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First-Year Students

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Information Specifically for Incoming First-Year Students

During the summer before their first semester at Clark, new Clarkies should consider doing the following as soon as possible:

  1. Self-identify as a student with a disability; send documentation to Student Accessibility Services (SAS), request accommodations, and register with the SAS office
  2. Attend Early Orientation

We accept documentation on a rolling basis throughout the year and are happy to meet with students to discuss accommodations. Below, find information about registering with SAS during the summer and attending Early Orientation.

Early Orientation

Incoming first-year students who register with Student Accessibility Services (SAS) have the option to attend Early Orientation, which takes place before orientation for all new students. Early Orientation has a number of benefits, including:

  • Meet and work with student leaders before the incoming class arrives on campus
  • Get to know other students attending programs that begin early
  • Have some additional time to transition and navigate around campus
  • Attend small workshops offered by various offices on campus
  • Form lasting friendships with your peers

Registered students who participate in Early Orientation have the opportunity to move into their residence halls before the vast majority of their first-year peers — and food is included! After Early Orientation concludes, students then participate in Orientation with the rest of the incoming class.

Other than the ability to move in earlier than most others, Early Orientation offers two days of SAS-specific orientation to help students transition to their new lives as Clarkies. Previous Early Orientation schedules have included:

Orientation Schedule

Day one of Early Orientation is geared for the student and the family who accompanies them to move in. As soon as the student arrives on campus, they meet their Peer Adviser (PA), who helps them move in and get acclimated to the Clark campus.

The Peer Adviser will accompany the student and family to each of the day’s events, including a lunch presentation from the SAS office and a meet-and-greet with some campus administrators.

Also during this day is a time set aside just for the parents to meet with the SAS Staff and other key administrators. During this meeting, the parents have the opportunity to learn about their role during their student’s time at Clark.

Downtime is built into the day, to allow students to unpack, relax, and participate in both required and optional activities. Finally, near the end of this day, students will have time to say farewell to their families.

Day two of Early Orientation is all about the student. There will be meetings revolving around helping the student get prepared for the start of classes, including one with the staff to review how to access their accommodations; a campus tour with Peer Advisers; and becoming acquainted with members of Diversability. Just like day one, built into the day is downtime to allow students to unpack, relax, and/or participate in optional activities.

This year’s Early Orientation schedule is still being developed, but here is the schedule from a previous year so you can get an idea of what this program entails.

Timeline for the Summer before your First Year

Student Accessibility Services encourages students to self-identify and register with the office — and RSVP for Early Orientation! — as early as possible. We will attempt to process any late requests, but we cannot guarantee they will be accommodated.

Important Timeline

May 13 - June 14
First steps

Self-Identify as a student with a disability (This usually happens when you say, “Hi, I am looking for accommodations.”)

by June 14
Submit documentation

Though accommodations are processed on a rolling basis, it is imperative that first-year students complete the process in a timely manner, due to the large number of new students to be assisted. Any students who submit documentation after June 14 may miss early registration and may need to register during general course registration times.

by June 14
Schedule an intake meeting

Schedule an intake meeting with SAS staff. This meeting can happen on campus, over the phone, or via Skype, and should take no longer than 30 to 40 minutes.

June 17 – July 3
First-year student course registration

First-year students registered with SAS participate in early registration for their first semester of courses. Please note that this is only done for their first fall semester, unless otherwise accommodated.

Jun 24 - Jul 19
RSVP to Early Orientation

Let SAS staff know if you’re interested in participating in Early Orientation. RSVP by July 19.

July 31
Confirm all necessary documents and processes are in place

By July 31, all new student meetings to review documentation, accommodations, and course selection should be complete.

Frequently Asked Questions

Early Orientation costs $50. This charge is applied directly to the orientation charge on the student’s bill.

The sessions offered during the Orientation family program are different from the sessions for families during day one of Early Orientation. Some of the information shared may be similar, but families attending both day one of Early Orientation and the Orientation family program will have the opportunity to meet more campus community members and learn more about the campus and its supports.

We appreciate that travel concerns may make attending both difficult, and it is not mandatory. Ultimately, the choice is the left up to each family. That being said, we would love to welcome you to both!