Orientation Department


COVID-19 Update
The Orientation Office is preparing now for the prospect that normal campus operations and travel/assembly protocols have resumed in mid-August. However, we remain attentive to changing conditions, and will follow up if public health guidance warrants a scheduling change.

Congratulations on your admission to Western Colorado University!

New Student Orientation Programs

New Student Orientation (first-year students): Aug. 12-16

Over the five days (Aug. 12-16), students will rotate through four blocks of programming, which include: a Headwaters 100 service learning project 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 5-day New Student Orientation program is required for all first-time students that are under 21 year old (at the time when classes begin in August 2020.) First time freshman that 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.
  • Students are signed up automatically when registering for classes.
  • The fee for this program is $250, and it will be applied to the student's account.
  • Please plan on arriving to campus on Wednesday, Aug. 12 between 8 a.m.-4 p.m. During this time, you will need to move into your assigned residence hall and check-in for Orientation at the University Center. You may also get your photo taken for your Mountaineer ID if you did not already submit one online.
  • New Student Orientation Schedule will be posted in summer 2020

Transfer & Nontraditional Student Orientation: Aug. 14

This afternoon program is designed to meet these students' specific needs. Students will learn important information unique to Western. It is required for transfer students, or first-year students over 21 years old (when fall 2020 classes begin.) The program begins at 1 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 14, campus location TBD. (Note: If you are attending this program and living on campus, you may begin moving into your assigned residence hall on Friday, Aug. 14, beginning at 8 a.m.)

  • The cost for this program is $25 and it will be applied to your student account.
  • If you are a new student and will be 21 years old when Fall 2020 classes begin, you may opt for this program. The Orientation Office will contact you to discuss your options after you register for classes.
  • Transfer & Nontraditional Student Orientation Schedule will be posted in summer 2020

Parent & Family Orientation

As Western moves towards opening for Fall 2020, one of our main concerns is to ensure a safe environment for our students, faculty and staff, both in and out of the classroom. It is from this perspective that the Office of Student Affairs and Orientation have decided to offer a free online Parent & Family Orientation rather than host an in-person program in August. Orientation is striving to have the program accessible no later than August 1.

If you would like to ensure that you receive a link to access the Online Parent & Family Orientation, please complete this webform.

Please note: If you have already registered to attend the Parent & Family Orientation, your registration will be canceled and the fee will NOT be charged to your student’s account.

In the meantime, if you have any questions, please contact Orientation at 970.943.2469 or orientation@western.edu.

Mountaineer U & Student Wellness Education

This year, Western is introducing Mountaineer U, an online component to complement the August Orientation program. Mountaineer U is a chance for new students to learn important information about Western, on their own pace, to get started on the right foot.

AlcoholEDU for College and Sexual Assault Prevention Education are Western’s student wellness education courses. 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. Western expects new students to complete these courses before arriving to campus for Orientation. New students will not be able to receive your Mountaineer ID Card without having completed them.

In July new students can expect to receive emails to their Western account with links to Mountaineer U & the student wellness education programs. (Please note: The student wellness courses will come from EverFi.)

Summer Wilderness Based Orientation (WBO)

This OPTIONAL program, taken IN ADDITION to one of the New Student Orientation programs, gives you the ultimate unique experience! 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.

All new students entering Western are required to participate in one of the New Student Orientation programs (not including WBO). Students will be automatically signed up for Orientation after registering for classes and will receive a confirmation email with additional details.