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summer ‘09 orientation


Every year the College of Charleston welcomes more than 2,000 incoming freshmen and transfer students to the campus. In order to help you make a smooth transition to the College, we have scheduled ten fast-paced, two-day orientation sessions. Now that you have been officially admitted to the College, we invite you to participate in our orientation program – Building a Bridge to the Future! Your participation in orientation before classes begin is important. You’ll attend information sessions so that you become familiar with what the College has to offer you, talk with an advisor, register for classes and meet other new students. You won’t be able to register for classes until you attend orientation, but the registration hold on your CougarTrail account will not interfere with anything else you’ll need to do before orientation. We charge everyone a nonrefundable $75 new-student fee. It is used to cover the costs of processing your application, placement testing, orientation materials, and lunch on the orientation day of your choice. As you read through this booklet, you’ll find many references to CougarTrail. This is the College’s online system that students use to register for classes, sign up for a meal plan, change an address, check space availability in a class, view an unofficial transcript, see midterm and final grades, or review account charges and balance information. You can use the tutorial at www. to become familiar with CougarTrail.

Once you have activated your College e-mail account (directions follow), use CougarTrail to register and to check your orientation confirmation information. Once we have confirmed your registration, we will send you a second booklet – and one for your family members who you registered for family orientation. The Office of New Student Programs and the College of Charleston are looking forward to meeting you this summer. We are committed to introducing you and your family to the College of Charleston community while you build your bridge to the future. Note: If you are disabled and need to make special arrangements for orientation, please contact the Office of New Student Programs at 843.953.2017.


Your College E-mail Account The College assigned you an official e-mail account as soon as you were accepted. We will use this account ( for all College of Charleston–related business. You must use it to correspond with administrative departments, faculty and staff. We recommend that you check your College account weekly.


Activate your e-mail account.


Go to and click on CougarTrail. Find “students,” then click on “log-in” and complete the process.


Go to “new student?” Click on “locate your official College of Charleston e-mail address.” In the third column, find “set your Cougars password.” Follow the instructions to view your College of Charleston e-mail address and personalize your Cougar password. After changing your password, go back to, select Web Mail and log in. You may begin to use your campus e-mail account immediately.

Note: If you have trouble with either your CougarTrail PIN or your e-mail, call admissions at 843.953.5670 to have your PIN reset.


Read this booklet carefully before you start. It contains important information that will make the registration process go smoothly for you.

Note: You can find more helpful tips at www.cofc. edu/orientation/Fall_2009_Student_Calendar.pdf


Transfer Students

Family Orientation

We expect all transfer students to attend orientation during the summer. While we recognize that you have had some college experience, it is important for you to attend our orientation so that you can learn the ins and outs of the College of Charleston.

Are there adults in your family who would be interested in coming to orientation with you? We encourage them to attend a two-day program designed especially for them. It will run concurrently with the orientation session you will be attending. Use the online reservation form to register your family.

Provisionally Admitted Students During orientation, you must attend a meeting with the Provisional Program director and staff, meet new student mentors, sign your provisional contract for the first year and learn about available support services. Note: Your family members are welcome to attend this mandatory session.

Summer School or SPECTRA Program If you attend College of Charleston summer school, or participate in the SPECTRA program, you should choose an orientation session that does not conflict with that schedule. Please refer to your SPECTRA materials regarding the orientation dates for which you are eligible. For information, call 843.953.5660. For information on summer school, please go to or call 843.953.4831.

During these sessions your adult family members will get an overview of campus support services and have the opportunity to ask questions of a number of faculty and staff members. They will also meet families of other new students in small group settings, talk to currently enrolled students, learn about campus technologies, and explore student careerplanning resources. We charge a $25 non-refundable fee per family member that covers the costs of orientation materials, breakfast on the second day of orientation and lunch during orientation on the day of your choice. Note: If you do not attend an orientation session, you will have to wait to enroll until August 24 – the day before fall 2009 classes begin.


Staying on Campus If you choose to stay in a residence hall during orientation, you’ll get a preview of what it will be like to live on campus. This option is available only for students who attend the June and July orientation sessions. If you are confirmed for the August session and have been assigned oncampus housing, you may stay in your room on the night prior to orientation. This is a great opportunity for you to get tips on how to navigate the campus, make new friends, and experience the college atmosphere; we encourage you to reserve a spot! If you do, you will be placed in one of the residence halls. The fee is $22.00 per night.


If you are interested in staying on campus during orientation and would like to register for a room, please download the residence life summer orientation housing form at www.cofc. edu/orientation and mail it to the residence life address on the bottom of the application. If you have any questions about on-campus housing during the summer, e-mail the Office of Residence Life at ResLifeSummerPrograms@ or call 843.953.5523. If you have questions about on-campus housing for the academic year, call 843.953.5523. Family members of students are eligible to stay in on-campus housing during orientation. Note: You will not be staying with your student. You will be placed in a different residence hall.

The cost is $22.00 per evening and the registration form for families is online. Go to and on the left-hand side of the page, click on “travel information.” Go to “staying on campus,” scroll down to “family orientation housing” and click on the link titled “family orientation housing form.”

Hotel Information If you do not need on-campus housing during orientation, or if none is available, visit our website for a list of local hotels and motels and their approximate distance from the College of Charleston. When you make a reservation at local hotels, be sure to ask if they offer special room rates for people attending orientation at the College. For a complete list of lodging in the downtown area, visit the Office of New Student Programs website at information.html, or contact the Charleston Chamber of Commerce at 843.577.2510. You can also find airline information and driving directions to the College of Charleston on that same website.

things to think about (before registering for orientation)

Start Thinking About Your Academic Choices Before you sign up for orientation, there are some things you can do to prepare yourself for your orientation session and for the start of school. Remember that as a new student, you cannot register for classes before you attend orientation and meet with an academic advisor. In order to help us help you plan your first year at the College, we recommend that you read the section on academics carefully. There will be some questions that will help get you thinking about the academic direction you might want to take at the College.



General Education Requirements A liberal arts and sciences education is built on a foundation of required courses that represents a variety of academic disciplines – from the arts, math and the natural sciences to humanities, social sciences and languages. In order to graduate, you’ll need to successfully complete a total of 122 semester hours from these courses, your major and electives. When you register for orientation you will need to choose the two areas from the social sciences and humanities that interest you the most. This information will help your academic advisor prepare for your meeting.


Every new student will receive a copy of the undergraduate catalog at orientation. However, you might want to familiarize yourself with this year’s catalog before you come to campus. Go to to look through a PDF version.

English six semester hours English 101 and 102

Social science six semester hours from one or two of the following areas:

History six semester hours complete either History 101 and 102 or History 103 and 104


Natural science eight semester hours an introductory or higher sequence from one of the following areas (two semester hours must be earned in the accompanying laboratories):

communication (selected courses) economics political science psychology sociology


Humanities 12 semester hours from the following areas with no more than six semester hours in any one of the following areas:


British or American literature


any foreign literature


art history (not courses in studio art)


Mathematics or logic six semester hours in either mathematics (excluding college algebra) or logic (see placement test information) Foreign language 12 hours in the same foreign language through the intermediate level (202 or 250), or demonstrated proficiency at that level by approved examination (see placement test information).

music (not courses in practice or performance of music) theatre (not courses in practice or performance of theatre) history (excluding the classes used to satisfy the general education requirement) philosophy (excluding 215 and 216) religious studies communication (selected courses) selected interdisciplinary courses


choosing a major In what major do you have the strongest interest? If you really have no preference, select “undeclared” on the reservation form. Note: If you choose an intended major at this point, you are not making a commitment – only indicating an interest. At orientation you’ll learn exactly what’s involved in the declaration-of-a-major process.

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Some things to remember:


Secondary education is a concentration at the College, not a major.

Are you considering a career in dentistry, 2 optometry, pharmacy, veterinary medicine, allied health or nursing? At the College you can combine a firm foundation in the sciences with any major field of study to prepare for professional school. Expert advising will keep you on track to achieve your goals. Visit admissions/acadlife/prehealth.html for more information. 3

Are you thinking about the law? Any course of study that helps develop critical analysis, logical reasoning, written expression, computer skills and oral facility will help prepare you for law school. At the College you’ll be able to excel in any of our challenging majors and benefit from the expert guidance and support of our pre-law advisors. Go to prelaw.html for additional information.

FYE: for freshmen

FYE Benefits Through first-year seminars and learning communities you will: 1. Meet other students who share similar pursuits. 2. Work closely with top-level faculty. 3. Develop the skills that will help you succeed academically. 4. Form strong peer support systems.

First-Year Experience (FYE) To make the most of your first year at the College, you should enroll in a first-year seminar or a learning community. Before you register for orientation, take the time to read the FYE Academic Guide. You can request these classes when you register for orientation. First-Year Seminars (FYSM) focus on specific topics within a particular discipline or more than one academic disciplines. The emphasis in an FYSM is on group work, class discussion and debate. First-year seminars focus on narrow – often unusual – academic topics and will introduce you to a variety of campus resources. If you combine a FYSM with other courses, you will have an excellent introduction to the academic life of the College of Charleston.

Learning Communities link two or more courses. Faculty who teach the courses work together to set the curriculum, schedule joint class activities and explore the ways in which the subjects are interrelated. The weekly synthesis seminar is another component of a learning community. Because the seminar is led by an upper-level peer facilitator, you will have the advantage of getting the perspective of and advice from a successful upperclassman. For more information visit the First-Year Experience website ( and e-mail if you have any questions.


Placement Tests Have you taken any AP or IB tests? At ,you can find information regarding courses the College will accept.



Transfer Students

Foreign Language Did you take a foreign language in high school?

Foreign Language Have you taken a foreign language?

If you have not taken a foreign language at the college level and you took German, French or Latin in high school, you will have to take an online placement test.

If you have not taken foreign language at the college level, and you have taken German, French or Latin, we recommend that you take an online placement test.

Math What is the highest level of math that you took in high school?

Math What math will you transfer to the College of Charleston?

algebra II or geometry

algebra III/trigonometry and/or pre-calculus and/or probability and statistics and/or discrete mathematics and/or AP statistics

non-AP calculus

AP calculus (AB or BC)

The College requires that you complete six hours of college math (excluding college algebra) in order to complete the math general education requirement. If you have not, you must take an online math placement test. Two weeks after you register for orientation, we will e-mail you at your college address if you will have to take the math placement test. We’ll provide you with all the information you’ll need to complete the online test.

Note: Incoming freshmen DO NOT take the math placement test. Your placement will be determined from information about math courses you successfully completed in high school as well as your math SAT or ACT scores.

Note: You must complete the math placement test before you meet with an advisor.

Language Placement Test All incoming students who take a language placement test may demonstrate proficiency of up to 12 hours in a language they studied in high school. If you have studied French, German, or Latin, you may take a placement test approved by the respective College of Charleston department in that language.

Language Placement Test continued If you have studied Spanish, your placement will be determined by the number of years of Spanish you completed in high school. The College’s language placement policy states: If the test score places you in a language course higher than the 101 level, and if you pass the placement course with a grade of C or higher, you will receive credits for the appropriate course(s). Credits may be earned in only one language. Students must take the placement course within the first two academic semesters at the College, not including summer sessions. If you pass the “placement course” with a C or higher, credit will be issued as follows: Placement in 102 or 105 – 3 placement credits for 101 Placement in 201 or 250 – 6 placement credits for 101–102 Note: If a student places in 201 or 250 and still decides to take 102, the student will not receive credit for 102 (i.e., no double credit).

Placement in 202 – 9 placement credits, for 101–102 and 201 Placement in 300-level course (12 placement credits), for 101–102, 201–202 Note: Students can only receive 12 hours if placing into a 300-level class and pass the 300 level with a C or higher.

The higher you place, the fewer language courses you need to complete. Thus, the College grants credit for the proficiency already achieved in previous language, thereby recognizing the accomplishments of high school language students, teachers, and programs. It has been found that students who intentionally choose a lower-level language course to obtain an easy grade generally do not perform well. However, a student may choose to take a lowerlevel language course or start a new language. You may discuss language options with an advisor during orientation. The language placement test is completed before you attend orientation and are advised and register for classes. Note: This does not apply to transfer students who have transferred earned credits in a language.

Even though you might be planning to take a new language at the College of Charleston, we suggest that you take a placement exam in Latin, French, or German if you studied those languages in high school. This will give you a placement score in case you change your mind about taking a new language.


orientation Day 1 Check in at the Cougar Mall between 7:30 and 8:15 a.m. There will be student interns on campus throughout the morning to direct you to the check-in location. Meet your orientation intern Official welcome College’s tuition payment policy and electronic bill pay

Register for Orientation Now you are ready to register for orientation. Pick an orientation session that is convenient for you.

Session 1

Session 2

June 15–16

Meet with faculty from various majors Sessions on Greek life, residence life, Center for Student Learning, and other campus services Student Activities Information Fair Campus tour Cougar Card (campus ID) pictures taken Learn about the College’s general academic and specific major requirements. Learn how to be a successful College of Charleston student. 14

Day 2 Breakfast buffet for students Academic advising Register for classes and purchase textbooks Sessions on public safety, making healthy decisions, information technology, library services and diversity. CougarTrail Tutorials Note: In June, we will post a more detailed schedule on

June 18–19

Session 3 June 22–23

Session 4 June 25–26

Session 5 June 29–30

Session 6 July 9–10

Session 7 Session 8

July 13–14

July 16–17

Session 9 July 20–21

*Session 10

August 20–21 *650-Mile Program If you live 650 miles or more from Charleston, you are welcome to attend any of the ten orientations, but you are eligible to attend an orientation session on August 20-21 (session 10), which is designed especially for you. There are a limited number of seats available that we will reserve on a first-come, first-served basis.

Because we cannot accommodate all students who live 650 miles or more from the campus in this one session, we encourage you to attend an earlier orientation session if you possibly can.

Our orientation sessions fill up quickly. We confirm reservations on a first-come, first-served basis, so please sign up online using CougarTrail as soon as possible. 1

Log onto and select “students.”


Click the login button and use your campuswide identification (CWID) and PIN.


Go to “select term” and indicate fall 2009. You will automatically be routed to the CougarTrail site map.

4 Select “prospective and new student” and click on “orientation registration.” Read through to the bottom where 5 you will select “register for new student orientation.” 6

Follow the instructions and complete the entire reservation form. Please answer all the questions, as the information you provide will help us plan the best orientation for you.


Select “click here to return for payment” to see the important messages page in CougarTrail. Scroll down to the bottom to view payment options. The online reservation form will not be processed unless payment is made.

Note: If you must make a change to your reservation after you have registered online, please call us at 843.953.2017.

Notification of Confirmation Please do not make travel plans and/or reservations until your assigned orientation date has been confirmed. Confirmation of your orientation will be posted on CougarTrail, not sent by e-mail, one week after you have submitted your online reservation form and paid the new student fee (in CougarTrail, click on “orientation registration”). After you have registered, we will mail you a booklet that contains additional orientation information. 15

Questions? Contact us: Office of New Student Programs 843.953.2017 E-mail:

College of Charleston New Student Orientation  

College of Charleston New Student Orientation