videos that you’ll be able to review before and after you attend.

Orientation day starts bright and early with check in at 8:15 a.m. You’ll be on the go from then until 5 p.m. Wear comfortable shoes, dress for the weather and bring something to take notes with.

After a group welcome, you’ll split into breakout groups by your major and start to make connections with other members of your class. You’ll get an introduction to your college and meet for Central Success 101. Here, current students and staff will introduce you to the Five Steps to Central Success: community building, academics, getting involved, embracing diversity and financial wellness.

Then it’s a walking tour of campus as you head for lunch in the Towers residence hall complex. This is a great time to talk to classmates and the current student mentors who are with you all day, sharing their experiences and all the activities they participate in.

The afternoon is spent in groups of two to three students with your college advisor. You’ll discuss and sign up for your classes for both fall and spring semesters. Many students decide to sign up for classes with people they meet at orientation. 

Don’t worry if everything doesn’t get done at this time. You’ll also be able to book a follow-up appointment with your advisor and continue your discussion. 

The two most important things to leave orientation with are:

  1. Your academic advisor’s name and contact information for questions about your major.
  2. The contact information for the orientation team who will get you in touch with experts in any other area where you might have questions, such as housing and financial aid. 

Do parents or supporters go to orientation, too?

Yes, they can. They even have their own program that they follow (with a bit less walking) that gives them all the same information you’ll get, but from their point of view. 

You’ll start and end the day together and meet up again at the end of the orientation. In between, while you’re off with your groups, your supporters are learning about all the support services we offer, campus safety, housing and financial aid. They also have a panel discussion with current students.

It’s also fine if you come alone. Several students do each session. Taking notes and jotting down questions is recommended for everyone.

You’ve made the right decision, and at the end of orientation you’ll have your classes lined up and be ready to start this fall.

If you haven’t scheduled your orientation date, complete your next steps so you can. Freshmen can find their next steps here. Students transferring in can find their transfer next steps here

We can’t wait to see you on campus this summer.

Blog: Admissions Director's Blog Class of 2026 posted | Last Modified: | Author: by Jennifer DeHaemers, Vice President, Student Recruitment and Retention | Categories: Admissions
The views and opinions expressed in these blog pages are strictly those of the page author.