Breadcrumbs

New Student Orientation for First-Year Students (Freshmen)

Welcome to UIS – We are so excited that you have chosen to come to our University!

First Year students at Playfair, August 2014 First Year students at Playfair, August 2014

After returning your UIS Admission Acceptance Form your journey to college begins with Orientation. New Student Orientation is designed to assist you and your parents/family/guests in making the transition to university life and being a successful Prairie Star.

All first-year students (and Transfer Freshmen with less than 30 hours) will attend both of our mandatory Orientation programs: KickStart and Launch Week.  KickStart is a two-day program with sessions in June, July, and August.  Launch Week: Reach for the Stars begins Wednesday, August 17, the week before classes start.  Please keep this in mind as work, vacations, and other activities are being planned and scheduled.

The Orientation Fee covers costs for the student and up to 2 parents/family members/guests to attend KickStart. There is an additional fee for 3 or more guests.


Please bear with us. This is the first time we are collecting the Orientation Fee.  We are having difficulty with the online credit card registration.  I hope to have it available by 2/12.  Information on this page is up-to-date.


For students enrolling in the Summer and Fall Semester 2016

Step 1: Claim Your NetID and Access Your UIS Email Account.  

Before you can make your reservation for UIS Kickstart you will need to claim your NetID – this will allow you to enter our online registration form and automatically generate your UIS email account.  You will need the University Identification Number (UIN) you were assigned in your acceptance letter and the Token (code) sent to the personal e-mail address you used for your UIS application. If your Token expired, e-mail admissions@uis.edu to have a new one generated and sent to you. You can check your UIS email after you complete this step: go to webmail.uis.edu and use your NetID and password to log in.

Step 2: Register for UIS KickStart,  Orientation Part I

Students will select one of the two-day, overnight KickStart sessions:

F1: Tuesday, June 14 – Wednesday, June 15 (Open to 20 Honors Students, 40 Traditional Students)
F2: Friday, June 17 – Saturday, June 18 (Open to 20 Honors Students, 40 Traditional Students; Athlete session)
F3: Tuesday, June 21 – Wednesday, June 22 (Open to 20 Honors Students, 40 Traditional Students; Athlete session)
F4: Monday, July 18 – Tuesday, July 19 (20 Spaces Reserved for STARS Participants/20 Traditional Students)
F5: Thursday, July 21 – Friday July 22 (Open to 20 Honors Students, 40 Traditional Students; Athlete session)
F7: Monday, August 15 – Tuesday, August 16 (Open to students who were admitted after July 1, Out-of-State Students, and International Students)

* Students enrolling and starting classes in the Summer Semester (starting June 6) must meet with an advisor from the Office of Advising Services, Information, & Support who will help you with advising and registration for summer courses.  You are required to attend the mandatory KickStart and Launch Week programs to be advised and registered for your fall classes.

* International Undergraduate Freshmen Students, will be attending the mandatory New International Student Check-in, New International Student Orientation, the August KickStart, and Launch Week programs. Please visit the International Student Services page for more information.

(Registration for KickStart is Now Open – click here to access our online form if you want to pay by Personal/Cashier’s Check, Money Order, or Defer Fees to the Student’s Fall Bill).

(we are having difficulty with our online credit card registration form. If you need to pay by credit card you will need to wait for this form to be finished.)

Step 3: Review KickStart Schedule 2016 before making travel arrangements (Please note this schedule is not finalized. While each day’s start and end times are almost set, some information sessions are still being confirmed. The schedule should be finalized by March 1).

Day One

8:30 – 1 p.m.

Orientation Help Desk & Luggage Check-in, LRH Lobby.  If you arrive early to take Placement Testing you can check your luggage in with the Orientation Team until Residence Life opens Overnight Housing Check-in at 10 a.m.  Orientation Leaders will also be on hand to answer questions and direct you around campus.

8:30 – 11:30 a.m.

English and Math Placement Testing. Testing Services, Human Resources Building, room 112 (bldg 6 on the campus map).

If you take placement tests the morning of your KickStart session plan 45 min to one hour for each test you are required to take into your travel plans so you can check into your overnight housing, eat lunch, and then check-in to KickStart before KickStart starts at 12:30 p.m.

Office of Financial Assistance Opens. University Hall Building (UHB), 1015. If you and your family have questions about your financial assistance award letter you can stop by the Office of Financial Assistance between 8:30 a.m. and 12 noon to meet with a Financial Assistance Counselor.

9 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

Campus Tours. Departing from the LRH Lobby. Campus Tours (weather permitting) will be departing from the Help Desk at 9 a.m., 10 a.m., and 11 a.m.

Sports Physicals for Athletes. Health Center, Business Services Building (bldg 3 on the campus map). Athletics will contact you to set up your Physical.

Parent & Family Relaxation Station.  Public Affairs Center (PAC). (9 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.). Waiting for a student to finish Placement Testing, the Relaxation Station has seating, laptop computers, and refreshments available.

10 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Student Overnight Housing Check-in.  Lincoln Residence Hall (LRH) Lobby. Students will be able to check into their KickStart overnight housing assignment. Linens will be provided (pillow, sheets, blanket, and a towel) when you pick up your room key.  This will most likely not be your housing assignment if you are living on campus.

11 am. – 12:15 p.m.

Lunch on Your Own – Try our Food Emporium in the Public Affairs Center (PAC) Building, 1st Floor.  The Food Emporium accepts cash and major credit cards. 

11:30 am. – 12:25 p.m.

Orientation Check-in, Public Affairs Center (PAC), 2nd Floor Auditorium Lobby,

12:30 p.m.

Welcome: UIS Academic Overview; Making Financial Assisstance Work for Student Success; Student Accounts, Billing, Direct Deposit, and Payment Plans; The i-Card, Meal Plans, Campus Cash. Public Affairs Center (PAC).

2 – 2:25 p.m.

Refreshment Break

2:30 – 4:30 p.m.

Student Session: Rising Stars: How to Succeed While, Really Really Trying

2:30 – 4:30 p.m.

Family and Guest Sessions: Straight Talk for Parents (A panel of current students and parents);  Understanding Your Student’s Transition; and What Faculty Members Want Families to Know.

4:30-6 p.m.

Get It Done Together – Students, Parents, Families, & Guests: Offices including Student Insurance, Financial Assistance, Health Services (Immunizations), Student Life, Residence Life, IT, Brookens Library, Career Services, and many more will be available for consultations and to give students and families an opportunity to learn more about programs and services UIS has to offer.

5:30 – 6:30 p.m.

Dinner with the Orientation Team (Students, Parents, Families, & Guests).  This meal is included in the Orientation Fee for the student and up to 2 guests (additional guests will be charged $25 each at KickStart check-in to cover costs of meals/refreshments).

6:30 p.m.

Students, Parents, Families, & Guests Session: The Residential Student Experience or The Commuter Student Experience.

7 p.m.

Students, Parents, Families, & Guests Session say good night.  Parents/Families/Guests will depart to their hotels.

7:15 – 8:15 p.m.

Parents, Families, & Guests of Capital Scholar Honors Program Students Session: Honors Program Overview.  

7:15 – 8:45 p.m.

All Students: Living and Learning in our Campus Community.

9 p.m.

Evening Fun. The Recreation & Athletic Center (TRAC) and LRH Greatroom. Students will get to know their classmates as they relax, unwind, and HAVE FUN with each other and members of the O-Team. Students will come away knowing many other first-years and current students (the OLs). A variety of activities will be available as well as late night snacks.

Day Two

7 a.m.

Final Wake-up Call and Student Check-out from Overnight Housing.  Leave luggage at LRH front desk it will be secured in the LRH Office.

7:15 a.m.

Students, Parents, Families, and Guests: Breakfast with the Orientation Team. This meal is included in the Orientation Fee for the student and up to 2 guests (additional guests will be charged $25 each at KickStart check-in to cover costs of meals/refreshments).

8 – 8:30 a.m.

Orientation Group Meeting (Students)

7:45 – 8:25 a.m.

Parent/Family Coffee Social with UIS Administrators and Faculty Members

8:30-10:55

Students, Parents, Families, and Guests Information Sessions: Learn more about Student Involvement Opportunities, Career Services, Academic Resources, Student Employment, Studying Abroad, and Applying for Campus Jobs.

9 a.m. – 4 p.m.  (9 a.m. – 10:55 a.m. on Saturday, June 18)

Financial Assistance Consultations, UHB 1015. The office will be open if you haven’t had a chance to meet with your Financial Assistance Counselor.

11- 1:50 p.m.

Students Get It Done: Students will be meet with Advisors, Register for Classes, get their I-Card, set up their authorized payer, and have lunch with their Orientation Group in the Food Emporium.

11 – 1:50 p.m.

Parents, Families, and Guests: Information Sessions. Learn more about Health & Counseling Services, Campus Safety, Campus Technology, eat lunch in the Food Emporium, and more. This meal is included in the Orientation Fee for the student and up to 2 guests (additional guests will be charged $25 each at KickStart check-in to cover costs of meals/refreshments).

2 – 2:20 p.m.

Closing Remarks, Nametag Collection, & Evaluations (Students, Parents, Families, and Guests)

2:20 p.m.

Students pick up luggage from LRH. Students and Families depart for home we will see you August 17!

Step 4:  Placement Testing

Entering students may have to take Math, Reading, or Foreign Language Placement Exams.  Math Placement often depends on ACT scores and your intended major. Reading Placement is dependent on your English/Reading ACT scores. For more information about Placement Test requirements or if you are unsure if you have to take placement exams please contact the Office of Advising Services, Information and Support (OASIS) and ask to speak with an advisor. Contact OASIS by e-mail advising@uis.edu or phone (217) 206-7471. Students can take English and Math Placement Testing BEFORE their KickStart session by going to one of our remote sites or if you live near Springfield, to our Testing Services office. There is a small fee to test at the remote sites (but not at UIS). Save your receipt and bring it with you to your KickStart session. You can turn it in to the Advising staff who will generate a reimbursement for you.

Foreign Language Placement depends on your major or program of study or TOEFL, ACT/SAT scores. Contact Julie Atwell 217/206-6779 or email Maxie Sanchez asanch8@uis.edu for questions about Foreign Language Placement.

Step 5: The First Year Student Checklist, Make Travel Arrangements, & Hotel Arrangements for Parents/Families

Students should print the Checklist so they can keep track of things they need to do before Kickstart, Launch, and classes. We also have suggestion on what to bring to Kickstart for both students and parents.

Step 6: Do your Summer Reading Assignment and Prepare for August Launch Week 

Request off work. Check your email for updates on the Launch Week Schedule.


Students Enrolling in the Spring 2017 Semester

Dates for Spring KickStart and Launch Week for students admitted to our Spring Semester in January, an updated schedule and online registration will be available Monday, October 3, 2016.

UIS is now a Tobacco-Free campus as mandated by the State of Illinois.

UIS is now a Tobacco Free Campus UIS is now a Tobacco Free Campus

For questions about New Student Orientation
please contact us at (217) 206.8181 or email UISOrientation@uis.edu