Orientation Leaders

Offices and Services / Orientation / Leadership Opportunities / Orientation Leader

New student orientation is the intentional process of assisting first-year and transfer students in making the transition to the academic and cultural environment of Calvin University.

Orientation leaders play an integral role in this process by helping new students successfully navigate their first semester on campus; participating with new students in all orientation activities; being an enthusiastic and positive role model; distributing important information in a timely manner; supporting our university mission in day-to-day contact with new students; and assisting in the teaching of the "First Year Seminar" class during first semester. Each year, the Campus Involvement and Leadership Office hires approximately 35 orientation leaders.

More info

  • Who can apply?

    Any Calvin student with the following characteristics may apply to be an orientation leader:

    • Interest in and commitment to helping new students make a smooth and successful adjustment.
    • Willingness to exercise gifts of creativity, hospitality, and service.
    • Possesses general understanding of Calvin's campus environment (current or previous experience in orientation, a student organization, student leadership, or campus office is highly desirable).
    • Demonstrates confidence and maturity in interpersonal relationships.
    • Strives to manifest Christian commitment in thought, word, and deed.
    • Has a minimum GPA of 2.5.
    • Maintains full-time student status at Calvin and fulfills the university's eligibility requirements for participation in campus activities as reflected in the Student Handbook.
  • Specific responsibilities

    Being an orientation leader is demanding work that requires commitment and dedication. For the full week prior to the beginning of fall classes, orientation leaders will be quite busy. During this week, other obligations and responsibilities should be avoided altogether. Orientation leaders will be involved in all aspects of our new student orientation program. Responsibilities will continue into the first semester as orientation leaders serve as assistants to the instructors of the “First Year Seminar” program for first-year students.

    Our orientation program is divided into a summer component (PASSPORT) and a fall component (QUEST). And connected to the QUEST program is the “First Year Seminar” class, which will conclude by the mid-point of the fall semester. Orientation leaders will participate in all aspects of the QUEST program and help with “First Year Seminar” class but not the PASSPORT program.

    • Spring: All orientation leaders will attend leadership training on May 8.
    • Summer: Orientation leaders are NOT required to be in Grand Rapids for the summer. We will send information to orientation leaders throughout the summer via email and Facebook.
    • Fall: All Orientation leaders are expected to be at Calvin during the end of August to participate in a three-day training retreat followed by two days of training on campus. During QUEST, which begins Friday, August 28, orientation leaders will mentor a group of about 22 new students through all of the scheduled activities including small group discussions, a diversity seminar, group building games, and a service-learning project.
      • Orientation leaders will assist new students in moving into the residence halls and will generate enthusiasm for informal networking and social activities.
      • During and after the orientation program, orientation leaders will participate in a reflective evaluation of the entire orientation program.
      • Responsibilities during the “First Year Seminar” class for first semester include attending seven two-hour class sessions, facilitating their Quest group in small group discussion, and meeting with the instructor to prepare for class.
      • Orientation leaders will be expected to plan one group activity and meet individually or in small groups with every student before the completion of the fall semester.
  • What's the compensation?

    For their dedicated efforts, new and returning orientation leaders will receive $300 plus a $100 bonus for additional responsibilities (e.g. participating in both the orientation program and “First Year Seminar”).

  • Application

    Steps to apply

    1. Complete the online application to be an Orientation Leader.
    2. Email your resume to orientation@calvin.edu (resume should be a PDF).
    3. Submit a list of 20 peer references who could speak to your abilities to serve in this role. These would be students who have lived with you, been in your orientation group, etc. Email the Excel spreadsheet to orientation@calvin.edu.
    4. Contact two people (they can't be students) to submit online recommendations. Applicants are responsible for contacting their references and ensuring that the recommendation forms are submitted by by Sunday, March 29.
    5. Attend one informational meeting on March 2 in the Commons Lecture Hall at 5:30 p.m., March 11 in the Alumni Board Room at 10:00am, or March 19 in RVD Basement at 8:30pm (this will now be on Instagram live, follow our account @calvinorientation).

    What's the selection process?

    Orientation leader application materials must be submitted no later than 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, March 29.

    Applicants will be notified if they are selected for individual interviews. Students will sign up online for these interviews. Orientation interns and staff will conduct the individual interviews the week of March 30. Applicants will then be notified on April 1 if they made it to the group interview on April 3 from 3 to 5 p.m. After the interviews are completed, the orientation staff will select 34 orientation leaders. All applicants will then be notified of their status by April 7.


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