Academic Advising

student looking at chalkboard

Information Specifically for Incoming First-Year Students

During the summer before attending Clark there are two important processes new Clarkies should consider doing as soon as possible:

  1. Self-identifying as a student with a disability; sending documentation to Student Accessibility Services (SAS) and requesting accommodations; and, finally, getting registered with SAS
  2. Consider attending Early Orientation

Below is information about registering with SAS during the summer before your first-year and about attending Early Orientation. This includes a timeline with important dates to consider and a frequently asked questions section.

Early Orientation

Incoming first-year students who register with Student Accessibility Services (SAS) have the option to attend Early Orientation (EO), which takes place before the traditional Orientation. Some of the benefits of attending Early Orientation include meeting and working with a Peer Adviser before the incoming class arrives on campus, meeting other students attending programs that begin early, having some additional time to transition and navigate around campus, the ability to attend small workshops offered by various offices on campus, and forming lasting friendships with your peers as a result of attending a small pre-orientation program. By participating in EO, registered students have the opportunity to move into their dorms before the vast majority of their first-year peers, and food is included! After EO, students will then participate in Orientation with the rest of their peers.

Other than the ability to move-in earlier than most others, EO offers two days of SAS specific orientation to help new students transition to their new lives as Clarkies. In the past EO has been organized in the following way:

Day One

Day one of EO is geared for the student and the family they bring with them to help them move in. Right when the student arrives on campus they meet their Peer Adviser (PA) who helps them move in and get acclimated to the Clark campus. After this the Peer Adviser accompanies the student and family to each of the day's events including a lunch presentation from the SAS director 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 director and other key administrators. During this meeting the parents have the opportunity to learn about their role during their student's time at Clark. Built into the day is down-time set aside to allow students to unpack, relax, and/or participate in optional activities. Near the end of this day there is time set aside for the student to say farewell to their parents.

Day Two

Day two of EO is all about the student. During this day there will be meetings revolving around helping the student get prepared for the start of classes. Some meetings include one with the staff to review how to access their accommodations, a campus tour with PAs, and meeting members of Diversability. Just like day one, built into the day is down-time set aside to allow students to unpack, relax, and/or participate in optional activities.

This year's Early Orientation schedule is still being worked on, but here is the schedule from a previous year so you can get an idea of what this program entails!

2017 Early Orientation schedule

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 that late requests will be accommodated.

May: Make a decision to enroll at Clark and then submit disability documentation to the Director of Student Accessibility Services. During this time, schedule an intake meeting with SAS staff to take place sometime between June 18th and July 6th.

June 1st: Submit disability documentation to SAS and self-identify with a disaiblity by this date.


June 18th - July 6th: Attend your intake meeting via Skype or in person with SAS staff. During this meeting you and SAS staff will discuss disability documentation and academic accommodations. In addition you'll be able to register for classes earlier than other first-year students with help from SAS staff. During the last part of the meeting SAS staff will ask you if you're interested in Early Orientation.

July 18th: By this date, RSVP to the Director of SAS regarding your Early Orientation attendance.

July 30th: All intake meetings to review disability documentation, accommodations, and course selection should be completed by this date.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the cost for Early Orientation?

The entirety of Early Orientation costs $50. This charge is applied directly to the student's bill and added to their Orientation charge.

Should parents attend both day one of Early Orientation and the Family Program of Orientation two days later?

The sessions available for family members during the Family Program are different than the sessions for family during day one of Early Orientation. Some of the information shared between both may be similar, but family attending both day one of EO and the family Program will have the chance 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. Attending both is not mandatory, ultimately the choice is the family's. That being said, Clark would love having you for both!