Orientation & Transition Programs 
Bouillon 203

& 1:00pm-5:00pm

Extended July Hours:
Monday & Wednesday

(509) 963-2735
Instagram: @DiscoverCWU



Support Network Resources

Succeeding in college can be quite challenging. Having someone to listen to or lend a kind word or helping hand can make a huge difference. You may be a parent, guardian, partner, sibling, friend or advocate. With all the roles you fill, we want to thank you and welcome you to the Wildcat family. 

We encourage you to utilize 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 your student be successful.

Orientation Experiences

  • CENTRAL 101: Your Orientation and Transition Portal

    CENTRAL 101: Your Orientation and Transition Portal is a course designed to expose students to campus-wide resources and services before they attend Links Orientation! CENTRAL 101 will prepare students for their first quarter by providing deadlines and action items. These resources and services will ensure their transition to Central Washington University is seamless. Individual support network members can view a copt of CENTRAL 101 so that you see what your students see. There are some portions that will not show because it has student specific information but your student will see that as they will be logged into CWU's network when they completed the course. Your student will register for Links Orientation at the end of CENTRAL 101!


  • 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 student 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, your student will meet other new students, learn about university resources, experience residece hall living, meet with an advisor, and receive priority registration for fall quarter classes. Support networks are encourage to attend Links Orientation. We believe you are vital to your student's success and want you to have as much information as possible to help encourage your student. Most sessions are designed for both students and their support networks to attend. There are some sessions that are created for students and support networks to attend individually.

    Ellensburg Links Orientation is scheduled for:
    Spring 2020 Orientation: March 16, 2020
    Summer 2020 Orientation: Online (Registration Open March 30)

    Fall 2020 First-Year Orientation Dates:
      Mon - Wed * July 6-8, 2020
      Wed - Fri * July 8-10, 2020
      Mon - Wed * July 13-15, 2020
      Wed - Fri * July 15-17, 2020
      Mon - Wed * July 20-22, 2020
      Wed - Fri * July 22-24, 2020

    Fall Transfer Orientation Dates:
      Tuesday, June 30, 2020
      Monday. July 27, 2020

    Detailed information can be viewed in CENTRAL 101: Orientation & Transition Programs


  • Welcome Week

    Welcome Week is a mandatory event for all first-year students and will help your student feel at home at Central. Your student will connect with other students, become familiar with campus and get acquainted with the many resources available to you. We want to help prepare your student for a successful academic experience. In addition to many fun activities, we have planned several valuable educational sessions and workshops. Welcome Week participation will count toward the final grade in your University 101.

    2020 Dates - Sepetember 18 through 25
    Support network members should only plan to stay until 6 PM on September 18th

  • Resources

Common Questions for Links Orientation

  • What accommodations are available for Links Orientation?

    Lodging: Room rental rate of $35 per person/per night

    • Residence hall rooms are available for students and guests
    • Students and guests stay in different residence halls and are not assigned to the same room
    • Students will be responisble for registering all indivuduals attending Links Orientation. Please ensure they have included any special accomodations you may require in their registration process. Please note that registration is editable.
  • What will my schedule look like? (When can I arrive & leave?)

    First-Year Links Orientation

    • Links Orientation spans 48 hours over three days. We refer to these days as Day 0, Day 1, and Day 2. 
    • All participants 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 course registration. Students need to plan to be on campus until 1pm as we complete this in two large groups. 

    Transfer Links Orientation

    • Links Orientation is a one day event. Arrive between 8 and 9:30am where you will check in and participate in morning activities with your student. You can go on a tour, visit campus offices, and ask questions and gather information at the resource fair.
    • Links Orientation officially begins at 9:45am with a university welcome. Your student will meet with orientation leaders and learn more about resources.
    • To close the day, your student will meet with faculty and academic advisors to create your class schedule. This is typically ends around 4pm. 


  • My student is unable to attend. What should I do?

    It is in your students best interest to attend Links Orientation. If your student is unable to attend any of the orientations, please have them select the "unable to attend" option on the orientation registration page at the end of CENTRAL 101. If your student does not attend they may not receive priority registration for classes. 


  • We live outside the Pacific Northwest, are we required to attend?

    We understand that it can get challenging with additional travel expenses. Please have your student select the "unable to attend" option on the orientation registration page at the end of CENTRAL 101. From there, we will contact them via email to discuss available options to complete orientation.


  • How much does orientation cost?

    First-Year Student Orientation Fees:

    $200 for incoming first-year students (regardless of orientation format)

    • Includes other programs such as Welcome Week & First Six Weeks for first year students along with 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

    Transfer Orientation Fees:

    $60 for incoming transfer students

    • Includes the presentations and events for the day, food, and publications

    $35 per guests over 10 years of age

    • Includes the presentations and events for the day, food, and publications
    • Children 6-10 are $20
    • Under 6 will not be charged

    $35 per person per night for lodging


  • What is the cancellation policy?

    Cancellation/No Show Policy
    Links Orientation is required for all first-year students and transfer students in most majors.

    Need to change or cancel your reservation?
    To avoid fees, contact us at least 4 business days before the first day of your student's Links orientation session. Otherwise, if lodging was selected-your student will be charged a lodging fee of $15 per night for each individual.

    How does my student pay? When will my student be charged?
    Your student will see estimated fees associated when they 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's school account about 1 week after their 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 your student's first quarter.

    What if we attend Orientation but my student does not attend CWU?
    If your student is a first-year student that attends 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 is non-refundable and covers costs we are assessed for “consumables” by other university offices for services rendered.

    If your student is a transfer student that attends orientation and decides not to enroll in classes or attend Central Washington University, unfortunately there is not a refund option available. This is because the $60 fee is specifically for the day’s event.

    Support network (guests) fees are non-refundable.


  • Should I attend the Links Orientation?

    Most individuals within a student's support network that attend orientaion find it very helpful. There were several posts within the CWU Parents facebook group that provide significant positive feedback [search=attend orietntation]. However, like most things if it is something you are excited about you will get more out of it. There will be times where you may choose to not attend sessions, however, there is always a session offered for members of the CWU Support Network. Feel free to contact our office if you would like to discuss your attendance in further detail.