University Makes Enhancements to Colonial Inauguration

Changes are an effort to make the orientation program more personalized for undergraduate students, increase focus on academic mission and reduce financial cost to families.

December 19, 2016


Students wait for the opening session of a recent Colonial Inauguration. GW announced changes to the program that result in more focus on advising students. (William Atkins/GW Today)

The George Washington University’s Colonial Inauguration sessions will be shorter and more frequent with smaller cohorts beginning in summer 2017 with more focus on personal advising for incoming students about registering for classes and easing their transition to campus life. 

Initial summer sessions, which will occur in June, will also now be students-only. Programming for parents will be offered through an online module during the summer, in August during move-in weekend and in October during Colonials Weekend.

The university hopes this will reduce the financial cost to families. The university also will continue to offer special sessions in August for international and transfer students, as well as students who cannot attend a June session.

“We want to ensure Colonial Inauguration best meets the needs of our students and their families,” said Provost Forrest Maltzman. “We are particularly excited that these changes will bring a greater focus on academics while also reducing financial costs for families.”

The Division of Student Affairs, which organizes Colonial Inauguration, discussed potential changes with students, as well as partners across the university who are involved in CI, as part of a review process that provided recommendations for an orientation model that is more effective and innovative.

Student Association President Erika Feinman said the group was “pleased that administrators included the student voice in this process.”

“We are eager to see how the new program plays out, and we hope it returns the expected results,” Feinman said.

Peter Konwerski, vice provost and dean of student affairs, emphasized the importance of Colonial Inauguration in shaping the GW experience.

“For many of our students, it is the first time they really experience campus and begin their transition to GW,” Dr. Konwerski said. “So it is especially important for us to regularly review programs such as CI to help us continue to meet our students’ needs and set them up for success even before they officially start their first year.”

Domestic first-year Colonial Inauguration sessions will be offered:

  • June 12-13, 2017
  • June 15-16, 2017
  • June 19-20, 2017
  • June 22-23, 2017
  • June 26-27, 2017
  • June 29-30, 2017

Sessions for special populations also will be offered:

  • Aug. 23-25, 2017: Domestic first-year students (who cannot attend a June session)
  • Aug. 24-25, 2017: International students
  • Aug. 25, 2017: Domestic and international transfer students

The university continues to refine programming for parents and will provide updates in the spring 2017 semester. Students also will participate in additional programming during move-in weekend in August.