Link U.P. offers students a preview of life at University Park

March 16, 2010

University Park, Pa. – Each year approximately 3,500 students who began college at a Penn State Commonwealth Campus enroll at University Park, as part of Penn State’s 2 + 2 plan. Students can spend two years at one of Penn State’s 20 undergraduate campuses throughout Pennsylvania, then switch to University Park or another campus for their remaining two years. This spring University Park is hosting what is hoped will become an annual visitation day for change-of-campus students, to help them with a smooth transition to University Park.

Link U.P., held on Saturday, April 10, is a day designed to assist first-year Commonwealth Campus students with their move to State College after their sophomore year. The visit also will help them determine whether the University Park campus is the best choice for completing their Penn State degree.

Visiting University Park at least one semester in advance should help transitioning students feel more comfortable with decisions about their future college experiences, said Yvonne Gaudelius, assistant vice president and associate dean for Undergraduate Education. “It’s hard when a student gets here for the first time ever in the fall and finds out University Park isn’t the right fit for him or her,” she explained.

Link U.P. begins with morning tours of campus and a welcome from Penn State President Graham Spanier, followed by an overview of the academic process for change-of-campus students. A panel of students who successfully switched to University Park will offer their advice, after which transition leaders will break students into groups based on their intended college. Leaders from each college will join students for lunch at dining halls. After lunch students will meet with advising representatives from their college to examine academic requirements helpful for the shift to University Park.

At 2:30 p.m., a resource fair at the HUB-Robeson Center will expose students to the range of academic and extracurricular opportunities at University Park, including study abroad, clubs, athletics, undergraduate research, Greek life and off-campus housing. Representatives from each of the University's colleges will be on hand to discuss all available undergraduate majors. Breakout sessions on housing and financing also will be offered at the resource fair.

Andrea Dowhower, assistant vice president of Student Affairs, said change-of-campus students are encouraged to talk to current University Park students, have dinner downtown and explore State College while they are in town.

“We want them to feel like a part of University Park so they have a smooth transition in the fall,” she said. “Link U.P. also will help them prepare for the move, taking the right steps at the right time.”

First-year students from every Commonwealth Campus are invited to Link U.P., and several campuses are offering bus service to bring students to and from University Park. Other change-of-campus students may be able to attend Link U.P. as space permits.

Advance registration is required. To register, or for more information about the event, please visit and contact the staff member listed at your campus.

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Last Updated April 19, 2017