New Student and Family Programs
OTR (Orientation, Transition and Retention) Central - October 2019

Family Day 2019

This year, Parent and Family Services collaborated with Athletics to coordinate promotion of Family Day, September 14th. This year’s Family Day promotion through Athletics saw the second highest number on record, with 904 packages sold! In addition to the Family Day package offered through Athletics (ticket, concessions voucher, parking offer), we hosted the New Student Success Forum, aimed at engaging the families of new students. Held in French Auditorium, the program served 75 attendees and featured a panel of staff from Career Development, Student Activities and Involvement, Student Success, Academic Advising, Residence Life, and Scholarships and Financial Aid!

Call For Content: Family Facebook Group and Newsletter

The Engagement and Employability Study at CMU found that 88% of students reported talking to family members about campus involvements, with 65% indicating if their family did not support organizational choice they would not continue involvement. This presents family members as vital influencers of how students choose involvements and make meaning of those experiences. Parent and Family Services, a function of the Office of Student Success works with University Communications to produce a monthly e-newsletter to parents and supporters of CMU students. Additionally, a University-wide group of campus leaders serve as the moderators for a new Facebook group for parents and supporters ( We recently launched the Parent and Family Services Newsletter & Facebook Content Submission Request Form, an on-going form that we will use to collect submissions for content for either the newsletter or the Facebook group. Click here to submit content requests. We have a content calendar and are happy to promote your programs, services, and events to family members throughout the year. 

New Student and Family Services--New Location!

The New Student and Family Services team recently moved from three separate locations in Ronan hall, and are now located in Ronan 260 with other members of the Office of Student Success. Our Office Manager, Mary Mountain Wood, student leaders, and staff members, Alex Kappus and Betty Wagner are all located in Ronan 260. Come by to say hello!  

Spring Orientation Sessions (19-20)

Students who intend to begin classes in January, now have the opportunity to register for the following orientation dates: November 15, December 13, and January 9. We have reserved space and will hold December 6 and January 8 internally if we are nearing capacity for the open sessions (decision to be made one month out from each date). These are also dates that can be held in case a date is cancelled due to weather. More information to come regarding the structure of these programs. 

Spring Orientation Welcome Fair RSVP

As valued campus partners, we would enjoy showcasing your department and services at the morning Welcome Fair. 
Click here to RSVP for a table at the morning Welcome Fair from 8:15 – 9:30 a.m. Please do so no later than Wednesday, October 23rd at 5:00 p.m.
For your planning purposes and material counts, the numbers last year (2018) were:

  • 11/16/18 – 48 students; 11/30/18 – 43 students; 12/14/18 – 23 students; 1/4/19 – 58 students
  • Note: We are hosting 3 orientation dates this year, and based upon last year’s numbers, anticipate roughly 40-70 students per session.

Tentative 2020 Orientation Dates

As we close the chapter on the 2018-2019 academic year, we are already collaborating with campus stakeholders to plan the 2019-2020 orientation program. Click here to view the proposed orientation dates for the 2019-2020 orientation program. Please note, these dates are still being finalized. New students who intend to begin classes in August 2020 will have the opportunity to begin registering for these dates in January.

Join the 2020 Orientation Leadership Team

We are excited to announce leadership opportunities for CMU faculty and staff members to contribute to shaping and executing the new student and family orientation program! After all, CMU’s New Student Orientation is not just an Office of Student Success program, but the University’s chance to leave a lasting first impression through an inclusive learning experience. Click here to view the 2020 Orientation Coordinator Assignment and Interest form.

In addition to orientation and training dates, the commitment is 2-5 hours per week from November 1, 2019 until September 1, 2020. This is a fantastic opportunity to gain student affairs experience in the area of new student orientation, transition, and family programs, while cultivating skills in event management, student leadership development, program assessment and more. Personnel must review the program description and receive supervisor approval for release time to participate in these roles. Please email Alex Kappus if you have any questions.

Admissions Recruitment Programming (19-20)

2019 Centralis Scholarship Competition (Registration is now open, visit Centralis for info)

* Dates filling up fast

CMU’s Honors Scholarship, Centralis, offers high achieving high school seniors an opportunity to compete for one of 80 full ride or full tuition scholarships. Registration is required and competition spots are limited. All high school seniors with a minimum of 3.7 GPA and an ACT score of 27 or higher (1260 SAT) are eligible to compete. Approximately 800 high school seniors and their families attend.
Event Dates: October 26 and November 9