Washington County Orientation 2020

Congratulations on the achievements that have led you to this step in your journey. New Student Orientation marks your entrance into the UWM community, this year, in a new and exciting format! In the Summer of 2020, Orientation will take place totally online to protect you and the rest of the UWM at Washington County community. The process to meet your Orientation requirements and register for your Fall classes is outlined below! There are many opportunities for Families to engage virtually as well.

Register for Orientation

Orientation Registration Steps

Step 1: Complete Admission Steps

Before you can sign up for Orientation
You will be invited via postcard and email to sign up online for New Student Orientation after you:

    • Pay $150 New Student Confirmation Deposit* which is part of the $250 New Freshman Fee (the other $100 will be added on with Tuition in August and is not refundable after the start of the term).
    • Within 1-2 business days of “Register for Orientation” appearing on your PAWS account, you’ll be able to register for your orientation date.

Placement Tests: Math and English ACT/SAT scores will be utilized for placement. Please visit the Placement Testing Website.

If there is a scheduling conflict, please contact our office orientation@uwm.edu

*This deposit is not refundable if you participate in Orientation or if you do not cancel your Orientation registration at least 10 days prior to the program.

Step 2: Register for Orientation

After you register, you’ll immediately receive a confirmation with limited program details via email. You’ll receive more extensive directions via mail and email about 1 week prior to the program.

Student Policies

Choosing a Meta-Major
Part of your orientation experience is based on the meta-major that you select when you register for the event.
When you login to the Orientation registration site, you will have the option to indicate your current meta-major.

Date Selection & No-Log In Policy
Orientation dates are available on a first come, first served basis. If a program date is unavailable, we are unable to “hold” a date as our system updates in real time and anyone can select a date should it become available.

You are allowed to change the program you have registered for up to 5 days before the program begins. To change your orientation date, log on to the registration site and select a program that works better for your schedule. If you register for a program and do not participate, that is considered a “no-log in”. If you “no-log in” twice, you will not be allowed to register for a program until the end of the summer in August.

Families and Guests
You are not required to invite a family member or guest to participate in Orientation, but if you would like, you may input their information into your Orientation registration and they will receive communication directly to participate in Family programming.

Spanish Language Accommodations
If your parents/guests need Spanish language translation, please contact our office to speak with someone who can help your guest learn more about Orientation.

Step 3: Prepare for Orientation

Student Orientation Schedule-Coming Soon

Make sure to use #UWMNSO on Twitter or Instagram (Follow us: @uwmnewstudents)!

Complete the BCSSE Survey [Required] In your Orientation confirmation materials, you will receive your link to complete the Beginning College Survey of Student Engagement. Complete this prior to your Orientation date.

Submit Your ID Photo [Required] Prior to Orientation, you need to submit the photo you would like to appear on your PantherCard. All you have to do is take a photo of yourself and upload it through GET UWM, PantherCard’s online management system. Go here to the PantherCard Office website for detailed instructions and requirements for your photo.

Credit Agreement [Required]
Before being able to register for classes, you must complete your credit agreement. If you have not done it yet, you can complete it through your PAWS account. Log in to PAWS, click the Credit Agreement link on your “To Do List” and complete your Credit Agreement there.

UWM Email
You can access your UWM email 1-2 days after you pay your confirmation deposit. Your email account is through Outlook and you can log in to the Microsoft suite here: UWM Email

Meet & Greet
Throughout the summer, you’ll be able to interact with our resource offices virtually. The list of these offices and the method for interacting with them is still being planned, but you’ll receive more information soon.

Academic Plans
One of the most important things you will do as part of your Orientation experience is register for your first semester of classes. An advisor will help guide you on requirements for your major, but it’s a good idea to explore classes that fit your interests if you have room in your schedule. You can look at the schedule of classes for some ideas.

Family Preparation
Family Orientation Schedule-Coming Soon so you know what to expect! We recommend you do the following to get the most out of the (optional) Family Orientation programming:

  • Talk to your student about their academic classes since you won’t be joining them for class registration.
  • Provide your email address to get on the PantherFamilies email list. You can fill that out here.
  • Connect with your student after the program to hear what they learned.
Step 4: Participate in Your Orientation!

Complete the Canvas Orientation Module
Prior to your Orientation, you will receive an email granting you access to the Online Orientation module hosted on UWM’s online learning platform, Canvas. Using that link, you will enroll yourself in the Orientation course, and work through the pages, videos, and complete the quizzes. Ensure that you finish this portion of your Orientation prior to the other components of your day: your Virtual Panther Hangout and your Academic Advising Session. A few day prior, (depending on when you register) you will receive the invitation for the Canvas Online Orientation course. Please be sure to check your student email daily, the week leading up to your Online Orientation Session.

Virtual Panther Hangout
In your Online Orientation Session, you will have time time to join a small group experience facilitated by your Orientation Leader. In this session, you will meet other new students, hear more about the campus resources you learned about via the Canvas course, and get to know your Orientation Leader.

Academic Advising Session
Our Academic Advisors are excited to interface with our newest students! To prepare you to register for courses, you will participate in an Academic Advising Session to learn more about what your first year curriculum has in store. This virtual group session will set you up with all the information you need to have in order to begin registering for courses. At the end of the session, you will have a complete first semester course schedule. Individual follow-up advising appointments will be available upon request after completing the online orientation components.

Step 5: Stay Connected After Orientation
  • Review all of your Orientation materials in Canvas and the Student Handbook
  • Begin your On Campus Job search
  • Check out our website to browse student organizations
  • Check out our Campus Events calendar
  • Get in the right frame of mind for college by checking out our topic-based student videos
  • Get excited for Panther Academic Welcome (August 27 – required for all new freshmen; this will be held in-person as of now) and Fall Welcome
Frequently Asked Questions

Is Orientation held in-person?

  • No. Due to concerns surrounding COVID-19, students starting at UWM in the Fall of 2020 will participate in an Online Orientation experience. The details of how to register and what to expect are listed above in Steps 1-4.
  • For Summer 2020 admits, please reach out to wsh-cgs@uwm.edu for assistance in registering for summer courses. Please note that you will be required to register for an Orientation Session in order to enroll in Fall 2020 courses.

Having trouble connecting to Blackboard Collaborate Ultra session? 

Below is some other UWM technology instruction guides to review:

What do I need to do before I participate in Orientation?  

  • Take a photo of yourself for your student ID and submit it through “Get UWM,” PantherCard’s online management system. Go to the PantherCard Office website for detailed instructions and requirements for your photo. Be sure to upload your photo at least 48 hours prior to your Orientation date. 
  • Complete the University Credit Agreement (paws.uwm.edu) In the Finances section click “Credit Agreement”). This must be completed to enroll in classes for the upcoming semester.  
  • Pay outstanding balances on your PAWS account (in the Finances section). If you have overdue charges and a Bursar’s Hold is placed on your account, this may impact your ability to register for classes. 
  • Review the schedule of classes online: uwm.edu/schedule. 
  • Read the PAWS Financial Aid tutorial to learn how to accept your aid and prepare to speak with a Financial Aid advisor. 
  • Complete any outstanding Financial Aid items (found on your PAWS to do list, accept wards, etc.). 

Can my family or guests participate in Orientation with me? 

  • Families and guests are encouraged to refrain from participating in and assisting their students with the Canvas course, Virtual Panther Hangouts, or Advising Session.
  • Families and guests will have access to programming,with more information to come.
  • Family participation in Orientation is not required.

When will I get my placement tests results and be able to sign up for classes? 

  • You are not required to take placement tests to enroll in Summer or Fall 2020 classes.
  • Math and English ACT/SAT scores will be utilized for placement. For optional testing (Spanish, German, French, Math and English), please visit the Placement Testing Website.
  • You will sign up for classes during your Orientation experience.