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Orientation 2014

Welcome, Class of 2018! Congratulations and welcome to Dickinson! We are delighted that you have chosen to pursue your college education with us, and we are confident that your Dickinson experience will be exceptional.

FIRST-YEAR EXPERIENCE The Dickinson first-year experience is designed with you in mind. As you begin your time at Dickinson, we want to help you strive for academic excellence; find connections to this wonderful place through relationships with students, staff and faculty; develop personally; and above all become prepared for a life of engaged citizenship. The academic cornerstone of your first semester will be your First-Year Seminar. Taught by the professor who will be your academic advisor, this class is designed to help you develop habits of mind that are essential to liberal learning, including critical thinking and clear, concise writing skills. Orientation activities, First-Year Interest Groups (FIGs) and your experiences in and out of the classroom will help you make connections with other new students and meet upper-level students who share your interests. You may also choose to participate in one of our Pre-Orientation programs that will actively engage you in exciting student-run outdoor activities, community service or a theatre project, just to name a few. FIGs, run by your first-year mentor (an upper-level student), may range from Art & Design to Pop Culture to Politics & Law.

Dickinson is a four-year residential college, and much of your out-of-theclassroom experience takes place in the residence halls. First-year students are housed together, in proximity to other members of your First-Year Seminar. Each floor has a Resident Advisor (RA) living there who is an upper-level student who cares about you and your residential experience. We encourage you to become an active, caring and involved member of your residential community in your first year and throughout your time at Dickinson. Your first year will be exciting, challenging, fun and at times frustrating. In the coming year, you will personally grow in ways that you did not think possible, and we want you to know that we are here to help and provide support—through your academic advisor, first-year mentor, RA and many other staff and faculty.

PREPARING FOR YOUR ARRIVAL As you prepare, visit the Orientation Web site at http://orientation., which contains information you and your family will need to arrive fully prepared to start your Dickinson experience. The site will be updated regularly during the summer, and we will be contacting you via regular mail and your Dickinson e-mail with important information. Some of that information is outlined here.

Dickinson Gateway Access your Dickinson e-mail as well as valuable information and services through the Dickinson Gateway at Your Gateway user name and password are available in the Applicant Portal. If you need assistance, contact helpdesk@ or 717-245-1000.

Forms and Surveys Before you arrive, a number of forms need to be completed. Review the “Important Dates and Deadlines” section for details. We expect that you will have completed the AlcoholEdu and Every Choice online programs by the time you check in. These programs are designed to help you make a healthy and safe transition to college.

Pre-Admission Health Policy All new students are required to have a physical exam prior to arriving on campus. Students are required to

complete both the medical/health history and immunizations patient forms and the medical record health-care provider form through the Health Forms tab in the Dickinson Gateway. Forms must be submitted to the Wellness Center/Health Services no later than July 1 unless there are unusual circumstances. Any student who has not completed the forms by move-in day will not be able to directly check in to their room upon arrival.

Move-In Days Wed., Aug. 20, and Thursday, Aug. 21 International students (will be contacted by the Center for Global Study & Engagement concerning individual travel plans) Sun., Aug. 24 Students participating in the Pre-Orientation Adventure Program Wed., Aug. 27 First-year move-in day If your family will need overnight accommodations, we recommend you make reservations now. Note that you will only be able to move in on your designated day. A list of area hotels and contact information can be found on the Orientation Web site.

Academic Advising and Course Request As a new Dickinsonian, you will begin your academic journey this summer by requesting your first semester’s courses, one of which will be your First-Year Seminar. Calls will be made from the Advising Office from July 14 to 18 to discuss your course requests.

Please check the Orientation Web site for when to expect to receive your call, how to prepare for the conversation and to watch a series of videos that will explain the process.

PRE-ORIENTATION ADVENTURES The Dickinson College Pre-Orientation Adventure Program is an optional two-and-a-half-day, small-group, theme-intensive experience open to incoming first-year students. Students will begin their Dickinson experience by participating in one of our 12 programs designed for 10-15 students each. Combining experiential education, team building, early involvement and leadership adventures, each program introduces students to Dickinson through

interaction with new and current students, faculty and staff. Pre-Orientation Adventures occur Aug. 24-26, before the start of Orientation. Students participating in Pre-Orientation will move in to campus early, on Aug. 24 from 8 a.m. to noon. Family Orientation and welcome sessions will take place in the afternoon on Aug. 24 before the program begins in the evening. The Adventures are fee-based and cost $250. The fee includes food, accommodations, activities, supplies and transportation to and from campus during the program. Scholarships are available. Registration for the 2014 Pre-Orientation Adventure Program begins May 1 and closes July 1 at http://orientation.

2014 Pre-Orientation Adventure Programs More detailed information on each program can be found on the Orientation Web site.

• Are You Ready for Some R & R?! • Behind the Scenes: Theatre at Dickinson • BonD: Building on Diversity • Campus Media • Change the World Through Service! • Food for Thought With the Dickinson College Farm • Kick Start Dickinson • Outdoor Orientation I: Bouldering and Caving in West Virginia • Outdoor Orientation II: Whitewater Rafting and Hiking • Outdoor Orientation Trip III: Biking and Rafting the Middle Yough • Red Devils Sports Network: On-Air • Why Place Matters: A Sustainable Local Adventure

ABOUT ORIENTATION Dickinson’s Orientation program, which will run from Aug. 27 to 31, is designed to facilitate a successful integration into a new and unfamiliar academic and residential setting. Specifically, Orientation will: • introduce you to college-level academic work through your FirstYear Seminar • connect you with your faculty advisor • introduce you to habits for succeeding academically and socially • introduce you to fellow students in ways that will help you establish mature and supportive social networks • familiarize you with the rights and responsibilities associated with being a student at Dickinson as well as the academic and social behaviors appropriate for success in an academic community • help you get familiar with the campus and the people, programs and services available • create meaningful opportunities for you to learn from the academic and social experiences of upper-level students

• demonstrate the college’s connection to downtown Carlisle and the cultural and recreational offerings that will enhance your Dickinson experience • integrate you into Dickinson’s history and tradition • and allow you the time and opportunity to explore and settle into your new environment.

Contact Us If you have any questions, please call the Orientation office at 717-245-1555 or e-mail We are here to help make your preparations for and arrival at Dickinson as smooth as possible. We look forward to welcoming you to our distinctive community.

IMPORTANT DATES AND DEADLINES With so much to do before you arrive at Dickinson, you might need a little help keeping track of everything. We have included a list of important dates and deadlines below. Complete by May 27

Complete between July 14 and 18

• Disability Services Disclosure/ Accommodation Request

• Academic Advising

Complete by June 2

• Course Request Period

• Housing Survey/Selection Form • Area of Interest Survey • First-Year Seminar Selection • First-Year Interest Group Request • Media Relations Form • Religious Preference Form (optional) • Emergency Contact Information

Complete by July 1 • Health Forms • Pre-Orientation Adventure Registration (optional) • Music Background Information • Language Background Information • Summer Advising Prep Form • Financial Aid Recipients Information Form • Language Placement Testing* • Math Placement Testing* • Chemistry Placement Testing* • Music Placement Testing*

July 21 to 28

August 13 to 29 • Course Schedule Adjustment

Complete by August 22 •A  lcoholEdu online program (available beginning of August) •E  very Choice online program (available beginning of August) Additional information outlining First-Year Seminar selection and academic advising, plus links to the Gateway, where the forms are accessed, can be found on the Orientation Web site at

* All placement tests will be available starting June 1.


Orientation 2014  

Information for students in Dickinson's class of 2018

Orientation 2014  

Information for students in Dickinson's class of 2018