Orientation & Transition Programs 
Bouillon 205

& 1:00pm-5:00pm

(509) 963-2735



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 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 you be successful. Wildcat Guides: Fall 2021, Summer 2021, Spring 2021

Your Orientation Experiences

Start with EMBARK: Your Orientation and Transition Portal

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EMBARK: 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 EMBARK the day after you accept your offer of admissions! You can register for Links Orientation at the end of this course!

*If you are unable to access the Winter 2022 course, please email us at

1st Quarter at Central: Spring 2022 Summer 2022 Fall 2022 Winter 2022

Opening Date & Link:

February 1, 2022 April 1, 2022 January 15, 2022 October 15, 2021

Wildcat Day

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Wildcat Wednesdays

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! View the 2021 Wildcat Day schedule.

Dates for 2022: April 9th and April 23rd

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.

Virtual Wildcat Day
Recordings from April 17, 2020 can be viewed on our homepage.

Links Orientation

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Students Connecting

Links Orientation is a series of experiences and 1:1 support that will aid you in your transition to CWU. There will be opportunities for you to meet other new students, learn about university resources and receive priority registration for classes.

Register via Your Orientation and Transition Portal.

Winter 2022 Orientation Date: Monday, December 6th, 2021 (in-person/virtual)

Wildcat Wednesdays are live events hosted most Wednesdays from 12:00 - 1:00 p.m. During Wildcat Wednesdays, Orientation and Transition Programs 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!

Welcome Week

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Move In

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 will count toward the final grade for students enrolled in University 101.

2021 Dates : September 16- 25th!

CLICK HERE for our Wildcat Welcome Week 2021 Flipbook!

First Six Weeks

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Wildcat Cup

The First Six Weeks programming traditionally 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)

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During Class

University 101: Transition To CWU is brought to you by CWU Student Success. UNIV 101 is designed to foster a successful transition to CWU. This credit bearing (graded) 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

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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 one quarter and prepare for the next.

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, Office of The Registrar, Student Living, Information Services, CAMP, Wellness Center, Dining and more.

2021 Dates: November 4th 11:30 AM - 1 PM

Common Questions for Links Orientation

  • What tasks do I need to complete for Orientation?

    We recommend you read through EMABRK to become familiar with the various resources available to you as a CWU student. After that, we ask that you fill out the registration form at the end of EMBARK. This will provide advisors with information they need to support you with class registration.

  • 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 quantitative reasoning and academic writing 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 in an online format. The Accuplacer English test is 1 test that needs to be taken in a proctored environment online. CWU and most community colleges offer these tests virtually. Prices for the ALEKS is $30 which includes both tests and prices for the Accuplacer is $25.

    Detailed information is available within EMBARK

  • What's the best way to get in touch with the Orientation team?

    We encourage you to reach out to us via email at You can also reach out to us via phone at (509) 963-2735. We look forward to helping you!

  • 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 encourage you to submit your Links Registration form as soon as possible. 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.

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

    At CWU we work to balance the impact of fees as well as providing the right services to support student success. Our Orientation fees are the lowest among the 4 year public institutions in Washington State. While that is important, the fees might still be stress provoking. To help alleviate those feelings, we do not assess the fees until financial aid is able to help cover those costs. That means they will not appear on your first quarter bill until after classes begin. The fees are assessed to all incoming student during their first quarter on campus.

    Student Fee

    • $200 for first-year students (2021)

    What it Covers

    • The fee includes cost of providing virtual sessions, staffing for orientation office, publications, programs such as Welcome Week, First Six Weeks, Wildcat Success Day and ongoing programming.
  • I cannot afford the orientation fees, can you waive them?

    While we are unable to waive orientation fees, we can discuss other options if your financial aid will not cover all fees and you are unable to cover all costs. Orientaion fees are not assessed until your first quarter in order to allow financial aid to help cover costs.

  • 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.

    How do I pay? When will I be charged?

    The charge will be due at the start of your first quarter.This will allow financial aid to cover these costs.

    What if I withdraw from CWU?

    If you participated in orientation and decide 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.