Parent and Family Orientation FAQ

  • As you prepare to participate in this year's Parent and Family Orientation program, we hope that the questions and answers below will be of use to you.

    Please review this document carefully before you call the Office of New Student Orientation. Parents and family members will be referred to as guests herein.

    Please note: There is no parent orientation in December, January, or late August.

    Is it mandatory to attend the Parent and Family Orientation?

    No. The Parent and Family Orientation Program is an optional program for all guests. The student program, however, is mandatory for all incoming students regardless of the admittance category.

    There is no parent orientation program in December, January, or late August.

    Why do parents and family members have to pay for their Orientation program?

    Both the student and the parent and family Summer Orientation programs are economically self-sufficient. There is a fee for each person over the age of 15; there is no charge for children. This fee is subject to change. This fee covers staff salaries, printing and postage, operations, materials, and refreshments throughout the program.

    Why must I register for Parent and Family Orientation?

    Program registration is essential for adequate preparation and planning for materials and catering. As well, for those staying on campus, rooms may be adequately allotted.

    Is there a difference between the Freshman or Transfer Parent and Family Member Orientation program?

    Yes. While the information presented is common to both  programs, each program is designed to cover content which is relevant to your student’s admittance category.

    Is there a difference between the Spring and Summer Parent and Family Orientation programs?

    Yes. Even though the content covered during these programs are similar, there are fundamental differences in these orientation programs.

    • Spring Parent and Family Orientation programs run during two weekends in April.
    • Summer Parent and Family programs run during June.
    • Those who choose to attend the Spring Parent and Family Orientation programs are required to make their own housing accommodations for both students and family members.
    • Guests, who attend Parent and Family Orientation during the summer have the option of either staying on campus in a residence hall (see further information and fees below) or contacting a local hotel/motel. (Please note: Students are required to stay in a residence hall during the summer programs, regardless of their family members’ accommodation plans, or their home location.)
    • During the Spring program, guests will not be able to address specific personal concerns to individual university departments and offices during their visit, because offices are not open during the weekend. Spring Family and Parent Orientation guests may choose to, at a later time, contact specific departments about concerns via e-mail or phone. (Some Spring Parent and Family Orientation guests may be able to speak about individual concerns or questions to an office’s representative, should there be one, at the Orientation program.)
    • University offices are open from 8:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m. during the Summer Parent and Family Orientation programs.

    Is it required to attend a Parent and Family Orientation program on the same date as my student?

    No. Parents and Family members can attend a program separate from their student. The majority of families do attend Orientation programs on the same date to assist with travel and transitional needs.

    After enrolling into the Parent and Family Orientation program, what should I do if I need to change the date and attend another program?

    Please e-mail and write a request to have your program date changed. Please include the date of the orientation program you are currently enrolled in; the date of the program you wish to attend; the name(s) of the family members enrolled, as well as the name and banner ID number (begins with an @ symbol) of your student. In addition, please provide a brief description of the reason you can no longer attend the original Orientation program.

    If a parent or family member can only attend one day of a two-day program, which is more important?

    Each day’s topics differ. Guests should select around the topics that interest them. Guests should plan to attend individual sessions by interest and in accordance with free time. To see the sample of sessions offered during our program, please refer to the brochure mailed to parents and family members in their invitation letter. (Note: The fee remains the same regardless of one- or two-day attendance, as all materials and staffing are prepared for the full program.)

    Is on-campus housing available for parents and family members?

    Spring Orientation: On-campus housing will not be provided during the Spring Orientation program. Please refer to the Indiana area lodging accommodations listed.

    Summer Orientation: Guests of freshman may stay overnight in an orientation designated residence hall for a nominal fee per night of $35 per person per night, or you can make arrangements at a local hotel. If guests plan to reside in the residence hall, they should indicate so on the online enrollment form. (Note: Parents and students will not be housed together, as the student program runs on a different schedule. Students must reside in the student residence hall.)

    Each suite has central air conditioning and a private bathroom. Guests must bring bed linens, pillows, blankets, towels, and, we recommend, a small reading lamp. All guests must abide by regular residence hall policies.

    How do I register for Parent Orientation?

    Receive your Parent and Family orientation mailing (mid March through summer) and follow the information in the mailing.

    What if I did not receive my parking pass in time for the Orientation program?

    Upon your check-in to the program, please inform the staff and they will be able to provide a pass for you to place on your dashboard.

    What if I have specific questions about the Orientation programs/process?

    Please e-mail (preferred), or call the Office of New Student Orientation between the hours of 8:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m., 724-357-5658.

    Will meals be provided for guests during the program?

    Spring and Summer Orientation: Please eat lunch before your arrival.  Snacks and dinner will be included on Day 1 and breakfast on Day 2.

    What if someone in my family has either dietary needs or a disability you would like the Orientation staff to be aware of?

    Please indicate this on your enrollment form to the program. You may also additionally e-mail and inform them of your situation and anything you may need assistance with while attending the program.

    May parents bring a family member other than a spouse to the program?

    As long as their presence is noted on the program enrollment form, other teenage or adult family members are welcome to attend the program and stay in the parent and family residence hall.

    We understand that some parents and family members will need to have younger children accompany them. This is not encouraged, because the program is not structured to address the needs of children. However, if guests do bring children, they may want to alternate between attending programs and watching their children. No room fee will be charged for children under 15 who bring their own sleeping bags and share a room with other family members.

    Why won’t parents and family members see their student during the program?

    The Parent and Family Orientation and Student Orientation programs run on different schedules. The student program is intensive and requires complete participation. Students are learning to use the university resources, and are being advised in a controlled environment.

    Will parents and family members be present at their student’s advising session or registration?

    No. While we recognize the invaluable role parents and family members play in their son’s and daughter’s educations, Orientation is the time when we help the student make the transition from being told what to do to working together in a partnership with an academic adviser. Orientation provides a supportive structure for beginning this new kind of relationship so that students are better prepared to work on their own with their adviser in the future.

    How will the student know the courses for which to register?

    Freshman-year courses and courses specific to the student’s major will be outlined for the student in writing. The advising sessions will allow students to pull together their placement testing results, their requirements, and their choices into a plan for scheduling. Faculty and staff are actively involved in the registration session to assist students.