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Parent & Family Orientation

Virtual Parent and Family Orientation (PFO) took place on Sunday, September 13, 2020.  PFO provides an opportunity for families to interact with current students (Family Ambassadors) in an effort to further educate them about the Northwestern experience. The event offered both pre-recorded and live sessions. A recording of most sessions can be found at the link below. Please note that a fully captioned version of the recording will be available by September 22.

Click this link to view NU Parent and Family Virtual Orientation 2020  

Additionally, the CAPS & MSA Session for Families of LGBTQ+ Students and Session for Families with Black, Indigenous, Students of Color (BIPOC) were not recorded however, you can view PDFs of their PowerPoint slides from their presentations below:

The Parents and Families of First-Generation, Lower-Income, and/or Undocumented/DACA Students session was not recorded and there are no slides to share, but to learn more about the services and resources available form Student Enrichment Services (SES) please check out their website at https://www.northwestern.edu/enrichment/

   

Parent and Family Orientation Schedule

This year, Parent and Family Orientation took place virtually. Below was our official schedule:

11:00 am - 11:55 am CDT - Parent & Family Welcome from President Schapiro (LIVE)

12:00 pm - 12:45 pm CDT - School Specific Q & A with Current Students (LIVE)

1:00 pm - 1:45 pm CDT - Identity & Involvement Student Experience Breakouts (LIVE) This is an opportunity for parents and family members to hear from students regarding their experience with the specific identities below and ask the students questions in the Q & A. The Korean and Spanish sessions will take place in these languages. Below are specific breakout rooms:

  • First-generation/ Lower-income Students
  • Out of State Students
  • International Students
  • Students of Color
  • Black Students
  • LGBTQIA+ Students
  • Pre-Med/Research
  • Students Who Utilize AccessibleNU
  • Transfer Students
  • Student Experience in Korean
  • Student Experience in Spanish

2:00 pm - 4:15 pm CDT - Choose Your Own Wildcat Adventure! (LIVE/Pre-Recorded) Below are multiple session that will be help during this time: 

  • Virtual Resource Fair (Pre-Recorded)
    • This event serves as a chance to “virtually” wander among the resources that Northwestern and Evanston provide for your student throughout the year, from religious life to health and safety to athletics.
  • Campus Tour (Pre-Recorded)
    • The Family Coordinators will give a pre-recorded tour of important locations on campus from the student’s perspective.
  • CAPS & MSA Session for Families of LGBTQ+ Students (LIVE from 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm CDT)
    • Experienced staff from Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) and Multicultural Student Affairs (MSA) will discuss the experiences LGBTQIA+ students may face in their transition to Northwestern and present the resources available to support these students. This session is available for families with students who identify as Lesbian, Gay, Bi-Sexual, Pansexual, Trans, Asexual, Intersex, Queer and Questioning. Parents who identify as LGBTQIA+ are also welcome into this space to talk about their child. Pre-registration is required.   Questions from families can be submitted at the time of registration and during the session.
  • Parents and Families of First-Generation, Low-Income, and/or Undocumented/ DACA Students (LIVE from 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm CDT)
    • Join Student Enrichment Services (SES) to learn more about what your first-generation, lower-income (FGLI), and/or undocumented/DACA student may experience as they transition to Northwestern, and what resources are available to support them throughout their time on campus. Engage with a panel of faculty, former parents, and staff from Health Insurance, and the Dean of Students Office. Spanish translation will also be provided during this session. Please note, this session is offered twice on Sunday, September 13.
  • CAPS & MSA Session for Families with Black, Indigenous, Students of Color (BIPOC) (LIVE from 3:15 pm - 4:15 pm CDT)
    • Experienced staff from Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) and Multicultural Student Affairs (MSA) will discuss the experiences Black, Indigenous, Students of Color may face in their transition to Northwestern during these uncertain times.  Some of the topics the session will cover include campus resources, social/emotional wellness, community building and adjusting to a new environment. This session is available for families with students who identify as African American, Black, African, Asian, Asian American, Desi, Pacific Islander, Hispanic, Latino, Native American, American Indian, Indigenous, Middle Eastern, and Multiracial, Bi-racial and Mixed-Raced students.  Pre-registration is required.  Questions from families can be submitted at the time of registration and during the session.
  • Parents and Families of First-Generation, Low-Income, and/or Undocumented/ DACA Students (LIVE from 3:15 pm - 4:15 pm CDT, Repeat of 2:00 pm Session)
    • Join Student Enrichment Services (SES) to learn more about what your first-generation, lower-income (FGLI), and/or undocumented/DACA student may experience as they transition to Northwestern, and what resources are available to support them throughout their time on campus. Engage with a panel of faculty, former parents, and staff from Health Insurance, and the Dean of Students Office. Spanish translation will also be provided during this session. Please note, this session is offered twice on Sunday, September 13.

4:30 pm - 5:30 pm CDT - Final Q & A Presentation with Family Ambassadors (LIVE)

 

Parent and Family Orientation Webinar Series

Parent and Family Orientation Webinar Series

The area of Family Engagement will be hosting weekly webinars to help Wildcat families start their transition to Northwestern. If you are unable to join us, no worries, a PDF version of the webinar's PowerPoint slides will be posted shortly after each live session as well as a recording. *Disclaimer:  We are unable to edit captions and apologize for errors. We hope you still find the information useful.

The dates for the webinars are listed below: 

  • Thursday, August 13 at 6:30 - 7:30 PM CDT - Residential Services & Dining
  • Sunday, August 16 at 3:00 - 4:00 PM CDT - Black Student Experience
  • Thursday, August 20 at 6:30 - 7:30 PM CDT - Parent to Parent (Hear from current family members)
  • Sunday, August 23 at 3:00 - 4:00 PM CDT - Chat with a 'Cat (Hear from current students)
  • Thursday, August 27 at 6:30 - 7:30 PM CDT - Student Engagement
  • Sunday, September 6 at 3:00 - 4:00 PM CDT - Wildcat Welcome

Parent & Family Orientation FAQ's

Most families wonder when they should plan to leave campus, if they will see their student once student orientation begins, and other travel concerns. You can find the answers to these questions on our FAQ page.

Meet the Family Ambassadors

The Family Ambassadors are a group of 26 phenomenal students at Northwestern who have had a range of experiences and cannot wait to share them all with the family members for our newest Wildcats. Family Ambassadors assist with the execution of Parent and Family Orientation during Wildcat Welcome and will interact with family members throughout the program to ensure all questions are answered and needs are met. Learn more about the Family Ambassadors Program here!

Travel and Hotels

Whether it be by plane, train, or car, there are numerous ways to get to both Chicago and Evanston. We have a few resources that may be valuable as you look into traveling and staying in the Evanston/Chicago area.  Visit the visitor's section of the Undergraduate Admissions page to view travel directions, which includes area maps, specific breakdowns of travel routes, and turn-by-turn directions.  View our Travel and Hotels page to view answers to more specific questions you may have.

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