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View the UW's response to COVID-19. Our services and staff are available remotely and by phone. Because of the on-going situation, Advising & Orientation sessions will remain in a remote platform through 2021. For more information, view our Remote Advising & Orientation Updates page. (updated 12/2/2020) 

First Year Programs

FYP Calendar & Timeline

Update for Remote A&O

We will be hosting synchronous remote sessions for advising, registration, and A&O small groups. We are excited to offer self-guided content for campus partners to engage with students. Orientation Leaders will be following up with self-guided content throughout the remote session and into the summer. If you are presenting self-guided content consider the following: 

Feedback Timeline

Download the most up-to-date version of the FYP Calendar for a comprehensive list of deadlines, A&O session dates, and important links.

Wed, Feb. 5: Draft #1 Available for Review

Drafts of U101 and the Husky Guide are now available to review. Select the link below to get access to drafts of U101 & the Husky Guide as well as a spreadsheet to submit your edits.

Wed, Mar. 4: Draft #1 Edits Due

Edits to your U101 and Husky Guide content are due in early March.

To submit design files, please email Lauren Abbott (designsc@uw.edu), Student Coordinator for Design & Print Publication.

Wed, Apr. 22: Draft #2 Available for Review 

Final edits to U101 & the Husky Guide should be submitted by May 6th.

View & Submit Edits for U101 & Husky Guide

View Latest Husky Guide Draft

To submit design files, please email Lauren Abbott (designsc@uw.edu), Student Coordinator for Design & Print Publication.

Wed, May 6

  • U101 goes live for students
  • A&O reservation system opens

Mon, June 1

Upload Presentation Slides for LIVE Sessions 

Update A&O Speaker Schedule

Upload Self Guided/Student Success A&O Videos 

Key Messages for 2020

In 2019, First Year Programs partnered with Dr. Cassady Glass Hastings to map the first-year experience of UW undergraduate students. In line with the Mapping the First-Year Experience project report, the following key messages will be incorporated into First Year Programs this year:

Exploration Comes at a Cost

Despite the benefits of using the first year of college to discover academic and professional interests, students who explore face challenges in making friends, managing mental health, and loneliness when compared to their direct-admit peers.

  • Students who reported “discovering academic/professional interests” as a positive experience in their first year were significantly more likely to report challenges in “finding friends or building community”, “prioritizing self-care or managing mental health”, and “loneliness or being away from home”. 
  • Conversely, students who reported “getting into a major or connecting to a department” as a positive first-year experience were less likely to report “loneliness or being away from home” as a significant negative experience.

Programs will focus on strategies to help first-year students -- especially pre-major students -- find friends, build community, prioritize self-care and mental health, and manage loneliness and being away from home.

A College Mindset Matters

Freshman students who are admitted with college-level credits (RS, AP, IB) often arrive with a false sense of confidence in their preparedness for college life and are less likely to enroll in first-year seminars (First-year Interest Groups, EOP Scholars Academy, etc.) designed to help first-year students develop a college mindset.

  • These students also arrive with an expectation of being able to accelerate their undergraduate experience by taking upper-division classes early.
  • However, the reality is that many upper-division classes are filled by the time first-year students are able to register, compounding an already stressful transition.
  • Paired with the universal experience of “disappointment in grades”, these students are often at risk of burnout, distress, and not connecting with campus resources.

Programs will focus on strategies to help first-year students -- especially those not enrolled in first-year seminars -- develop a college mindset.

Enhancing the Student Experience in 2020

May 6 A&O Systems Launch

In order to make the transition to UW less stressful and the A&O reservation process more equitable, the A&O reservation system will open after the admissions decision deadline, two months later than usual. Now all first-year students will have access to all A&O sessions in real time. No wait list or slow release will be available.

Additionally, U101 modules will also go live for students at this time, a month earlier than previous years.

Online Pre-A&O Modules

The public-facing title, University 101, will be dropped in favor of aligning it as pre-work for Advising & Orientation. Publicly, U101 will be referred to as Online Pre-A&O Modules. However, we will continue to use U101 as an internal title for the course.

Condensed Online Content

Over 80% of all first-year students are satisfied (or very satisfied) with U101. Additionally, over 60% report that U101 continues to be valuable (good, very good, or excellent) after attending A&O.

However, since its inception in 2016, the average time it takes students to complete U101 has increased by an hour (3.5 hours in 2019) and the amount students learned in the course (good, very good, or excellent) has decreased by over 40% (48.98% in 2019).

U101 content will be condensed in order to increase the amount students learn in the course (above 50%), decrease the amount of time students spend in the course (below 3 hours), while maintaining high satisfaction (above 80%) and value (above 60%).

One Husky Guide

Over 90% of all students and parents are satisfied (or very satisfied) with the Husky Guide. However, this number dropped from (98.01 in 2018 to 93.89) in 2019. Focus groups with Parent Orientation participants indicated that parents would have wanted access to the academic content only available to students in the Husky Guide Workbook.

Based on this feedback, the Husky Guide and Husky Guide Workbook will be combined into a single publication. Action items will continue to be the focus of the Husky Guide with active learning workbook pages supporting in-person learning.

Guided Reflections

A&O sessions will be enhanced by Orientation Leaders facilitating guided reflections to help first-year students apply A&O content to their own experience. The Winter A&O Insert illustrates examples of guided reflections.

Skyfactor Assessments

FYP recently contracted with Skyfactor Benchworks to host the A&O program evaluations. Formerly EBI, Skyfactor Benchworks builds assessments that are grounded in research and factor reliability that allows us to easily benchmark our programs against other institutions and more efficiently share reports with campus partners. We are using Skyfactor to measure the experiences of first-year students, parents, and orientation leaders.