Orientation kicks off with one-on-one meetings, optional in-person open houses

While the orientation process for new students at UCCS isn’t completely back to normal, student satisfaction with the onboarding and welcoming process is at an all-time high after leadership rolled out a hybrid virtual and in-person solution to suit all incoming students.

According to Nicholas Lockwood, director of orientation and new student outreach, incoming students fill upwards of 300 appointments each week where they meet one-on-one with a student Orientation Welcome Leader (OWL) to kick off their orientation process. During the meeting, incoming students will begin learning UCCS systems, including the portal and class registration.

“The feedback we’ve received has been resounding,” Lockwood said. “The students feel they have individualized attention, and students say they feel like they’re meeting a friend for the first time. It’s yielded the most positive student outcomes in terms of student satisfaction that we’ve ever had.”

Following a meeting with one of the 23 student OWLs, incoming students have the opportunity to sign up for and attend a larger in-person orientation open house throughout the month of June.

Students will have the opportunity to visit campus for half a day during the open house events and tour campus, meet with faculty members, explore student involvement, visit the residence halls and much more. Five total open houses were slated for the summer, with the first taking place in May. Three will take place in June, and the final open house will run in July.

“We like to think of the one-on-one appointment is all about the student, making sure they feel confident, then the open house integrates them into the community,” Lockwood said.

More than 3,000 students will partake in the orientation process, leading Lockwood to reflect on the event and its importance to the UCCS campus community.

“We are at such an opportune time, rather than a time of limitations, this is a time of incredible opportunity for us to engage with students in a new and innovative way. I think folks on campus should have interest in orientation because it’s our community, and it contributes to the vibrancy of our community,” Lockwood said. “Students and parents are seeking community now more than ever, and orientation has more of an impact this year than ever before.”