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When is orientation?  What will happen during orientation?

Orientation is mandatory and offered on several dates prior to the start of the term. During orientation, you'll work with academic advisors, current students and professional staff members to get ready for your transition to Kirkwood Community College. You will:

Why is orientation mandatory?

Orientation provides you with a comprehensive introduction to Kirkwood in preparation for your years as a student on campus. You will meet with academic advisors, faculty members and professional staff in order to gain a better understanding of the academic culture on campus and to create your first-semester schedule. You will also learn about campus resources, student organizations, near-campus living and dining, and you'll make connections with other students who will assist you in making a successful transition to the Kirkwood community. Research tells us students who complete a comprehensive orientation experience prior to the beginning of college are more likely to succeed in the first year and to successfully complete their program or degree.

When will I know the orientation date I have been assigned?

You must make a reservation to attend an orientation session at

Admitted students are mailed orientation invitations, then have the opportunity to sign up for an orientation session online. Session size is limited and reservations are made on a first come, first served basis. You'll be notified of your session assignment via email immediately after completing your reservation online.

I cannot attend the orientation. Can I just make an appointment to register for classes?

No. In order to register for classes, you are required to attend an orientation and participate in the entire program.

If I take my classes at the Iowa City Campus, a regional center or one of the county centers, do I attend orientation at the Cedar Rapids campus?

If you plan to enroll in classes at the Iowa City campus or at one of the regional centers, you will be invited to attend an orientation at that location. However, you If you plan to enroll at an off-campus center, we encourage you to contact your off-campus center for more information about attending an orientation and registering for classes. A list of Kirkwood locations can be found here.

Do I need to take any placement tests prior to orientation?

Yes. You must complete either the ACT, SAT, or take a free placement exam at Kirkwood. This is required to register for classes. The placement exam can be taken at any Kirkwood location. Call 319-398-5456 or visit for exam times, locations and other requirements.

If you took the ACT or SAT, verify that your scores were received. Log into Eaglenet, Click “Academic Profile,” then “Test Summary,” to verify that your ACT or SAT scores are on file. If you have not submitted your scores, you should contact ACT or Collegeboard directly and have your scores sent to the Kirkwood One Stop office.

Math scores are valid for two years. Reading and writing scores remain valid for three years.

Is parent/guest attendance at orientation a requirement or is it optional for parents or guests to attend?

Parent or guest attendance at orientation is not required, just encouraged. The parent/guest orientation program is separate from the student program. The orientation has a full schedule of programs for parents/guests, including sessions on near-campus living, financial aid, student services, and campus life.

Will my parents/guest be with me when I meet with my academic advisor and register for classes?

No. Students will meet one-to-one and in small groups with academic advisors, and schedule classes with the assistance of Kirkwood advisors. This allows students an opportunity to begin building important relationships with faculty and professional advisors, which will help prepare them for future one-to-one academic advising appointments during their time at Kirkwood. Students will be given the guidance and support necessary to make informed decisions.

May friends or other guests attend orientation with me?

No. Significant others, siblings and friends are discouraged from attending orientation with you. This will help you to better focus on the information you need to learn to be a successful student at Kirkwood. Friends and other guests who choose to attend orientation will participate in the parent/guest program when you participate in the student program.

Do I have to attend orientation if I took college-level courses from Kirkwood while I was in high school?

Yes. New students enrolling at Kirkwood directly from high school are required to attend an orientation even if they have earned college credit while in high school. Orientation is important to your success as a student and provides you with a comprehensive introduction to Kirkwood. In addition to assistance with advising and registration, you will be introduced to campus resources and student activities, and you'll make connections with other new students.

If I will be completing an online degree, am I required to attend an orientation session?

Yes. If you applied for an online degree (Liberal Arts, Management, or Water Technology), you can either attend an on-campus orientation or an online orientation. However, you are encouraged to attend one in person, if possible. Orientation provides a comprehensive introduction to Kirkwood, including assistance with advising and registration, and an introduction to campus resources and services. If you are currently in an online degree program and cannot attend an on-campus orientation, please visit

I have special circumstances and may not be able to attend an on-campus orientation. Do I have other options?

If you believe you have a special circumstance that would prevent you from attending orientation, such as living out of state, participating in study abroad, or another unusual circumstance, you should contact your department or program to discuss options for registering for classes. Please note that summer sports or work conflicts are not generally considered a special circumstance. Department contact information is listed below.

More questions?

Call your academic department if you or your parents have questions:

Agricultural Sciences 319-398-5609
Allied Health 319-398-5566
Business and Information Technology 319-398-5416
Distance Learning 319-398-4958
Hospitality Arts 319-848-8770
Industrial Technologies 319-398-4983
Liberal Arts
(AA, AS and transfer programs)
Nursing 319-398-5563
Social Sciences 319-398-4911
Kirkwood General Information 800-332-2055