Frequently-Asked Questions for First-Year Students

The SOAR options for students starting their flight at Otterbein in the Fall 2019 Semester 2019 will be:

  • Thursday, June 20
  • Saturday, June 21
  • Friday, July 12
  • Tuesday, August 20

All orientation sessions begin with registration at 8:00 am and end around 5:30 pm.


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 a registration survey to your Otterbein email in May. You must activate your Otterbein email to get this information. Once you complete your survey, the Registrar’s Office will create your 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. To do this, go to and enter the username and temporary password in your Welcome Letter. You will be instructed to create a unique password. Then, to access your email, you can log in at

Start good habits now! By default Otterbein will contact you via your Otterbein email account. All registration and orientation information will be communicated to your Otterbein email account ONLY.

How long is Orientation?

Orientation check-in will be 8 – 8:30 a.m. with the program beginning at 8:45 a.m. You should expect to be done by 5:30 p.m. This is a full day of content so plan ahead.

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. There is no cost for students to attend, but each guest will need to pay a registration fee. There is a $40 charge for the first guest and $20 for each additional guest.

Can I bring a friend?

All guests that accompany you to orientation will need to pay the registration fee. There is a $40 charge for the first guest and $20 for each additional guest. Be advised, guests will NOT be able to accompany you during the entire day. 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 day.

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 need to take a placement test before Orientation?

If you are taking placement tests you should do so at least 2 weeks prior to your orientation. More information about placement tests can be found in the Placement section of your OtterBinder.

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 >