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OFFICE OF FIRST-YEAR PROGRAMS

Frequently Asked Questions

We understand that transitioning to life on a college campus -- either for the first time or for a return trip -- can be challenging. Questions? Below you may find answers to our frequently asked questions. If the answer to your question doesn't appear here, head over to OneStop for more information.

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Orientation Questions

Why do I have to attend orientation?
Students who attend orientation are more prepared to begin classes and more successful in reaching their academic goals. Orientation gets students excited to be a Shocker so that they gain the most from their college experience. Orientation also provides information and services in one place, rather than having new students try to obtain this information from each office on their own. Orientation also gives students an opportunity to connect with other students before the semester even starts. Note: All students are required by state law to receive the information that WSU provides during orientation.
Can I come and go from the program?
No. Orientation is designed to help you navigate college life at WSU, so we have various programs and activities that everyone is required to participate in. There should be no need to skip any event. If any part of the program is missed, students will have to attend another orientation in order to make that up.
Is there a fee?
Yes. See the list below for detailed fee information.

Freshman Student Orientation: $75 covers two meals, program materials, Shocker giveaways.
Freshman Guest Orientation: $30 covers two meals and program materials.

Freshman Extended Orientation: $100 covers three meals, program materials, evening social activities, overnight accommodations and Shocker giveaways.
Freshman Guest Extended Orientation: $40 covers two meals, program materials and an off-campus "Explore Wichita" activity.

Transfer Orientation: $50 covers academic reception, program materials and Shocker giveaways.
Transfer Guest Orientation: $20 covers academic reception and program materials.

Please note: Orientation fees cover the cost of the meals, student overnight accommodations (if attending an overnight program), the materials and activities provided during the program.
 
What should I bring?
Bring a photo ID, comfortable shoes and an umbrella in case of inclement weather.

Freshmen attending an overnight program are provided with linens, blanket, and pillow. Please bring any additional toiletry and personal items for your stay. Staff will be available to assist you during your stay.
 
Where should I park?

A confirmation email will be sent to you with details for parking 3-5 days prior to your program.

Follow the signs! Make sure to get a visitor's pass, or find Wichita State's available parking lots.

» Learn more about parking on campus

Where will I stay during orientation?
WSU offers overnight accommodations for students during your orientation to see what it’s like to live on campus. All freshmen students attending an overnight orientation will be required to stay overnight in Shocker Hall for the program.
*If a freshman student is not participating in an overnight orientation program overnight stay is not required.

Transfer / Adult Learners are welcome to come stay on campus for your program. Want to arrive the night before or stay an extra day? No problem! We want you to be comfortable as you begin the transition to becoming a Shocker. Request orientation housing today at wichita.edu/housingorientation.

Please note: Overnight accommodations are only available for students. Unless the student will be a resident in the fall semester (starting in August), these arrangements are not provided for the last program date, Aug. 18-19. All reservations should be completed one week prior to your orientation program.

Parents and guests will need to make off-campus overnight arrangements. Visit wichita.edu/hotels to explore nearby hotels in Wichita.
 
What will my parent / guardian do while I'm at orientation?
Guests will be with their students for some of the time, but for the majority they will have their own programs to go to that provide helpful information for them as the parents and guardians.
What if I need to cancel / change my orientation date?
Always try to sign up for a day you know you can attend. However, if you need to change your orientation date you can contact the Office of First-Year Programs and we will switch your orientation day for you.
I'm from out of town, what can I do in Wichita after orientation?
Welcome to Wichita we are excited to have you here! Orientation programs will provide a full range of activities for you to enjoy. However if you would like to explore Wichita before or after your program, we've provided a list of attractions, food and additional resources to help better plan your trip to Wichita State Orientation.
Do you have a parent's guide to student resources?
Yes. A large part of helping your student succeed is connecting them to valuable on-campus resources.
What if I need to take a placement exam?
You can choose to complete the math or English exam in person or online. The Spanish exam is offered online. View more information on the placement exam process.
I completed my orientation RSVP, now what?

You will receive a confirmation email to confirm your date and time with additional program information. However, prior to enrolling for classes there are additional steps you will need to complete.


First-Year Experience Questions

I am a student with a disability. How do I get accommodations at WSU?

Students with, and without, documented disabilities can contact the Office of Disability Services for more information on accommodations and other appropriate resources.
 
How should I choose my major? When should I do it?

Students who are unsure of what to major in can enroll in classes at WSU as a general "LAS undecided" major. The Career Development Center helps students choose a major that’s right for them.
 
How do I change my major / minor?

If you have not signed up for classes yet, contact the Office of Undergraduate Admissions to change your major. Students who have already enrolled in classes can change their major by  logging into their myWSU > Home tab > Student Tools > Change My Major / Minor.
 
How many courses should I take in my first year?

While there is no set amount of classes you are required to take your first year, it is important to keep in mind how your enrollment will affect financial aid. 12 credit hours is considered full-time enrollment and all students are required to complete approximately 124 hours to graduate.

If you plan to graduate in four years, you need to "think 30." By enrolling in 30 credit hours, or 10 classes on average, throughout each academic year (fall, spring, summer and / or short-term classes), you are more likely to graduate in a timely manner.
 
How and when will I register for my first semester of classes? How do I get an advisor?

Freshmen: after completing your RSVP for orientation, your first semester’s schedule will be built by a first-year advisor. You will be notified to confirm your schedule through your myWSU student portal. If you have questions, or would like to make changes, you can contact OneStop anytime.

Transfer / Adult Learners: after signing up for orientation, you will need to contact your advising center to schedule an appointment with an advisor. Schedules can be made prior to or following attending your orientation program.

What if I took college credit in high school or was previously enrolled at another institution? How will I know what credits transfer? Be sure to have all transcripts from high school and previous institutions sent to the Office of Admissions in order to receive credit for those courses. You can check how courses transfer into WSU.

Freshmen: Your first-year advisor will build your schedule to accommodate these credits. Any changes you need to make to your schedule can be done by contacting the OneStop office.

Transfer / Adult Learners: When you meet with your advisor they will be able to advise you on what courses to take based on the credit you have already fulfilled.

Where can I view my schedule of courses?

Students can view their schedule by logging into their myWSU > myClasses tab > View My Schedule > Week at a Glance.

What if I took college credit in high school or was previously enrolled at another institution? How will I know what credits transfer?

Be sure to have all transcripts from high school and previous institutions sent to the Office of Admissions in order to receive credit for those courses. You can check how courses transfer into WSU. When you meet with your advisor they will be able to advise on what courses to take based on the credit you have already fulfilled.
 
I'm here, now what?

Now it's time to get involved! Be on the lookout for events through First-Year Programs, mentor meetups - emails from your transition mentor (TM), Student InvolvementIntramural Athletics or check out the Student Engagement Calendar.
How much time should I spend studying?

2-3 hours per credit hour. Going to college is like a full-time job. If you are taking 12 credit hours, you should be studying between 24-36 hours a week in addition to being in class for 12 hours, a total of 36-48 hours.
 
What academic support is available for students?

Private tutoring, subject specific tutoring centers, and supplimental instruction are just some of the resources available for students. Visit wichita.edu/tutoring to learn more about our academic success programs through the Office of Student Success.
 
How do I find the books for my classes?

Textbooks can be found in student's myWSU account. Under the "myClasses" tab there is a box called "myTextbooks" in the bottom right corner. Enter the semester and course registation number (CRN) for your classes and a list of the textbooks for your courses will appear.
 
How do I find an on-campus job?

The Career Development Center
has lots of information about on-campus and part-time jobs for WSU students.
 
Does the university provide health insurance?

Health insurance is not required to be seen at Student Health however, students enrolled in six or more credit hours are eligible for insurance provided by United Healthcare Student Resources. For more information visit Student Health Services.
What are Shocker Dollars and when / where can I use them?

Shocker Dollars can be added to your WSU Shocker Card, so it can be used like a debit card at all WSU Dining Services locations. You can add money to your card online or stop by the Dining Services office located in 235 Rhatigan Student Center.

» Add Shocker Dollars to your card online
 
When do first-year students receive their tuition bills?

Students can expect to receive their first bill two weeks before classes begin.  Notifications will be sent to your WSU email address when the electronic bill is posted to your myWSU. Bills must be paid in full by the end of the first week of classes unless you have previously set up a payment plan. Visit Accounts Receivable for more information on payment plans and how to pay your tuition bill.

How do I get my student ticket to an athletic event?

Your free student athletic event ticket pick-up dates are usually scheduled one week before the game. Tickets can be picked up at the University Bookstore, the Heskett Center or at the box office in Koch Arena. Check goshockers.com for the most up-to-date information.

If the answer to your question doesn't appear here, head over to OneStop for more information.