Orientation will now be a more welcoming experience at University Canada West.

Starting with the Summer 2020 term, New Student Orientation (NSO), a new program, will replace Student Orientation and Academic Readiness (SOAR 098).

“We’ve eliminated mandatory Academic Readiness testing to reduce barriers to registration and to make our orientation a more engaging experience for new students,” said Dr. Cyndi Banks, UCW’s VP Academic.

Instead of writing an essay, all new students will be now required to take four weeks of workshops that will include student success strategies, study skills, an introduction to academic writing, academic integrity and research skills.

“These new workshops will set students up to succeed in their studies at UCW,” Dr. Banks said.

Students requiring additional support can sign up for sessions with a writing coach, be mentored by a Peer2Peer leader or take the optional ENG 080 writing course.

Because of physical distancing requirements due to the COVID-19 pandemic, orientation for Spring 2020 was held entirely online. It’s unclear yet whether that will continue for the Summer 2020 term.

Orientation for the Summer 2020 Term will take place the week before classes start on July 20. This will be the first term for UCW at the new Vancouver House Campus, a state-of-the-art facility in the new Beach District. While the first of the two new buildings will be open in July, the second building won’t welcome students until the Fall 2020 term in October.

“With our new orientation program, students will have the opportunity to learn about the university, discover strategies for success and get to meet faculty and new friends,” Dr. Banks said.