Let's Talk about New Student Orientation

Preparing our families for New Student Orientation is a full-time endeavor. From preparing programming to working on communications – parents are at the forefront of everyone’s minds. Besides, the parents are the ones who decide the date to bring the student to campus. They are the ones who ask the hard questions – what’s advising like? What will my student need to be successful? How will my student be able to juggle this class with his/her obligation to the band? Etc. 

We’ve heard it all. We’ve answered it all. 

Parents want to be in the know. 

This is the time of year where we’re inundated with questions around the orientation process. To serve our families better, we decided to create a virtual event where families could join us to learn more about the next step in their enrollment process – orientation. 

Before we dive into what these virtual events look like, it’s important to outline how we operate New Student Orientation on our campus. 

The NSO Portal opens March 1 for our students. This is where they can register for a date to come to campus in June or July. 

There are 2 virtual components to our NSO.


  1. NSO modules that can be found within the Portal. 

  2. Advising. 

Advising appointments are not part of the on-campus event. 

Back to the virtual pre-NSO events. 

We invite New Student Orientation staff and expert advisers to give a brief overview of what parents and students can expect during New Student Orientation. We also go over the virtual components of NSO and an outline of what to expect during an advising appointment. This is a 20-30 minute portion of the event. The biggest draw of the event is the Q&A. We spend around an hour taking questions in the chat from families. We have found that this method is most effective as often families want real answers from real experts. 

This formula hasn’t let us down yet. 

As you embark on your orientation journey this season, we have some tips to ease the chaos that parents tend to perpetrate around this topic. 

  1. Name your pre-orientation events effectively. In the past, we called this event “New Family Orientation.” This caused confusion to families, because they assumed it was actual New Student Orientation. This year, we have rebranded to “NSO Explained.” 

  2. Invite all your admitted, deposit-paid students and families. Families who have already registered for NSO have questions, too. 

  3. Set a variety of dates. We offer 4 events on different days and different times. 

  4. Build your team of experts. Work with your orientation staff and advising department to create a dynamic presentation. You want people who can answer questions quickly. 

  5. Record the session and share it later. Families that cannot attend want to watch what they’ve missed. We record one session, caption it, and upload it to YouTube to be shared in our Families of the Class of 2027 Facebook group. 

To watch one of our videos, you can go here

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