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New Student Orientation

New Student Orientation Information

New Student Orientation

Welcome new students! Orientation and your first semester at McNally Smith is approaching. Here are a few things you will want to know about what’s happening. Orientation covers all of the important processes, policies, and people that you will want to familiarize yourself with prior to beginning school and to setting yourself up for success at the college. Orientation is also the way that students network and begin to build friendships. This may be a “do it yourself” (DIY) world, but at McNally Smith, we want you also to be able to “do it together” (DIT). Orientation is a mixture of required programming and social activities that are meant to encourage collaboration, while you get to know others.

You will be assigned to a group, called a House, and will be assigned to a couple Orientation Leaders: returning students who are eager to help incoming students feel comfortable and get acquainted with the college. Beginning in August, you will receive phone calls and emails from OLs who will be introducing themselves to you to see how things are going and to answer questions.

Check out the schedule below to get an idea of the days and times of Fall Orientation. If you need any more details, please contact Student Affairs ( or 651-361-3425). There are attachments below which will also be included in the Welcome packets being mailed out. Please take the time to review your packets as they contain good information for you.

For most of our incoming freshmen class, this will be the first time they have lived on their own, so please take the time to become comfortable with cooking a few simple, healthy meals; planning out your budget; operating a washer and dryer; scrubbing bathrooms; washing dishes; and learning to keep a tidy living space, since you likely will be living with others. For our international students who may be coming to the United States for the first time, please keep in touch with Kathy Hawks who can answer additional questions you may have, including cultural differences. Preparing yourselves in advance for this new experience is the best way to begin the adjustment to college!

We are looking forward to meeting you!

Fall 2017 New Student Orientation Schedule

Monday, August 28  

  • 9:00am–5:00pm – Main Campus & 26th Exchange St. Buildings Open

Tuesday, August 29 

Wednesday, August 30  —  New Student Orientation Day 1 

  • 9:00am–9:45am – Check-in
  • 10:00am–10:30am – Welcome Students & Parents
  • 10:30am–12:30pm – Parent Orientation (Optional) — (click here to be directed to Parent page for more details)
  • 10:30am–11:00am – Students with Orientation Leaders
  • 11:00am–12:15pm – Required Programming & House Challenge
  • 12:15pm–12:45pm – Lunch in Houses (free)
  • 12:30pm–2:00pm – Parent Lunch (free with reservation click here to be directed to Parent page for more details). Feel free to visit the Bookstore, Bursar, & Financial Aid, if you wish.                                
  • 12:45pm–2:00pm – Required Programming & House Challenge

Day 1 required programming completed

  • 5:00pm–8:00pm – Optional student dinner and event (free) in the Sound Bite Café. Bring your instrument and participate (or just bring yourself and be entertained!) at an open mic jam with the Orientation Leaders kicking things off!

Thursday, August 31  —  New Student Orientation Day 2 

  • 9:00am – Check in at Houses — Review Day 1
  • 9:30am–10:45am – Required Programming & House Challenge
  • 10:45am–11:45am – Department Meetings (students meet with their department heads)
  • 11:45am–12:45pm – Lunch (free)
  • 12:45pm–2:00pm – Required Programming & House Challenge

Day 2 required programming completed

  • 2:00pm – Optional Test Out of Desktop Publishing
  • 4:00pm–6:00pm – Optional Auditions for open spots in Fall Semester Ensembles. Please register in advance (click here to be directed to Ensembles page).
  • 5:00pm–8:00pm – Optional student dinner & event (free). Join us for pizza & tacos, a performance by a student band and karaoke! Official event ends at 8:00pm, but students are welcome to stay later.

Friday, September 1  —  New Student Orientation Day 3 

  • 9:00am – Check in at Houses — Review Day 2
  • 9:30am–10:45am – Required Programming & House Challenge
  • 10:45am–12:00pm – Required Programming & House Challenge

Day 3 required programming completed

  • 11:45am–12:45pm – Lunch (free) – pick it up in the Sound Bite, eat in the cafe or take your food outside or into your House for one final time– it’s up to you!
  • 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm – International Student Immigration Session – required for international students (please bring your passport)
  • 2:00pm–4:00 pm – Optional Test Out Music Theory
  • 4:00pm–5:00 pm – Optional Test Out of Ear Training
  • 4:00pm–6:00pm – Optional Auditions for open spots in Fall Semester Ensembles. Please register in advance (click here to be directed to Ensembles page).  
  • 5:00pm–8:00pm – Optional student dinner (free) in the Sound Bite Café. Orientation Leaders present, including the announcement of the winning House, and more!

Student Portal

Prior to orientation please make sure you are able to successfully access your McNally Smith student portal ( If you are unable to log into your student portal at this time, please contact the Information Technology Offices at, or click the “Forgot Username” link next to the Student Portal Homepage login button. Please ensure this is done BEFORE orientation.

Additional Resources

We’ve created some additional resources to help prepare you for your transition to college life at McNally Smith: