Frequently-Asked Questions for First-Year Students

2021 Orientation Dates

For students starting their flight at Otterbein in Fall Semester 2021, your options for SOAR will be the following dates:

  • Thursday, June 17
  • Saturday, June 19
  • Friday, July 9
  • Wednesday, July 21
  • Friday, July 23
  • Tuesday, August 17 (ideal for students and families who cannot travel to campus twice during the summer)

Each session has a morning (9:00 am - 1:00 pm) and afternoon (1:00 - 5:00 pm) session that you can choose from in the SOAR registration process.

Frequently-Asked Questions about First Year Student Orientation

Why do I need to attend Orientation?

Orientation is a great opportunity to meet people and learn about life as an Otterbein University Cardinal. At Orientation you will learn tips on navigating the university system, on succeeding academically and on getting involved in campus life. Additionally, you will meet with an advisor and complete the course registration process in preparation for the upcoming semester.

How do I know what date I’m scheduled to attend?

All orientation confirmations are sent directly to students via their Otterbein email account. Emails will be followed-up by a postcard confirming your scheduled date. If you are unsure that your registration has been received, you can call the orientation office (614-823-3202).

How will I register for classes?

You will be emailed a personalized link to the course registration survey to your Otterbein email. You must activate your Otterbein email to get this information. Once you complete your survey, the Registrar’s Office will create your fall term schedule. During orientation, you will meet individually with a faculty advisor to review your schedule and make any necessary changes or adjustments.

How do I access my Otterbein email address?

First you will need to activate your network account using directions provided in your Welcome Letter and Otterbinder. If you need additional support, please contact the Student Help Desk at 614-823-3100.

Start good habits now! You should check your Otterbein email account daily, especially leading up to the start of the academic term, for important information on campus.

How long is orientation?

Orientation program will be a half-day to account for COVID capacity limitations on campus. Morning sessions will have check-in beginning at 8:15 am with the program running from 9:00 am – 1:00 pm. The afternoon sessions will have registration beginning at 12:15 pm with the program running 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm.

Should my parents or family come with me?

This is a decision you and your family will need to make. There are informational sessions throughout the orientation day especially designed for parents and families. Each student is allowed up to two guests. There is no cost for students to attend, but each guest will need to pay the registration fee. There is a $20 charge for each guest.

Can I bring a friend?

All guests that accompany you to orientation but you will need to pay the registration fee. Be advised, guests will NOT be able to accompany you during your sessions. Parents, family and guests will be asked to attend the parent and family orientation that is scheduled for the day. You will begin the day together, but will not come back together until the end of the program.

What if I can’t come to Orientation?

Attendance at orientation is expected for all new students. Hopefully, there will be a session available to meet your needs and schedule. However, if you have an unavoidable schedule conflict, contact the Center for Student Involvement at (614) 823-3202.

Do I have to come to both Orientation and First Flight?

Yes, but this is only required for new students beginning during fall semester. It is expected that all first-time, traditional first-year students will attend both Orientation and First Flight. During Orientation you will work with an advisor to confirm your class schedule for the fall. During First Flight you will attend many important academic meetings that will help you to be prepared for classes when they begin.

Do I need to take a placement test before Orientation?

Yes. If you need to take either the Math or Modern Language Placement Exam you must do so 2 weeks prior to your orientation. More information about placement tests can be found in the Placement section of your OtterBinder.

Will I have my housing and roommate assignment in time for Orientation?

No. Housing and roommate assignments will be completed in late July. During Orientation you will be able to see a sample room, but you will not have your official assignment. You will have an opportunity to interact with the Residence Life Staff during Orientation and they will be able to answer your questions related to living on-campus.

Where can I find a copy of the First Year Seminar and INST 1500: Identity Projects course descriptions?

These items will be mailed to you at the beginning of May. At that time they will also be posted here.

Below you will find the course descriptions to see what types of courses have previously been offered. The course descriptions will be uploaded in May each year.

Remember to register for orientation!

Go to the registration form >