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Standards of Excellence

New Student Orientation

The purpose of the new student orientation program is to assist new students with their transition into William & Mary by addressing in an intentional way their academic, personal and social needs in this new environment. 

Program Goals
  • Assist new students to gain an insight of the purpose of higher education and the mission of W&M
  • Encourage a positive transition to the university and the greater Williamsburg community
  • Expose new students to the academic expectations of the institution
  • Introduce new students to the rich history and traditions of W&M
  • Provide opportunities for new students to learn more about co-curricular opportunities
  • Share information that will encourage new students to make informed choices regarding sensitive issues like safety, well-being and mindfulness, substance use, diversity, and healthy relationships and lifestyles
  • Share information and resources with family members and student support systems so that they, too, feel welcomed to the W&M community and become an additional resource for their students' positive transition
Orientation Student Staff Standards of Excellence

The Standards of Excellence were created to develop a clear and unifying Orientation Student Staff (OAs and OADs) philosophy. As Orientation Student Staff we have the distinct opportunity to welcome new students and their families to the William & Mary community. We must have a positive recognition of our influence in shaping the new student and family's university experience. 

  • "Once an OA, Always an OA"
    The Orientation Student Staff role does not end after Orientation, rather it continues throughout and beyond the college experience.
  • A Strong Belief in Holistic Student Development
    Each student is treated as a unique individual whose development involves all aspects of their person.
  • A Passion for and Knowledge of of the W&M Experience
    Orientation Student Staff provide an invested and informed resource for new students. This includes knowledge of student involvement opportunities, academic resources, and other support services on campus.
  • A Concerted Effort to Build and Maintain Relationships with All Members of the Orientation Process
    Orientation Student Staff reach out to and build relationships with new students, Orientation Aides, Resident Assistants, and other campus departments. These relationships are built upon mutual respect and strong communication. Orientation Aides should be open to building other campus relationships that assist them in their role.
  • A Belief in Diversity - in All Its Forms
    Orientation Student Staff will help grow a community of critical participants that are open-minded in learning and listening.
  • A Clear Commitment to . . . 
    • Our Orientation Community Values
      • Tribe Pride: support pride and encouragement for the university's many activities and programs.
      • Community of Trust: embrace and uphold the honor and conduct codes in order to maintain the integrity of our community.
      • Empowering Students to Achieve: assist new students in recognizing their own ability to succeed.
      • Spirit of Service: promote and encourage a commitment to service and community.
      • Celebrating Diversity:  inclusive of all individuals, thoughtful in their language, open to new ideas, and knowledgeable about multicultural opportunities.
    • Building Student Learning Opportunities
      • Encourage Student Involvement: promote student involvement as a means to compliment the curricular experience.
      • Promote all Opportunities Equally: present the full spectrum of opportunities on campus, keeping in mind that diverse interests are an integral part of the William and Mary experience. 
      • Promote Self Initiative: encourage new students to proactively seek activities that meet their interests and foster their growth.
      • Promote Faculty/Staff Relationships: encourage new students to see faculty and staff as partners in learning.
      • Encourage Students to Embrace Learning: promote the value of learning for the sake of learning in and out of the classroom.
      • Provide Informed Advice: knowledgeable about the William & Mary academic experience and appropriate resources.
    • Advancing Student Well-being
      • Empathetic Awareness of Student Needs: reflect upon their own first year experience and apply this understanding in being an effective listener and a source of information and support.
      • Knowledge of Campus Resources: familiarize students with and help them feel comfortable utilizing campus and community resources that promote student health and well-being.
      • Balancing Challenge and Support: encourage student growth and independence by supporting new students as they face new and different experiences.
      • Reach Out to All New Students: actively engage all new students so they feel like essential and valued members of the William & Mary community.