Below is a list of key pre-arrival tasks, along with general information about the process your student takes to begin transitioning to Gordon College. Gordon Orientation is required for all new students. Frequently Asked Questions about Orientation.
Your student receives instructions for all of these tasks by email. We count on each student to complete them before arrival and to contact us with any unique questions or complications. We encourage students to take the lead in their own transition, and we are happy to provide support and encouragement as they complete these tasks. You can ask us anything that helps you and your student make progress on these tasks.
- Receives Welcome to Orientation Email: Starting on June 1st, already-deposited and newly-depositing students receive a Welcome to Orientation email, kicking off the pre-Orientation phase of their college transition. This email is sent to the email address on record in our Admissions office, with which the student applied to Gordon.
- * Set up your Gordon Technology Account: Students receive an email with instructions to set up their Gordon Technology Account (GTA), which connects them to campus websites, launches their Gordon email account, and becomes their login for navigating their personal information at the College. (*Critical step!)
- Get started here. Requires information provided in the Setup email.
- * Login to GC101: GC101 is Gordon's online Orientation learning and tasks portal. Students should familiarize themselves with all the information, which is divided into Announcements, Tasks, Pre-Orientation Resources, and a calendar. (*Critical step!)
- Login to GC101; requires Gordon account (email name and password)
- A Printable Tasks Form is included in GC101. Look in the navigation bar on the left.
- Tasks: Each task is clearly explained in GC101. For more details, click "Task Checklist" in the main navigation bar on the left.
- Tasks are organized to respond to key offices at Gordon on a timeline. Completing tasks before arrival makes the transition smoother and less stressful for students (and for you!). You can always complete a task BEFORE the due date!
- * Fall Course Pre-Registration - It's important for your student to communicate their intended starting area of study (major) and to complete an online course preferences questionnaire, which helps compose a draft of your student's fall schedule. This is done in GC101 and should be completed as soon as possible. (*Critical Task!)
- This task is related to Summer Advising (see below). It is important to complete this task to advance the academic advising process!
- "I'm not really sure what major I want" or "I want to double, triple, quadruple major," are all reasons students have hesitated to complete the Course Preferences module. The goal is to start with at least one area of study. For students who are unsure, we HIGHLY recommend selecting "Deciding" as their first area of study. Then, students can complete the questionnaire knowing they can always change or add another major after they arrive, and the resulting schedule can be discussed with their summer and fall academic advisors. The draft fall schedule is not set in stone. Please remind your student of this and encourage them to complete the Course Preferences Tool.
- The Course Preferences Tool asks questions about foreign language (core requirement), La Vida/Discovery choice (requirement), and previous AP and other advanced credits, and asks students to select a starting area of study. The questionnaire walks students through preferred choices to complete Gordon Core requirements, as well as requirements and electives in areas of study and in general areas of interest.
Learn more about what to expect from academics in the first year.
- A typical credit load in our 4-credit/course system is 14–16 credits. Other institutions have 3-credit/course systems. Four courses at Gordon (16 credits) is a solid load. Students can take up to 20 credits per semester, but we do not recommend more than 16–18 credits in a student's first semester at Gordon, unless they have been specifically advised to do so by their primary academic advisor for a particular purpose. Fall semester athletes in their first semester are often encouraged to take 12–14 credits (3 courses), both to help them adjust to the academic pace at Gordon, and to support their adaptation to competing at the collegiate level in their sport.
- The Course Preferences Tool asks students to select more than 18 credits so that the Registrar has options when building the first schedule. In the questionnaire, a counter at the bottom of the page shows how many credits the student is putting into their preferences "cart. Students can choose any options they find interesting; we'd like to build the best starting schedule we can from student preferences.
- Summer Advising - Each student is assigned a summer academic advisor, who will contact your student by email or phone to talk through academic and other transitional issues. To make the conversation about course options, changes, additions and drops productive, it is important for students to complete the Course Preferences Tool in GC101. Please ask your student about their conversation. *If your student has not been contacted by email, phone or text, please email advising @ gordon.edu.
- Other Tasks: things like medical forms, VISA documentation (international students) travel arrangements (students coming from a distance), ID card photo, and other responses are needed from your student before they arrive. We've included all of these in GC101. Please encourage your student to spend time in GC101 learning about Gordon, their responsibilities as a student and the tasks they need to complete for a successful transition.
- The Pre-Orientation Information section (in the main navigation bar on the left in GC101) contains important information about learning and living at Gordon.
Why do we communicate directly with the student?
There are two primary reasons why we communicate directly with students from Orientation onwards:
1) our institutional commitment to compliance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), which insists that an adult student is the primary contact for and owner of their records and experiences at the College
2) our commitment to our value of engaging students as responsible learners and primary decision-makers in their College experience, even with your (and our) advice.
Your student can share any information with you about their experience that they wish, and we hope that they do! The law limits what Gordon can freely share with others—even with parents. We recognize the partnership your family has with us in your student’s education, and we know your family is a significant contributor to the expense of their education. We look to your student as your family’s primary contact about their experiences, responsibilities, accounts, and their celebrations and challenges at the College.
We often communicate general information with families through newsletters, websites, and email updates from the President’s Office or other offices. From day to day, we count on your student being the primary representative at Gordon for their education, and we support them as they learn to be responsible in that role. Please help your student understand that we are ready to support and encourage their role! Please also understand that our reluctance to share private College-related information about your student with you is driven by our obligations under the law. This extends to academic advisors and administrators and staff of the College, including Chapel and Residence Life staff, and counselors and athletics coaches.