At The George Washington University, Orientation & Class Year Programs (O&CYP) offers and emphasizes intentional programming curated and designed to holistically transition each incoming student throughout their time at GW. O&CYP collaborates with campus partners across GW to ensure all students are aware of and understand the community of respect and support they are entering and expected to uphold. We value the strength of the diversity of our student body in their identities, backgrounds, experiences, and beliefs, and train our staff and student leaders to accommodate each student individually in their transition to GW. We strive to ensure that every student and family member who engages in an Orientation experience or Class Year Program is heard, appreciated, and supported, and has the tools and resources to be successful.
- Aid new students in making a transition from their previous environment to the GW and DC community
- Inform new students of campus resources and services available to support them during their time as a student
- Facilitate academic advising and class registration processes prior to arrival on-campus
- Educate new students of their rights and responsibilities within the campus community
- Enhance new students’ understanding of strategies for success in a rigorous academic environment in an urban setting
- Provide new students the opportunities to connect with other GW students, staff, and faculty
- Familiarize new students with the campus environment and physical facilities, as well as the DC transit system and neighborhoods
- Provide programming that allows new students to build connection and affinity to the GW and DC community
- Understand basic academic requirements and expectations, to include the advising process, student role in advising, core curriculum requirements, and responsibilities of being a student here at GW; successfully register for a full course load
- Be knowledgeable and aware of their identities and the diverse identities of others in the GW community
- Begin to understand their role in the larger University and DC community as it relates to community expectations, standards, and respect
- Establish at least one connection with another student
- Be knowledgeable of the extracurricular opportunities and wellbeing resources available to them
- Begin to establish community and relationships within their residence hall to create a sense of belonging
- Be able to identify transition issues they may face and develop strategies to help manage these transitions, including identifying available resources on-campus
- Be able to identify support structures in place on and around campus to help them throughout their time as a student (from matriculation through graduation)
- Understand how to engage with faculty and staff and feel comfortable seeking appropriate assistance
- Feel a sense of belonging within the GW community, participate in campus traditions, and begin to build unity within the incoming class
The Orientation Team (O-Team) is made up of an invaluable set of Professional Staff and student leaders, who all work together to develop, plan, and execute a successful Orientation experience for new students and families as they join the GW community.
The Orientation & Class Year Programs Professional Staff team is comprised of Charlotte McLoud-Whitaker, Kraemer Clayton, and Steven Wallace. Learn more about the O&CYP Professional Staff.
Student Coordinators, or StuCos, are current undergraduate students who serve on the student leadership team charged with contributing to the overall Orientation program planning. Additionally, StuCos aid in the recruitment, selection, and training processes of our Orientation Peer Advisors (OPAs) and Orientation Leaders (OLs). StuCos also serve as paraprofessional staff, work closely with professional staff during the academic year, and are each assigned OPAs to supervise. Each StuCo has previously served GW either in Orientation & Class Year Programs or as a leader in Undergraduate Admissions, and return to continue diligently serving GW’s new students and families.
Learn more about the 2022 Student Coordinators!
Orientation Peer Advisors
Orientation Peer Advisors (OPAs) are current undergraduate students who serve on the student leadership team. OPAs are typically former Orientation Leaders (OLs) charged with contributing to the overall Orientation program and the training of new OLs. OPAs also serve as paraprofessional staff and help supervise the OLs.
Orientation Leaders (OLs) are current undergraduate students who guide groups of incoming new students through their Orientation experience and the transition to life at GW. OLs receive training in the Spring and Summer to learn how to best lead new students through small group meetings, activities, class registration, and more. Student Guides are current Orientation Leaders who help welcome specific populations of new students. There are Transfer Student Guides who support new students who are arriving from other institutions, as well as International Student Guides who welcome new students coming to GW from abroad.