Waukesha Orientation 2021

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! For students starting in the Fall of 2021, Orientation will take place online to protect you and the rest of the UWM community. The process to meet your Orientation requirements and register for your Fall classes is outlined below!

We’ll also be offering small, socially distant, optional in-person programs on campus. Check back on this website later this spring if you’d be interested in joining a small on-campus program later in the Summer, after your virtual Orientation.

Register for Orientation

Orientation Registration Steps

Step 1: Complete Admission Steps

You will be invited via postcard and email to sign up online for New Student Orientation after you have completed the following items:

Step 1: Complete the “Intent to Enroll” To Do List item in your PAWS account. This will confirm your enrollment to UW-Milwaukee.

Step 2: UWM Course Placement Requirements

Course Placement: You have 2 options to complete your course placement requirement:

A combination of ACT/SAT scores and previous coursework will be used to place you into your math, English, and world language courses. Make sure your scores have been submitted to UWM.

If you have never taken the ACT/SAT you can complete the free, online UWM-specific placement tests at uwm.edu/freshmanplacement

For questions, emailNFTest@uwm.edu.

Step 3: Complete the “Pre-Orientation” To Do List item in your PAWS account. This Pre-Orientation is required for all incoming students and you will be asked to reschedule your Orientation if it is not complete.

Step 4: Register for Orientation!

The $150 Orientation Fee you will see on your account is not due until the first day of classes. The Orientation Fee is not refundable if you participate in Orientation. You will also see a $100 New Freshman Fee which is also not due until the first day of classes. This Fee covers many costs related to the first-year programming that will be available to you this year! If you cancel enrollment prior to the start of the term, you will not owe this fee to UWM.

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

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.

Note that the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) applies differently to college students than to elementary or high school students — the 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 https://uwm.edu/registrar/ferpa-parents/ for more information about how FERPA applies to college students.

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

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

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. You can complete it through your PAWS account, by clicking “Credit Agreement” on your To Do List items.

Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) [Required] Enroll in multi-factor authentication (MFA). Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) is an additional layer of security that keeps your account safe. With MFA, you will be using something you know (your password) with something you have (your device/smartphone) to confirm your identity. For more details on how to enroll, sign in, and manage your devices please review instructions: https://kb.uwm.edu/54768 

UWM Email [Required]
You can access and set up your UWM email 1-2 days after you complete your “Intent to Enroll” To Do List item. Your email account is through Outlook and you can log in to the Microsoft suite here. Your email address is your ePantherID followed by @uwm.edu (ppanther@uwm.edu). Login with your full email address and your ePanther ID password.

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!

Schedule: You will have the ability to choose from multiple 4 hour orientation sessions with morning and afternoon options. New Student Orientation has three required program components:

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. If this course is not completed, you will not be able to enroll in courses.

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.

As a result of completing Orientation, students will…

  • Be able to make informed choices regarding academic, personal and social issues.​
  • Grow in their understanding and respect of others in a diverse community.
  • Be more excited to join the UWM community (and develop a sense of belonging).
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 25 – 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 2021 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 2021 admits, please reach out to wak-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 2021 courses.

Don’t have access to reliable internet? 

  • Orientation will take place totally online, if you have concerns about your access to reliable internet or a computer/tablet, use this form to notify us and we will work with you to make accommodations. 

Having trouble connecting to Blackboard Collaborate Ultra session? 

Below is some other UWM technology instruction guides to review:

How can I speak with Financial Aid regarding the costs of college, loans, scholarships, and more?

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

  • Complete the “Pre-Orientation” To Do List item in your PAWS account.
  • Take a photo of yourself for your student ID and submit it through the “Get UWM” app, PantherCard’s online management system. Go to the PantherCard Office website for detailed instructions and requirements for your photo.
  • Complete the University Credit Agreement (paws.uwm.edu) listed under the finances section, click “Credit Agreement”. This must be completed to enroll in classes for the upcoming semester.  
  • Enroll in multi-factor authentication (MFA), this is required for all students. For more details on how to enroll, sign in, and manage your devices please review instructions: https://kb.uwm.edu/54768 
  • 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. 
  • 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 items, accept wards, etc.). 
  • Review the schedule of classes online: uwm.edu/schedule. 

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 2021 classes.
  • Math and English ACT/SAT scores will be utilized for placement. For optional testing (Spanish, German, French, Math and English), please visit uwm.edu/freshmanplacement or emailNFTest@uwm.edu.
  • You will sign up for classes during your Orientation experience.

I’m considering waiting to start at UWM until the Spring of 2022. How do I do that, and should I do it?

  • It’s your choice to start classes in the Fall or Spring. If you’ve been admitted for Fall 2021 and want to start classes in Spring 2022, you must submit a Term Change Request here.
  • If you Term Change and have paid your $150 Orientation Fee for Fall, you will NOT get a refund. Your Fall Orientation Fee charge will be canceled and you’ll get a Spring Orientation Fee charge. The Fall payment you already submitted will then automatically cover the Spring Orientation Fee charge.
  • There are many implications to changing terms. To get more information about Term Changes and ask questions, email undergraduateadmissions@uwm.edu.

The Orientation Requirement

Orientation is an exciting opportunity for you to get familiar with your new community. We’ll show you all the ways you can be a part of the UWM community, find a group of friends, and get help during your time at UWM. Our talented team of Orientation Leaders will guide you through the program and share their stories about their experience on campus. Orientation will help you: 

  • Be able to make informed choices regarding academic, personal, and social issues.  
  • Take personal responsibility for their own success.  
  • Feel welcomed, comfortable, engaged, and excited to be a member of the UWM community.   
  • Grow in their understanding and respect of others is a diverse community. 

Orientation is required program because navigating the transition to college can be challenging. We want you to have access to all the tools, knowledge, and support that you can to make your transition to UWM as seamless as possible. We’re committed to your success and can’t wait to welcome you to your new community!