Auburn University's First Year Experience Office will be transitioning all Camp War Eagle sessions online this summer, according to an email sent by the office to incoming freshmen on April 9. The decision follows the University's announcement that all campus events have been cancelled through June 30 because of the COVID-19 outbreak.
"While we know an online orientation cannot take the place of experiencing the beauty of our campus and the friendliness of the Auburn Family, the CWE staff has worked to ensure that the online approach provides you with a personal experience," said Mark Armstrong, FYE's executive director of academic partnerships, in the email.
Armstrong noted three key components to CWE: introducing freshmen to the University's educational services, allowing time for students to meet with an academic advisor to register for classes and becoming involved socially on campus.
"Normally these goals are achieved at a CWE session," he said. "While we are unable to host CWE sessions on campus this summer, these goals remain the same."
The virtual orientation will occur over eight individual sessions from late May through early July, of which students are asked to register for one session. Armstrong said in the email that each session will cover four days, operating Monday through Thursday, or Tuesday through Friday for the second session on account of Memorial Day.
As students will not be visiting campus, the University lowered its orientation fee for CWE sessions, according to the email.
"In consideration of the transition to online orientation, the CWE fee has been decreased by half to $75," he said. "The fee will be applied to your fall semester bill, so no payment is required when you sign up for your session."
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Registration is still scheduled to open April 29 at 1 p.m. Central Daylight Time through AU Access using the CWE portal, Armstrong said.
"About one week prior to your session, you will be enrolled in an online orientation module," the email states. "To enhance your virtual experience, please complete this module prior to the start of your virtual CWE session."
During the first day of each session, students will meet virtually with their designated counselor and other incoming freshmen to receive information on University resources. The next two days will see students in academic advising meetings to be informed of their major's curriculum, overview of required and recommended courses and allow them to ask questions about academic topics.
"You will be provided more instructions on how to sign up for an appointment time," the email states. "In short, this meeting will assure that you are on the right path academically."
Students will register for classes on the last day of their session, with academic advisors present to guide them through the process, according to Armstrong.
Armstrong said in the email that FYE has yet to determine whether a parent and family orientation will occur or how it would be administered. The office will share any new information on its website if a decision is made.
The University hopes to provide a final one-day, on-campus session in July as an "introduction to the Auburn campus community" depending on COVID-19 conditions at that time, according to Armstrong.
"If we are unable to host you on campus in July, this portion of orientation will be canceled," Armstrong said in the email.
Students or parents with additional questions about CWE this summer may contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
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