The following are questions that new and transfer students frequently ask about Wheaton and Orientation programs.
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What happens at Summer Orientation?
Summer Orientation is your chance to familiarize yourself with Wheaton before the entire campus community returns from summer break. The program then allows you to experience Wheaton campus life, attend presentations, and participate in events. You will meet with faculty advisors, connect with Summer Orientation Student Leaders, and begin to build your class schedule. There will also be social activities that allow you to meet other incoming students and connect on a more personal level.
Is it required that I attend Summer Orientation?
While it is not required, it is strongly encouraged that all incoming first-year students attend. Students that attend Summer Orientation are more at ease and comfortable at Wheaton!
What if I cannot attend the Summer Orientation program?
We anticipate that some students and families will not be able to attend Summer Orientation in June, but we ask that you complete the registration form and let us know why you cannot attend. We will be in touch during the summer to catch you up and will welcome you in August.
Can I arrive early or late for the Summer Orientation program?
Unless you have an unusual circumstance, please plan to arrive on time. Also, because of the importance of each session, arriving late is not recommended. If you think you need guidance in this area, please contact the SAIL office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Can I get to Wheaton via public transportation?
Yes! Even though our local bus system operates on a modified summer schedule, you can still utilize public transportation. If you need assistance please contact the SAIL office at email@example.com. Early morning arrival by public transportation can be challenging, especially on Sunday, so please contact the SAIL office at firstname.lastname@example.org at least 5 business days prior to coordinate a possible early arrival.
What should I bring/pack for Summer Orientation?
For the June program, you should only need bedding linens & pillow, a change of clothes (summer casual) and toiletries. Additional items may include a towel, shower shoes, any necessary medications and a phone charger.
What is a(n) AC, RA, Preceptor and Summer Orientation Leader?
An AC (Area Coordinator) is a professional staff member responsible for the management of campus residence halls. You will meet them in June. RAs (Resident Advisor) and Preceptors are trained student staff to assist students in campus living and academic life, respectively. You will be assigned your RA & Preceptor before you arrive in August. During Summer Orientation, you will meet Summer Orientation Leaders which serve in both the RA & Preceptor capacity during Summer Orientation.
If I have a question about my classes, who can I speak to?
The Summer Orientation program will offer you multiple opportunities to speak with Summer Orientation Leaders, faculty and Academic Advising staff who will guide you and answer all your questions. Plus, you will have another opportunity to do the same in August with your assigned FYS (First Year Seminar) Advisor.
Who do I contact if I or a family member needs an accommodation?
Th Office of Accessibility Services is available to assist you with any accommodations you may need during the academic year. During the Summer Orientation program, if you or your family member will need any accommodations, please contact us by May 15th.
Is it required that I attend Fall Orientation?
Yes, there is important information and required topics that all students must familiarize themselves with before beginning classes. This is the orientation program designed for the whole class of new students.
Can I arrive early or late for the Fall Orientation program?
Unless you have an unusual circumstance, please plan to arrive on time. Also, because of the importance of each session, arriving late is not recommended.
What is Fall Orientation and what should I expect when I arrive?
When you arrive a group of staff and student leaders will greet you in the Check-In tables located at the residence halls. It is during this time that you will be able to easily drop off your belongings in your room with some help from student leaders. The orientation program then allows you and your parents/family to experience Wheaton through presentations and events. Students will meet their faculty advisor, connect to Preceptors and RAs, and finalize their class schedule. There will also be social activities to help students meet other incoming students – future friends!
What should I bring/pack?
Fall Orientation is when you officially move on campus! Use the Office of Residential Life’s First Year Packing List (pdf) to help guide your packing. Make sure to coordinate with your roommate(s) to avoid bringing too much and check with the Office of Residential Life to ensure that all your items meet safety standards.
Can I ship or mail things to myself in advance?
Yes. You can mail packages to “Attn: [student name], Wheaton College, 26 East Main Street, Norton, MA 02766”. For quicker service, add your mailbox number. You can find your personal mailbox number on insideWheaton. All mail and packages can be picked up at the Campus Mail Services. Be sure to check the days and hours of operation.
Who do I contact if I, or a family member, need an accommodation?
The Office of Accessibility Services is available to assist you with any accommodations you may need during the academic year. If a family member will need any accommodations during the orientation program, please contact the SAIL Office at email@example.com by August 10th.
What is a(n) AC, RA, and Preceptor?
An AC (Area Coordinator) is a professional staff member responsible for the management of campus residence halls. RAs (Resident Advisor) and Preceptors are trained student staff to assist students in campus living and academic life, respectively.
If I have a question about my classes, who can I speak to?
The New Student Orientation and Move-In program will offer you multiple opportunities to speak with your preceptors and a faculty advisor who will guide you and answer all your questions.
I didn’t get into all the classes I wanted. Can I still make changes to my schedule?
You are not too late. Most students change around their classes during add/drop period (see the Academic Calendar for specific dates). During this time you can change your schedule using insideWheaton or gray cards. These will be explained to you during orientation by your preceptors. Your preceptors and advisor will also talk to you about your schedule to ensure that it is well balanced and rigorous enough without being overwhelming. Changing classes is simple and very common but it is best to wait until you have arrived on campus and have met with your preceptors and advisors before making changes.
When should I declare my major?
You can declare your major as early as your second semester at Wheaton, but you may want to take more time to explore potential options. The deadline for declaring your major is the end of your sophomore year at Wheaton. When you declare, you will be assigned a new advisor in the appropriate department.
My First Year Seminar (FYS) professor teaches in a department in which I have no interest or experience. Is that okay?
Remember that First Year Seminars do not require any previous experience or expertise; they are meant to be a general introduction to Wheaton academics. Regardless of what department your First Year Seminar professor is from, they can help you explore new interests in college and help you with your academics for your first year.
Can I take more classes? I am used to taking six in high school so I think I will be bored with just four.
Each class at college requires a lot more time outside of the classroom than your high school classes required. A 4 course class schedule is the normal course load at Wheaton and most students feel that this is a rigorous amount of academic work. It is advisable to take the standard course load your first semester before trying to take additional courses (overloading). Your preceptors can help you to design a schedule which will be challenging enough and will still give you a chance to explore all of the extra-curricular activities Wheaton has to offer.
Do I have to take English 101?
Unless you have scores of 4 or 5 on the AP English exams, you must take an English 101 course during either the fall or spring semester. These courses will help you learn how to write at the college level. This is an important skill to develop; college-level writing has very different expectations from high school writing, and no matter what you major in, you are going to do a lot of writing in college!
How many credits do I need to graduate?
You are required to have 32 course credits to graduate. For more information on the Wheaton College curriculum look through the links on the First Year Students web page. If you have other questions, please contact your preceptors or Academic Advising at 508-286-8215 or firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also find the answers to many questions in the online Academic Planning Guide.
What is the best way to get involved with student organizations and clubs?
The Activities Fair in September is a great opportunity to learn about all the clubs Wheaton has and to sign-up to be on their email lists.
What kinds of student organizations are offered at Wheaton?
Wheaton has many student organizations including recreational, cultural, and performance based. Click here for a complete list of Student organizations on Engage.
What if I don’t find a group that matches my interests?
One of Wheaton’s greatest strengths is that we support students to seek interest in new and exciting areas. When a student does not find their special interest represented on campus the opportunity to step up, get involved and develop a new student group is encouraged. If you do not see a groups that meets their interest; come to the SAIL office to get started.
What are weekends like on campus/how do I find out what is going?
Students can participate in a variety of events and activities that happen during the evenings and weekends. There are several social options that are available on a regular basis which include Friday and Saturday night BAC film showings, and enjoying the Lyons Den Coffeehouse. In addition, no matter the season, students can cheer on the Lyons during home games. The SAIL office offers information regarding local trips and transportation.
With 100+ student clubs and organization events listed on Engage, there are often events happening each night of the week.
How do I get a campus job or internship?
The Student Employment Office will hold a Student Employment and Research Partnership Fair during the first week of classes. Their website also contains employment opportunities throughout the academic year. Internships are highly recommended for all Wheaton students! Meet with the Career Services office to find the perfect opportunity for you.
Which banks/ATMs are closest to Wheaton?
Wheaton has an ATM located in Balfour Hood Campus Center serviced by North Easton Savings Bank. The two banking options within walking distance of Wheaton are North Easton Savings and a Santander ATM inside CVS.
What restaurants are near campus?
There are many places to eat in the area! Check our Restaurant Listing website for detailed information.