Family Orientation 2021

Families are a critical source of support for our new Panthers. This summer we hosted a variety of virtual options for families to engage in their student’s transition to college. While those programs have concluded, we have excellent information below–please review and reach out to us or Panther Families if there’s any way we can help you and your student!

Does your family primarily speak Spanish? Go here for information on how you and your family can engage in a Spanish-Language support, facilitated by UWM’s Roberto Hernández Center. —Ofrecemos la orientación para familias en Español

New Family Orientation Checklist
Follow these steps to support your student and stay in the loop about UWM and the Panther Family Association:

  1. Meet campus resources by reviewing Pre-Recorded Campus Meet & Greet Videos
  2. Get connected with other UWM families during Panther Family Association Coffee Chats, visit the Panther Family Virtual Lounge to speak with other families, Orientation Leaders, and staff. Make sure to join the Panther Family Community on Facebook.
  3. Learn about the Federal Education Privacy Rights Act (FERPA) and what that means for access to your student’s records.
  4. Sign-up for Panther Family News
  5. Visit the Panther Families Website
  6. View the Family Guide for answers to many UWM related questions

Forget where you put the email introducing you to the Panther Family Association? Not to worry–check out the webview of that message here!

Panther Family Live Orientation Presentations

All live sessions for Summer 2021 have concluded. Session names and outlines below for your reference.

Session Session Description
Keeping Your Panther Healthy & Safe Dean of Students Office, UWM Police Department, and Norris Health Center on supporting your student in staying healthy and safe.
Academic Success at UWM Understand how advising works, what to expect for your student’s first year and the ways you can support your student.
University Housing Learn about residence halls, meal plans, and opportunities for involvement.
Commuter Success Is your student living off-campus? Jon this session to hear about supporting them in managing their time and having a successful commute!
Preparing for Your Student’s College Transition Join to discuss the finer points of the college transition. How can you connect with your student this summer to help them have a productive mindset this Fall? Let’s talk!
Pre-Recorded Campus Meet & Greet Videos
Campus resources are here to help your student achieve a successful first year of college! Get familiarized by learning about the available network of support in short-form videos, highlighting what each resource does!

Many of our partners have developed short videos to give you perspective on what they have to offer, check out these Meet & Greet videos below! Learn about UWM Athletics, our Student Cultural Centers, the Norris Health Center, and more!

Accessibility Resource Center
Black Student Cultural Center
Books by eCampus
Career Planning and Resource Center
Cashier’s Office
Center for Community-Based Leadership, Learning and Research
Center for International Education
Fraternity and Sorority Life
Honors College
LGBTQ Resource Center
Life Impact Program
Norris Health Center
Office of Undergraduate Research
Panther Shop
Restaurant Operations
Roberto Hernández Center
Spiritual & Religious Communities
Student Association
Student Involvement
UWM Athletics
UWM Libraries
University Information Technology
Women’s Resource Center

Panther Family Association Coffee Talk
The mission of the Panther Family Association is to build collaborative partnerships between parents, families, and UWM for the common goal of student learning, personal growth and development, student success, and engagement with the institution.

Join the Panther Family Association to chat with parents of current UWM students and knowledgeable UWM staff. Parents will share their experience and answer your questions during this virtual coffee hour.

We encourage you to join the Panther Family Facebook group and sign-up for the Panther Family News list prior to attending a session access the most updated schedule. The schedule is subject to change and sessions may be added or adjusted.

Health & Well-being Resources
UWM & Norris Health Center understand that health and wellbeing are building blocks of student success, and families play an important role in supporting your students. To equip you with all the information you need, please review these resources:

Course Registration Advising and FERPA

Students can expect to get an email to their UWM account 2-4 days prior to their Orientation outlining how they’ll connect with their advisor, often in a 1-1 appointment, to get registered for classes. During Orientation, students will learn about their first-year curriculum and how to navigate the schedule builder system.

Parents and families are encouraged to join their student throughout their Orientation experience. At the time of course enrollment and advising, we encourage students to have independent one-on-one appointments with their Academic Advisors in accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (more on this below). FERPA aside, individual appointments are beneficial to the establishment of trust and rapport between your student and their advisor, and these are important first steps on the road toward graduation.

It is important to understand the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) applies differently to college students than to elementary or high school students — your student now has sole and direct ownership of their educational records.  While parents and families understandably have an interest in a student’s academic progress, they may only access the student’s records with written consent.  We encourage families to honor and appreciate their student’s role in charting their academic path and choosing their courses, under the guidance of UWM’s professional advisors. See for more information about how FERPA applies to college students.