Orientation & Transition Programs 
Bouillon 203

& 1:00pm-5:00pm

Extended July Hours:
Monday & Wednesday

(509) 963-2735
Instagram: @DiscoverCWU



First-Year Students

We are excited for you to start your college experience with us and are here to support you during this transition. Below is an outline in chronological order of what your orientation experience will consist of. There are also common questions and resources to support your transition. We encourage you to utlize the many resources available and contact us if you are unable to find an answer. Many students are the first in their family to go to college and we want to help you be successful. 

Your Orientation Experiences

  • Start with CENTRAL 101: Your Orientation and Transition Portal

    CENTRAL 101: Your Orientation and Transition Portal is your guide during your transition to CWU. This portal will expose you to campus resources and prepare you for your first quarter by providing deadlines and action items. These resources and services will ensure your transition to Central Washington University is seamless. You will be added to CENTRAL 101 the day after you accept your offer of admissions! You can register for Links Orientation at the end of this course!

    CENTRAL 101 & Orientation Registration - Click to start CENTRAL 101
    For students starting classes June 2020
    For students starting classes September 2020

  • Wildcat Day

    Wildcat Day is an optional event for admitted students and their support networks. You will be introduced to academic majors and campus resources, learn about clubs and organizations, and explore campus!

    Todos Somos Familia is a Spanish language orientation during each Wildcat Day for Spanish speaking support networks. You and your support networks will receive valuable information about what to expect at CWU.

    Due to concerns about the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus, Central Washington University is taking the precautionary step of shifting Wildcat Day to an online format. This decision was not taken lightly and follows consultation with public health officials regarding social distancing for preventing the spread of the outbreak.

    The virtual wildcat experiences will highlight and inform you on housing, academics, student involvement, placement testing, campus life and more. Over a series of videos and live streaming you will interact with faculty, staff, resources, and current students! 

    Wildcat Wednesdays*
    Every Wednesday, until April 29th from 12 - 1pm, Orientation and Transition Programs will partner with students and CWU campus resources on topics that will assist you in your transition to Central! Check your email or this website each week for the topic for the following week. View our previous Wildcat Wednesdays on our homepage!

    Virtual Wildcat Day*
    On April 17th from 10:45am - 4:15pm, attend our virtual Wildcat Day! There will be a new session every 30 minutes. Learn from CWU campus resources and get your questions answered in real time! Our final schedule will include the following topics: Housing & Dining, Financial Aid, Student Life, Academic Programs, Placement Testing, First-year success tips, and Transfer sucess tips.

    *Subject to change

  • Links Orientation

    Links Orientation is a required, overnight program where over the course of several days, you will build connections with other students, engage with resources, experience living in a residence hall, uncover nine dimensions of wellness, meet with an advisor, and register for classes. Orientation is scheduled for July 2020.

    Register via CENTRAL 101

    CENTRAL 101 & Orientation Registration

    For students starting classes April 2020
    For students starting classes June 2020


  • Welcome Week

    Welcome Week will help you feel at home at Central. You will continue to build connections with other students, become familiar with campus, gain wellness strategies, and learn about CWU procedures, expectations, and how to contribute to the community. We want to help prepare you for a successful academic experience. In addition to many fun activities, there will be several valuable educational sessions and workshops.

    Participation is required for all students enrolled in University 101.

    2020 Dates: September 18 - 25


  • First Six Weeks

    The First Six Weeks programming begins where Welcome Week ends. Components of the First Six Weeks are woven into CWU's University 101 class. Orientation & Transition Programs, in collaboration with faculty and staff, facilitate programs in your residence halls and around campus. Topics address the academic and transitional issues new students typically face during the first six weeks on campus. Each event is categorized into the four pillars of the first year experience; academic success, university navigation, responsible citizenship, and campus connections. First-year students are typically required to participate in a minimum of three events within the First Six Weeks.


  • UNIV 101: Transition to CWU (Academic Course)

    University 101: Transition To CWU is brought to you by CWU Academic Advising. UNIV 101 is designed to foster a successful transition to CWU. This course will promote a sense of belonging and discovery, stimulate engagement in curricular and co-curricular activities, and connect students to campus resources. Out of class student participation in Welcome Week and First Six Weeks are required to receive full credit towards your overall grade. Students with fewer than 45 credits are required to take UNIV 101 during their first quarter on campus.


  • Wildcat Success Days

    Wildcat Success Days are Resource Refreshers where various resources and services are available to answer any questions you may have. It's an opportunity to receive support in order to conclude the quarter.

    Some support services include: Advising, Career Services, Academic Success Center, Disability Services, Diversity and Equity Center, Recreation Center, Housing and Residence Life, Student Involvement, Student Employment, Financial Aid, Registrar Services, Student Living, Information Services, CAMP, Wellness Center, Dining and more.


Common Questions for Links Orientation

  • Where can I stay for Links Orientation?

    Lodging: Residence hall rooms are available for students and support networks in air conditioned buildings. Students and support networks stay in different residence halls and are not assigned to the same room. 

    Room rental rate of $35 per person/per night

    Detailed information is available in CENTRAL 101


  • What will my schedule look like? (When can I arrive & leave?)

    Links Orientation spans 48 hours over three days. We refer to these days as Day 0, Day 1, and Day 2. 

    All students are required to be in attendance from 9am on Day 1 until 1pm on Day 2.

    Day 0 is an opportunity for students to complete placement testing and spend some leisurely time on campus and in Ellensburg. [Food is not included on Day 0]

    Day 1 is the core of the orientation program with an emphasis on creating connections to resources as well as beginning academic advising.

    Day 2 is primarily registering for classes. Students need to plan to be on campus until 1pm as we complete this in two large groups. 

    Detailed information is available in CENTRAL 101

  • I am unable to attend. What should I do?

    It is in your best interest to attend one of the six Links Orientations. If you are unable to attend any of the six orientations, please select the unable to attend option on the orientation registration page at the end of CENTRAL 101. If you do not attend you may not receive priority class registration. 


  • I live outside the Pacific Northwest, am I required to attend?

    We understand that it can get challenging with additional travel expenses. Please select the unable to attend option on the orientation registration page at the end of CENTRAL 101. From there, we will reach out to you and discuss available options to complete orientation.


  • How much does orientation cost? (What do my fees cover?)

    Orientation fees for first-year students:

    $200 for students

    • Includes the presentations and events for the day(s), food, and publications as well as other programs such as Welcome Week, First Six Weeks, Wildcat Success Day and other ongoing programming

    $60 per guests over 10 years of age

    • Includes the presentations and events for the day(s), food, and publications
    • Children 6-10 are $30
    • Under 6 will not be charged

    $35 per person per night for lodging

    All orientation fees will be added to your student account at the beginning of the quarter. 

  • I cannot afford the orientation fees, can you waive them?

    We want everyone to be able to come to Links Orientation that needs to. Because of this, we do have a Links Orientation Fee Waiver Request Form. While we cannot guarantee that all fees will be waived due to the amount of requests, we may be able to offer a partial refund. We highly encourage you to fill a form out to see if there is any way that we can assist. The form can be found in the confirmation email after registering for Links Orientation.


  • How can I get to campus? Where do I park?


    • From Seattle: Take I-90 Eastbound to Ellensburg Exit #106. Turn left and proceed over the freeway, then follow the road (University Way) through the intersection with Main Street and continue for five more blocks.
    • From Yakima: Take I-82 North bound to I-90 Westbound for Seattle. Take the very first exit #109 towards campus. Take a right off the exit ramp and follow Canyon Road/Main Street to University Way. Turn right on University Way and proceed five more blocks.
    • From Spokane: Take I-90 Westbound to Ellensburg Exit #109. Take a right off the exit ramp and follow Canyon Road/Main Street to University Way. Turn right on University Way and proceed five more blocks.
    • From Wenatchee: Take U.S. 97 Southbound over Blewett Pass and follow signs to Ellensburg. Turn left at University Way (overpass over train tracks) and follow through the intersection of Main Street, then continue for five more blocks.


    Please remember to bring your parking pass sent to you via email. We will have some passes available at check-in just in case.


  • I took Running Start courses in high school. Will orientation look different for me?

    Students with Running Start credits are defined as first-year students regarding orientation and housing. If you are a Running Start alum, we are excited to host you as a participant in the First-Year Student Links Orientation sessions and encourage you to attend one of the first two sessions. If you have completed the majority of your general education curriculum, you should consider what major you intend to pursue so that the academic advising staff can best assist you during orientation. While students with over 45 transferable credits are not required to take UNIV 101 we, Orientation and Transition Programs, encourage you to consider taking it to help ensure you transition smoothly to CWU.


  • Do I need to take any placement tests?

    That depends. Typically, most students that have math or english college credits do not have to take a placement test. If you do not have any math or english college credits, you will need to take the math and english placement tests. The ALEKS math test is a 2 part test- the first one you take can be online and the second one you take has to be proctored either in person or in an online format. The Accuplacer english test is 1 test that needs to be taken in a proctored environment. CWU and most communtiy colleges offer these tests. Prices for the ALEKS is $30 which includes both tests and prices for the Accuplacer is $25.

    Detailed information is available within CENTRAL 101


  • Who should plan to attend Links Orientation?

    Anyone from your support system is welcome to join you as a guest, however it is required that all first-year students attend Links Orientation.

  • What is the cancellation policy?

    Cancellation/No Show Policy
    The $200 Links Orientation Fee is assessed to all incoming first-year students regardless of their orientation format.

    Need to change or cancel your reservation?
    To avoid fees, contact us at least 4 business days before the first day of your Links orientation session. Otherwise, if lodging was selected, you will be charged a lodging fee of $15 per night for each individual. (Student housing waiver will not be applied to cancellations.)

    How do I pay? When will I be charged?
    You will see estimated fees associated when you register for orientation, but we do not accept payment at registration. This is because we understand plans may change and that life happens. Fees will be charged to your student account about 1 week after your selected orientation session.

    Once a student or guest has checked into orientation, the full fee will be assessed to their student account. The charge will be due at the start of the students' first quarter.

    What if I attend Orientation but I withdraw from CWU?
    If you are a first-year student that attends Links Orientation and decides not to enroll in classes or attend Central Washington University, $60 of the $200 is allocated for ongoing initiatives such as Welcome Week, and First Six Week will be refunded to your student account upon request. The remaining $140 in non-refundable and covers costs we are assessed for “consumables” by other university offices for services rendered.