2020 Welcome Week to include arrival and extended orientation programming

July 31, 2020

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Welcome Week begins with student arrival and move-in. Students will have to sign up for a date and time to move in during the week of Aug. 17. Additional arrival and move-in information is available here.

The evening that students arrive, they will have a required floor meeting with their resident assistant (RA). Then, new students will participate in required extended orientation programming. These sessions build on the foundational messages delivered during Virtual Orientation, including alcohol and drug use and abuse; sexual assault prevention and response; and diversity, equity and inclusion. Throughout the week, new students will also get an introduction to the classroom environment (in-person, remote, and mixed-mode); have opportunities to practice navigating a physically distanced campus; and learn about life in State College. 

Students will be automatically assigned to the extended orientation programming based on their arrival date and will receive a detailed schedule of extended orientation programming upon arrival. Students can plan to be busy from the evening they arrive through the following day. 

Students will be unable to adjust their assigned extended orientation programming dates. New students must successfully fulfill the required extended orientation programming before they can participate in any other programming scheduled to take place that week offered by their academic college, department, scholarship program, student organization or community agency.

Ongoing Welcome Week programming will be offered throughout the week and coordinated by Residence Life, Student Activities, and Student Orientation and Transition Programs, including campus tours, opportunities for networking, and featured performers/concerts. Each of these programs has a goal of helping new students meet each other and get connected. Many programs will be offered both online and virtually.

Traditional Welcome Week events such as President’s New Student Convocation, academic college Dean’s Meetings, and Be A Part From The Start will still be offered the weekend before classes begin, though they’ll look a little different from years past based on current event capacity restrictions. This year’s Involvement Fair will also be offered virtually to help new and returning students continue to find ways to get involved on campus, online and in the community.   

Following arrival on campus, students should not make any travel plans that would conflict with required programming or increase potential health risks to the community. 

Welcome Week is designed to help students connect with faculty, staff and peers both in-person and virtually. By participating in welcome events, students will practice independence and autonomy while also gaining an understanding of their own personal responsibilities. Additionally, students will learn to navigate the physical campus, be prepared for the academic rigor and various learning formats, and be introduced to campus resources. 

Opportunities for meaningful dialogue about equity and inclusion with their peers will allow students to demonstrate respect for all individuals in our community. Pairing these conversations with events centered around the history and traditions of the institution and the chance to explore co-curricular involvement opportunities will allow students to deepen their understanding of, and subsequently apply, the Penn State Values to their experience.

For more information about Welcome Week, visit welcomeweek.psu.edu.

Students who choose to Start at Home this fall will be required to complete the extended orientation at the start of their first semester on campus. 

Student Orientation and Transition Programs is part of Penn State Student Affairs and Penn State Undergraduate Education. Undergraduate Education is the academic administrative unit that provides leadership and coordination for University-wide programs and initiatives in support of undergraduate teaching and learning at Penn State. Learn more about Undergraduate Education at undergrad.psu.edu.

Last Updated September 22, 2020