After two years of quiet campuses during the summer months, Washington State University is welcoming back new and transfer students for in-person orientation programs across the system.
New Coug Orientation, formerly known as ALIVE, is expected to host approximately 400 students per session at the Pullman campus alone this summer, according to Victor Rodriguez, the program’s director.
“Alongside our fantastic partners, we’ve been working hard these past few months to get ready for in‑person orientation programming,” Rodriguez said. “This is a vital opportunity for our incoming Cougs to learn about campus resources, connect with advisors and learn about their potential fields of study.”
In 2020 and 2021, orientation programs were run online because of the COVID‑19 pandemic. While not ideal, New Student Programs staff found ways to engage with students over Zoom and will take some of the lessons learned with them as they bring students back onto campuses this summer.
In‑person orientation is a key driver of enrollment because it gives prospective students an opportunity to see and experience all that a WSU campus has to offer before the fall semester rolls around. A vast majority of prospective students who visit campuses prior to enrolling will matriculate and become Cougs, Saichi Oba, WSU’s Vice Provost of Enrollment Management, said.
“We’ve invested a great deal of resources improving the orientation experience because we know that if students get connected to campuses resources and can envision themselves as Cougs during their time on campus in the summer, they’ll be Cougs in the fall,” Oba said.
For New Coug Orientation on the Pullman campus, students spend three days and two nights on campus, living in the Stevenson Complex during their time in Pullman. These students spend their days bouncing between large-scale presentations and personal visits with academic advisors. Staff who see future Cougs or their family members on campus should make them feel welcome during their time on campus, Rodriguez advised.
Twelve sessions of New Coug Orientation are planned for the Pullman campus, in addition to the Hawaii Orientation Program happening July 23 and La Bienvenida, a Spanish-language orientation program that took place in May.
Each physical campus has its own orientation programs for students:
- WSU Spokane
WSU Spokane will host its orientation program for all Spokane and Yakima students Aug. 19 from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m. More information is available on WSU Spokane’s website.
- WSU Vancouver
WSU Vancouver will host two‑day orientation programs for first‑year students June 24 and Aug. 5. Its La Bienvenida Family Orientation is a two‑day program for students and their families, taking place June 24–25. Transfer students enrolling this fall at WSU Vancouver will have their orientation Aug. 4. More information is available on WSU Vancouver’s website.
- WSU Tri‑Cities
WSU Tri‑Cities will host incoming first‑year students as well as transfer students July 28 and Aug. 12. More information is available on WSU Tri‑Cities website.
- WSU Everett
WSU Everett hosts New EverCougs Orientation for incoming students, with more information available on WSU Everett’s website.