Student Engagement sponsors a variety of new student programs during New Student Week, which is a week full of events geared specifically towards new students and contains everything from fun, energizing activities, to featured entertainment, to learning tips for academic success. There is something for everyone during this exciting week! Please look at our New Student Week Guide Book for schedule of events and sessions to attend.
Student Engagement hires approximately 25 WOU students to serve as members of the Orientation PLUS (Peer Leaders Understanding Students) Team! PLUS Team assists incoming students during the Summer Orientation, Advising, and Registration (SOAR) days, as well as works during New Student Week to get students excited about approaching school year and help new students make meaningful connections with their fellow classmates, which is approximately 1300 new incoming and transfer students each year.
Following is a position description which outlines eligibility requirements, time commitments, responsibilities, and information concerning training and compensation.
The following items are required responsibilities for the PLUS Team Peer Advisor Position:
- The Summer Orientation, Advisement, and Registration (SOAR) program which is held during the summer.
- T-SOAR Registration for Transfer Students
- New Student Week
- PLUS Team member training and specific PLUS Team returner trainings.
The following item is voluntary, but is highly recommended that you attend (and it is great fun and learning!)
- PLUS Team retreat
Students selected for the Orientation PLUS team will serve as the university’s official student representatives for new students and their families during both SOAR and New Student Week programs. Attendance at all programs is required.
Members of the Orientation PLUS team will:
- Facilitate small group discussions;
- Assist new students with advisement and registration;
- Give campus tours and/or presentations;
- Serve on student/faculty panels;
- Participate in Transfer SOAR, SOAR, and New Student Week retreats and activities;
- Assist in planning New Student Week Activities;
- Encourage and motivate new and current WOU students to participate in New Student Week events and student activities;
- Work collaboratively with student groups such as ASWOU and the University Housing staff during New Student Week.
- Participate in Homecoming and Family Weekend activities as assigned.
Orientation PLUS team members are required to participate in weekly training during Spring Term on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5:00-6:20 p.m. Credit is available to those students interested and PLUS Team members will be compensated for attendance at these sessions.
Topics to be covered in training include peer advising, WOU history, leadership and communication skills development, identification of campus resources, and the developmental issues and needs of new students and their parents in the transition to college.
The Orientation PLUS team will consist of approximately 25 student paraprofessionals who must meet the following qualifications:
- Current full-time WOU student.
- Completed at least one year at WOU
- Will continue as a full-time WOU student
- Is and continues to be a full-time student in good judicial standing with a minimum cumulative and term 2.25 GPA at the time of application
- Comply with terms of the PLUS Team contract during the contract period.
PLUS team members should:
- Have a working knowledge of WOU, its services, and the surrounding community;
- Display a genuine interest in the problems and concerns facing new students;
- Have an ability to relate comfortably to individuals of various ages, racial and ethnic backgrounds, and lifestyles.
Note: Diverse academic and co-curricular backgrounds, as well as geographic origin, gender balance, transfer status, non-traditional students and racial/ethnic diversity will be considered in staff selection.
Note: All students selected to the orientation PLUS Team must agree to a criminal and/or motor vehicle background check.
Orientation PLUS team members will receive a salary of approximately $1,720 (based upon hourly wages). There is mandatory attendance at all training sessions, retreats, and orientation programs. PLUS members will also have an opportunity to earn three hours of upper-division elective credit through ICS 304 (404 for returning PLUS Team members)
Although there are several advantages to being an Orientation PLUS team member there are things to consider:
- Time constraints during winter, spring, summer, and the beginning of fall term during New Student Week.
- Personal sacrifice of other activities/positions.
- Inability to serve both as a Resident Assistant, Peer Mentor, or Summer Bridge Peer Advisor, and a PLUS Team member in the same Fall 2018 term.
- Reduced income from other jobs due to Orientation PLUS position.
- Being a part of an amazing team.
- Increased knowledge of Western Oregon University.
- Understanding of your own strengths and weaknesses.
- Opportunity to meet and interact with people of different backgrounds, interests, and beliefs.
- Valuable work experience to include on resumes and to discuss at job interviews.
- Chance to be directly involved with helping new students and their families make their adjustment to university life.
For more a look at this year’s PLUS Team leaders, please visit the PLUS Team biography page.
Discover Leadership is a program at Western Oregon University created to help students who may have limited experience with leadership learn essential skills to increase their confidence and enhance their knowledge. This program helps prepare students for different leadership opportunities on campus, such as becoming a Resident Assistant, PLUS Team Peer Advisor, Summer Bridge Leader, or participant in any other leadership opportunity. It is also a great way to meet new friends and learn about campus resources. For more information, please visit the Discover Leadership page found HERE
Summer Bridge is a week long orientation program before new student week. This program is available to incoming freshman who have been accepted to SEP. We accept 40 students to participate. Students will get to move into a temporary dorm and later in the week they would move into their permanent dorm. Students will be participating in week long workshops and we will also have activities/field trips planned. For more information, please visit the Student Enrichment Program webpage found HERE