Welcome to NAU! Announcing a reimagined orientation experience for new students

Freshmen class spelling out NAU in the annual letters photo

NAU is changing how we do New Student Orientation to make sure all of our students get the full Lumberjack experience from day one.  

Starting with the incoming class this fall, new freshmen and transfer students will do online modules over the summer followed by an immersive Lumberjack Welcome in the week before school starts. The aim is to get students excited about NAU and give them important information without requiring an additional trip to Flagstaff over the summer, which could be challenging for many students, including lower-income and first-generation students. 

It’s all part of NAU’s culture of relentless welcome and strategic mission to radically increase the number of Arizonans who get an education that prepares them to enter the workforce. 

“NAU’s reimagined orientation is designed to put the students we serve at the center,” said Anika Olsen, vice president of enrollment management. “Our commitment to delivering equitable value and increasing access means finding and closing equity gaps like these, while providing services that offer a foundation of knowledge upon which students can stand as they begin their college journey. Further, it gives NAU the chance to demonstrate the culture of relentless welcome we aspire to provide for all Lumberjacks in our community.” 

With orientation such a critical part of welcoming new Lumberjacks to NAU, a campuswide group, led by Enrollment Management (EM), looked at best practices and current research, considered the diverse needs of NAU’s incoming student population before, during and after the first week of school, and reimagined the Lumberjack welcome experience. 

What to expect with New Student Orientation 

At a glance, orientation will look like: 

  • Online Orientation Modules in Canvas Learning System: Through a series of modules on Canvas, students will learn about NAU resources, complete necessary checklists and immerse themselves in NAU’s online learning management system—getting them up –to speed early on how to access online material for their courses. 
  • Lumberjack Welcome: Students will participate in curated in-person activities in conjunction with move-in that will directly connect them with resources, departments and individuals to power their academic momentum and success—all from day one on campus. 
  • Extended Orientation: The orientation experience doesn’t end with the first day of classes. Ongoing discussions and support for adjustment to college life will be available to students who choose to participate through designated NAU classes and other resources. 

Why NAU is making this change

At the beginning of the 2023-24 school year, President José Luis Cruz Rivera shared NAU’s Realizing Attainment through Strategic Enrollment (RAISE) plan, a guiding strategy under Elevating Excellence that aims to have 100,000 people earn high-value NAU credentials by 2035. Reimagining New Student Orientation is a major early step in reaching that goal. 

“We’re excited to implement this new model, which will help the entire NAU community to better support our students’ goals as they work toward their goal and prepare to have careers and lives of consequences, both at NAU and after,” Olsen said. “NAU offers a transformational educational and life experience, and it starts the moment students come to campus as Lumberjacks.” 

Learn more at NAU’s Admissions website.


NAU Communications