Orientation and Advisement
Orientation for New Students
Advising and orientation of students at the University of Oklahoma is a continuous process designed to provide OU students with the knowledge they need to succeed academically and socially. For many students, the process begins while they are still in high school during Sooner Saturday, an on-campus introduction to the university for prospective students and their parents.
Initial academic advising for new students is provided through several activities that present information to new students and their parents about academic and non-academic programs of the university, along with individualized academic advising and the opportunity to pre-enroll in classes for the fall semester. These include:
- New Sooner Orientation
University College’s orientation and advance enrollment program for new freshmen in every major, or undecided and pre-health transfer students who have been admitted to the university. Parents of students are encouraged to attend.
Additional orientation programs are provided for new students prior to the beginning of classes. These include:
- Sooner Orientation Weekend
Student Orientation Weekend is three fun days full of activities and information designed to welcome students to the University of Oklahoma. The schedule is packed with opportunities to meet great people, get acquainted with the campus and community and learn about the many services and programs that will help students succeed at OU. For more information, contact Student Life, Oklahoma Memorial Union, at (405) 325-3163.
- Camp Crimson
Camp Crimson is OU's official orientation camp. It is a three-day, two-night experience of what it means to be a Sooner. Students get the opportunity to meet other new students, student leaders and faculty and staff members, and hear about resources at OU.
- Teaching Assistant Orientation
The Center for Teaching Excellence offers training programs for all teaching assistants prior to the beginning of each fall semester. For more information, contact the Center for Teaching Excellence, Wallace Old Science Hall 224, (405) 325-2323.
New students also have the opportunity to participate in one of two types of introductory courses during their first year of enrollment. These include:
- Gateway to College Learning—Each section is limited to a maximum of 28 students and is taught either by experienced and specially-trained faculty or senior staff members. The course deals with a variety of topics designed to introduce students to the university community and to help them make a successful transition from high school to college.
- University College Seminars—Each seminar is limited to 25 students and is taught by an individual faculty member who leads the students through an in-depth exploration of a specific intellectual topic.
Knowing that academic advising is a key component to helping students graduate, our goal is to help students succeed academically so that they can fulfill their dreams and meet their potential. University College (UC) provides general advising for most first-year students. UC is a non-degree college that focuses on helping students make the transition to the university, provides them with academic advising, and a variety of coaching activities to help them to succeed. During the freshman year, the OU Scholars Program provides specialized advising services to scholarship recipients of the Award of Excellence, Distinguished Scholar, Regents Award, National Award, and National Merit scholarships.
Once students earn 24 credit hours after two semesters at OU and move to a degree college, they will meet with an academic advisor before each term of enrollment. Students are advised either by academic counselors in the college office, professional advisors in the academic unit or by faculty advisers in their major. Academic advising is an integral part of the educational process and includes regular interaction and relationship-building during each transition as a student navigates their academic career.
The Academic Advising Resource Center (AARC) serves as a resource for students and academic advisors alike. The AARC advises students who are going into their third or later semester and would like extra time in deciding on their academic major while being declared Exploratory. The AARC also works with students who need support during a period of academic repair so that the student can meet degree college admission standards. The AARC was established in 2011 and houses the Pre-Law, Pre-Medical Professions, and Exploratory Academic Advisors. The AARC uses the services of a Triage Advisor to help students navigate the academic advising system and who maintains the firstname.lastname@example.org account. The AARC is in Cate 1, Room 418, 308 Cate Center Drive Rm. 418, Norman, OK 73019-2180, (405) 325-1596.
In addition to formal academic advising, students may select from a wide variety of additional academic and support services. Examples include academic life coaching sessions with trained and certified academic life coaches, workshops offered by the Student Learning Center and the Center for Student Life; individual career advising by Career Services; and academic assistance through the Writing Center and several tutoring programs.
STUDENT SUPPORT SERVICES
Student Support Services, also known as Project Threshold, is an academic support program established in 1970 to serve students who are first-generation college, economically disadvantaged, disabled. The primary goal of this program is to increase retention and graduation rates of program participants.
To accomplish this goal, Project Threshold provides personal, academic, and financial aid counseling as well as academic tutoring. Small sections of freshman-level courses are offered to Threshold students to help ease the adjustment to larger college classes. The ethnic diversity of the staff further serves to provide the student with a sense of belonging.
Inquiries should be directed to Project Threshold, 215 Wagner Hall, 1005 Asp Ave., Norman, OK 73019-0315, (405) 325-6261, email@example.com.
Planning a Program
- If you have selected a major, learn all the requirements for your chosen degree program.
- If you are unsure of your major, make an appointment with a major exploration coach who can help you match your interests, skills and goals to possible majors
- Prepare a plan of study showing the courses you will take each semester that will complete requirements for graduation.
- The degree program should be designed according to the rules and regulations that govern enrollment and graduation. These rules and regulations can be found in the specific chapter of this catalog providing information about the college offering your major as well as the chapter, “Admission, Enrollment, and Graduation.”
- Freshmen and sophomores who are unsure of a major should choose courses that will fulfill University-Wide General Education Requirements and provide exposure to disciplines that are of interest for selection of a major.
- Utilize the University General Catalog, the Degree Navigator system and degree checksheets to plan your program.
- Take basic required courses such as English composition and mathematics that provide a sound foundation for future successful enrollments early in the academic program.
- Include courses early in the program that are required for admission to the degree college offering the chosen major.
- Schedule upper-division courses for the junior and senior years with few exceptions in your schedule.
- Look into programs that will enhance your individual program such as study abroad, internships, and research opportunities.
- Balance enrollments to avoid including too many heavy reading courses, too many laboratory courses, or too many credit hours in one semester or term.
- Attempt to schedule all specifically required courses prior to the final enrollment.
- Plan the final semester with fewer hours to allow for such activities as job interviews.
- Plan an enrollment of 12-19 hours, according to academic ability and responsibilities outside of class, for the fall and spring semesters (6-9 hours are appropriate for the summer term). Students should anticipate that each credit hour taken will normally require a minimum of two hours each week for study time outside of class.
The University of Oklahoma has instituted a graduation plan for many degree programs. This plan requires the student and the university to sign a contract that guarantees the student can graduate in a specified period of time based on certain conditions that can be detailed when the student talks with an academic adviser on campus.