Frequently Asked Questions About Orientation for First-Year Students
1. What are placement tests?
The Accuplacer placement exams are given to determine the level of English and Math a student is eligible to take. Students who need to take the English and Math placement exams must take them prior to enrolling for courses at La Sierra University.
International students may be required to take additional language proficiency tests depending on their circumstances.
2. Is testing required? How do I know if I will need to take the English and Math placement tests?
For questions about testing, please call the Learning Support & Testing Center at (951) 785-2453.
The need for placement testing is based on SAT/ACT scores, AP test results, and /or previous college-level English and/or Math. Students transferring in appropriate college-level English and/or Math because of college courses or AP credit are not required to take the placement exams. For this reason, it is important to have transcripts and test results sent to La Sierra University immediately. Any student may choose to initially enroll in the lowest level of pre-foundational English (ENGL 001) or Mathematics (MATH006) without taking any placement tests.
English. Students with SAT Critical Reading scores between 340-470 (or ACT below 22) will be in ENGL 005. Students with SAT scores of 470 and higher (or ACT above 22) will be placed directly into ENGL 111, while students who test below SAT 340 (ACT 1) will be placed into ENGL 001. Placement is no longer required for English, but students may challenge their placement by taking the Accuplacer test.
Math. Students with SAT Math score below 580 (or ACT below 23) will be required to take the placement exam to determine the level of Math course that is most appropriate to develop computational skills essential at the University level. Students with a minimum SAT Math score of 580 (or minimum ACT of 23) are not required to take the Math placement exam and will be placed directly into an appropriate college-level math course. If students in this category (SAT minimum of 580 or ACT minimum of 23) would like to try to place in a higher level math course, they must take the math placement exam to determine eligibility.
Spanish. A Spanish placement test is required for any student who wants to take a college Spanish class. If a student is planning on taking Spanish his/her first year in college, then we recommend that the student take the Spanish Placement Test during orientation. Please note that a student can individually schedule his/her placement test any time during the year with the World Languages Department, before taking a Spanish class. World Languages can be reached at (951) 785-2257.
Chemistry. A chemistry placement test is required for all science majors and pre-physical therapy/ pre-med/pre-dent/pre-pharm/pre-vet students before taking general chemistry. If a student is planning on taking general chemistry his/her first year, then a chemistry test will be required during orientation, before advising and registration. For students in a pre-health profession, such as pre-allied health, pre-nursing, or pre-dental hygiene, a chemistry placement test is not required for the introduction to chemistry series. Call 951-785-2148 for more information.
3. Should I study for the placement tests?
It is recommended that students who will take the English or Math placement exams review their high school texts and study the online resources before taking the placement exams.
4. Are accommodations available for students with a documented disability?
Yes. If you are a student with a documented disability and need special accommodations for placement testing, please contact Tammy Green at firstname.lastname@example.org or (951)785-2412 for assistance. Arrangements must be made prior to attending orientation.
5. Is attendance at Summer Orientation required?
Yes. All first-year students must attend a Summer Orientation. It is recommended that students attend as early in the summer as possible. It is important to note that students who participate in the full orientation and meet other criteria (see question #9) may be eligible for a $200 scholarship. (All scholarships are awarded according to the LSU packaging guidelines and U.S. Dept. of Education, Title IV regulations, which may result in adjustments to your original financial aid offer).
6. How long is Summer Orientation?
Our Summer Orientation schedule is developed to span from 8:00am to 5:00pm on the first day and from 8:00am to approximately 2:00pm the second day. Attendance for both days is required unless a student is otherwise notified, though students who are not required to attend the second day are permitted to if they would like to.
Students who do not attend the entire first day and students who do not return to the second day may forfeit their orientation scholarship unless they are explicitly told that they are free to leave. Additionally, students who leave early will have to make individual arrangements for advising and registration, and any other matters necessary to enroll in classes at La Sierra University.
7. What will I do during Summer Orientation?
- Learn about the opportunities and resources at La Sierra University.
- Clear registration holds.
- Get advised and registered for Fall Quarter courses.
- Complete health physical and clear immunizations (if not already done).
- Obtain official LSU ID card.
- Secure residential arrangement for Fall quarter (if not already done).
- Meet your future classmates, LSU administrators, faculty, and staff.
- Complete math and English placement tests (if needed). Placement exams are given to determine which level of English and math classes students will take. To determine if you need testing read FAQ #2 or call the Learning Support & Testing Center at (951)785-2453.
- Speak to a financial counselor (if not already done).
8. Do I have to spend the night?
All students have the option of experiencing residential life by staying on campus overnight during the Summer Orientation at no extra charge - you are going to want to stay overnight this summer.
PLUS, staying on campus allows you to participate fully in all the social and academic events without worrying about traffic or being distracted with off-campus responsibilities. Bedding and towels are provided. Meals and a social activity are provided for those remaining on campus. Bring swim attire in case the activity involves swimming.
If you are traveling a long distance and would like to make arrangements to stay in the residence hall the night before and/or after Orientation, indicate this when you register for orientation.
9. Where should I go on the first day of Orientation?
Orientation begins at 8:00 a.m. at the Center for Student Academic Success in Sierra Vista Hall on the corner of Sierra Vista Ave. and Pierce St. (across from the LSU Church). Parking is available behind Sierra Vista Hall. For a campus map click here.
10. How do I receive the $200 scholarship?
Students wishing to receive the $200 scholarship must:
- Attend ALL activities associated with orientation.
- Complete registration of classes by August 31 (if attending Sept. orientation, by end of orientation that student is attending).
- Submit ALL required paperwork to Admissions by August 31.
- Submit ALL required paperwork to Student Financial Services by August 31.
- Submit completed health physical and immunization forms to Health Services by August 31.
- Additional requirement for Sept. orientation attendees: Must register for an orientation by Aug. 31.
Note: Students enrolled in the Criminal Justice program are not eligible for the $200 scholarship. Transfer students will be eligible for a reduced scholarship depending upon the date of their orientation attendance.
All Admissions, Student Financial Services, and Health Services paperwork/forms must be submitted by Aug. 31 for September attendees to qualify for scholarship.
Scholarships will be available for Winter Quarter. All scholarships are awarded according to LSU packaging guidelines and U.S. Dept. of Education Title IV regulations, which may result in adjustments in your original financial aid offer.
11. What does Summer Orientation cost?
Meals, placement testing, supplies, and residential hall overnight stay will all be provided during Orientation. The cost of Student and Parent Orientation is included in the Intro-to-College Freshman fee and will appear on the Fall Quarter financial statement. There is an additional charge for health physicals, and for re-taking placement tests, though the first time a test is taken, if taken during orientation, will be covered.
12. What should I do before attending Summer Orientation?
Submit all necessary documents to the Office of Admissions & the Records Office.
- Have your high school mail your official transcript (which shows graduation date) directly to La Sierra University's department of Admissions.
- If applicable, make arrangements for the appropriate testing organization to mail your official AP, IB, TOEFL, or IELTS scores.
- If you have taken college courses, have your official transcripts mailed directly from each college you have attended.
- Complete your FAFSA and all other financial documentation requested by the Student Financial Services Department. Go to www.fafsa.ed.gov to access FAFSA.
- Schedule an appointment for financial clearance prior to orientation. Go to email@example.com or call (951) 785-2175.
- Contact the Learning Support and Testing Center for questions regarding placement tests at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (951) 785-2453.
- Practice for the math and English placement tests.
- Review your high school textbooks.
- Complete sample questions at www.lasierra.edu/samplequestions.
- Submit a health physical and provide immunization records by mail or fax. The form is available at www.lasierra.edu/healthform.
- Secure residential arrangements for Fall quarter.
NOTE: Room reservations are first come, first served, so this can be done prior to summer orientation. Go to www.lasierra.edu/residential or call (951)785-2025 (women) or (951)785-2229 (men) for more information.
13. What should I bring to Summer Orientation?
- Current photo ID
- Verification of high school completion (copy of diploma OR high school transcript with graduation date, if not submitted previously)
- Financial documentation requested by the Student Financial Services Department, if not submitted previously
- Completed health forms and immunization records, if not submitted previously
- Clothes and personal care items if staying in the residence hall overnight (bedding and towels provided)
14. What do I do if I want to reschedule my Summer Orientation date?
To request a change of orientation date, please contact C-SAS by e-mail email@example.com. Because space is limited, however, we cannot assure that we will have space available in the new orientation date you request. The best thing to do is to plan ahead and register as soon as possible, to ensure that you schedule a date that is convenient for you.
Schedule your orientation date carefully keeping two policies in mind: 1) schedule changes must be made as soon as possible, and at minimum, 10 days PRIOR to the orientation for which you are scheduled or would like to attend, and 2) each student is limited to one reschedule.
15. Are there any Parent Orientations for Spanish speakers?
Yes. A Spanish Parent Orientation session will be offered on Wednesday, July 31.
16. Can my parents stay in the residence hall during the Orientation?
Parents from out-of-town who wish to stay overnight in a residence hall can make those arrangements by calling Sierra Towers at (951)785-2229. There is no charge for students, but additional rooms for parents can be reserved at a price determined by Residential Life. Please contact the residence hall dean regarding pricing.
17. What is IGNITE?
(Required for all First-Year Students)
IGNITE is a required event designed to welcome new students to the university community. Upon arrival, you will be placed in a family group that will serve as your mentor group for Fall Quarter. Expect to connect with administration, faculty, staff, and peers as you gain a better understanding of the amazing resources available to students at La Sierra University. Come ready to have FUN! This required ON-CAMPUS event is for all first-year students. Accommodations will be made for non-residential students to be hosted in our dorms. The cost for IGNITE is included in the Intro-to-College Freshman Fee on your Fall Quarter financial statement.
IGNITE begins the evening of Wednesday, September 18, and continues until noon on Friday, September 20. Optional weekend events follow.
The Blessing - Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. Parents are invited to this La Sierra tradition.
See www.lasierra.edu/ignite for details.
18. Is there an Orientation for International Students?
International students also attend an orientation.
- UNDERGRADUATE FIRST-YEAR (FRESHMAN) INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS are encouraged to attend the Summer Orientation sessions specially designed for their needs, scheduled on June 19-20, 26-27, and September 17, 18, and 19.
During the orientations listed above, you will experience the activities planned for Summer Orientation, but you will also:
- Update your immigration records and learn about the immigration regulations you must follow.
- Take all required placement tests, get advised for classes, register and become introduced to life at La Sierra University.
- Become familiar with American values and standards.
- Meet your fellow international students.
19. What are registration holds?
Registration holds are departmental blocks that prevent you from registering until you speak to the indicated individual(s) in a department and provide necessary information or documentation. These holds are placed by different administrative departments to ensure that your academic, personal, or financial records are current and complete before you register for courses.
20. How do I find out if I have holds? How do I clear holds?
As part of Summer Orientation, the C-SAS staff will help you look up and clear your holds. We will also teach you how to access your holds online so that you may do this on your own in the future.
21. What does Health Services require?
All students are required to have a current health physical (within one year) and up-to-date immunizations. The Health Record and Physical Examination form must be completed and submitted to La Sierra University Health Services before attending classes.
- Turn in the required form (physicals and immunizations) to Health Services during Summer Orientation.
- Complete the required forms (physicals and immunizations) and turn in to Health Services by Sept. 20. Eligibility for the $200 summer scholarship includes completion of the health requirement and delivery of the required paperwork to Health Services by August 31.
- Schedule an appointment with Health Services for a physical during Summer Orientation. The $75 fee for the health physical and the additional immunization fees will be charged to the student account.
- If the required paperwork is not received by Health Services by Sept. 20, the student will be required to have a health physical and immunizations during the required IGNITE program and will be charged the $75 fee and additional costs for immunizations on their student account.
Students are not permitted to attend classes without meeting the health requirement.
22. How do I reserve a residence hall room for Fall 2013?
To reserve a residence hall room for Fall Quarter, students must complete the Residence Hall Application and provide a $100 room deposit.
- By phone (credit card), call the Bursar’s Office (951) 785-2152
- In person, pay at the Bursar’s Office in the Administration Building
- Mail, send in a check or money order with your LSU ID # to:
- Director of Residential Life, La Sierra University, 4500 Riverwalk Pkwy, Riverside, CA 92515-8247.
- Make checks payable to La Sierra University.
NOTE: Room reservations are first come, first served, so this can be done prior to summer orientation.
For additional information: Women’s Residence Hall – (951) 785-2025, Men’s Residence Hall – (951) 785-2229 or click here.
23. Who are the academic advising coaches?
Academic advising coaches are recent college graduates that work with first-year students throughout their first year in college to help them enjoy a positive and successful academic experience. Students meet with an assigned academic advising coach on a weekly basis for 30-minute sessions to discuss academic goals and strategies, personal circumstances affecting academic progress, campus resources, and advising information. Academic advising coaches also team-teach first-year seminar courses along with University faculty members. Finally, coaches help create and present workshops designed to help students learn more about academic strategies and other issues important to the first-year college experience.
24. When do Fall classes begin?
Classes for all students begin Monday, September 23.
25. Who do I talk to about joining a music ensemble at La Sierra?
Music majors or students considering pursuing a music major are strongly encouraged to attend the September 4-5 orientation date, since auditions will be held at that time. For more information about the auditions, contact 951-785-2036.