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Frequently Asked Questions

1. How and when should I make a reservation to attend Transitions?

Making a reservation to attend Transitions is an online process and completed directly through the New Student Services/Family Outreach website. The reservation system will open on Monday, June 4th at approximately 3:00pm. Because the system is online, it is accessible 24/7 for students to submit a reservation. Here are some special notes about making a reservation:

  • Typically, if you make your reservation within the first couple days of the system opening, you are highly likely to get the exact date and advising group you want.
  • We highly recommend that students have the experience of making their own reservation to help establish familiarity with campus resources and make choices about their advising group. Students will need to have activated their Universal Account to make the reservation.
  • During the reservation process, there will be an opportunity to indicate if a student is attending with family members and to complete an online payment for Family Orientation fees. If you are bringing family members, please be prepared to complete the online payment at the time of your reservation.
  • Transitions is a one-day program. Student attendance in the academic advising session and registration session are required to successfully register for Fall classes.
  • Students and family members should keep in mind that due to federal privacy laws, we may not be able to share certain personal student information with a parent or family member – e.g. Western ID #, WWU login-in information, etc. – should a family member be using a student’s information to make a reservation or if they have difficulty with the system (i.e. get locked out due to incorrect information).

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2. Is there an advantage to attending the Transitions program?

Students who attend the Transitions program will have access to a day-long schedule of informative workshops, receive information about campus services and resources, have time to connect to academic departments, as well as completing a robust academic advising session. Additionally, students who attend Transitions can register for their Fall quarter classes during the program.

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3. What happens if I cannot attend Transitions?

Students who do not attend Transitions must wait until Phase II Registration opens on August 28, 2018 to register for Fall quarter classes. After the Transitions program, new transfers may contact the Academic Advising Center or Student Outreach Services for advising assistance (appointment availability may be limited), but will need to wait to register until Phase II. Access to online resources regarding how to prepare for Western, academic advising preparation resources, and campus services information will remain available on the New Student Services/Family Outreach and general Western websites.

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4. How much does Transitions cost? How much does the optional Overnight Program cost?

STUDENTS: There is no fee for students to attend Transitions - the cost is covered by the one-time $280 enrollment fee. Additional fees during the program may include:

  • Parking: Parking fees are anticipated to be $4 to park in the Commuter Lots (South end of campus) and $10 to park in a designated Residential Lot (near the North end of campus).
  • Placement Test Fees: If you determine you need to take a placement test, additional testing fees may apply (for example, the ALEKS Math Placement Assessment or the Spanish Placement Test).

PARENTS/FAMILY MEMBERS: For parents/family members, there is a cost to participate in the Family Orientation program and the fees are listed below:

  • $35 per person: covers both program days, all materials, access to workshops and sessions, and lunch during the program.
  • Children Under 18: If you are a family member bringing a younger sibling or child (under 18), we will not charge you the “per person” full program rate. However, you can purchase lunch directly at the point of sale in the Dining Commons. While we do have to charge for the meal, it will help cut costs a bit and young family members get to share the campus experience!
  • Parking: Parking fees are anticipated to be $4 to park in the Commuter Lots (South end of campus) and $10 to park in a designated Residential Lot (near the North end of campus).


We know the Transitions program begins early in the morning! If you are interested in arriving to campus the night before, students and/or family members can also sign up for our Overnight Program in addition to the regular session. When you make your reservation for Transitions, you’ll have the option to also sign up and pay for the Overnight Program and fees. The Overnight Program includes housing accommodations in a designated residence hall, dinner and a campus tour with orientation staff, and breakfast the next day. The fee is the same for both students and family members.

  • $50 per person: includes overnight housing accommodations in a designated residence hall (typically a shared, double-occupancy room, with bed and bath linens); dinner in the dining commons with an optional campus tour with orientation staff, and breakfast the next day.
  • Children Under 18: If you are a family member bringing a younger sibling or child (under 18) the $50 fee also applies to children under 18 as we are obligated to pay for bed space as well as meals. Any children under 18 can be added in directly to the online reservation and payment count when making a reservation for the Overnight Program.

REFUNDS - PLEASE NOTE: As we are obliged to cover costs for housing, dining and family orientation fees, refunds are not available after the reservation deadline, 5:00pm, Friday, July 20th. Please contact the NSSFO office if you have any questions.

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5. After I make a reservation, do I get any confirmation of my reservation and next steps?

Yes! First, in order to make a reservation, you must ensure your Universal Account is activated. If you have not done so, please make sure your Universal Account is activated and you can access your WWU email account.

Reservations are made via the New Student Services/Family Outreach website. After your reservation has been processed, students will receive a confirmation email sent to their WWU email address as well as a packet of confirmation materials sent via postal mail to the student’s permanent address indicating your program date and further information about check-in, parking and other important details. Parents/Family members will not receive this information as it is only directed to students, so if you have family members attending with you, please consider sharing this information with them as well.

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6. How do I make a change to my reservation?

Once you have submitted your reservation, you cannot go back into the system to make changes (e.g. change in session date, adding family members, change advising group, etc.). Any changes to your reservation must be made by contacting New Student Services/Family Outreach directly at 360.650.3846 or

Adjustments may not be able to be made after the reservation closing deadline – Friday, July 20 at 5:00pm. The Refund deadline is also Friday, July 20 at 5:00pm; after this time, refunds are not available. All efforts will be made to accommodate changes requested prior to the deadline, but this cannot be guaranteed.

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7. Tell me more about Housing at Transitions

Overview of Accommodations (Student & Family Housing)

Students stay in Nash Hall, Mathes Hall and Edens North. These are corridor-style residence halls with gender-specific floors and community bathrooms. Students can expect to have one or two roommates.

Family members stay in Edens Hall and Higginson Hall. These are two-bedroom, suite-style residence halls that sleep two to a bedroom and all four people per suite who all share a private bathroom.

Typical rooms are furnished with standard residence hall furniture. Bedding and bath linens are also provided but guests should bring their own toiletries. Additionally, each building use for orientation is equipped with an elevator and wireless internet.

How are Students & Family Members Assigned Rooms?

Students and family members stay in separate residence halls, and the specific rooms are assigned at check-in. Students are pre-assigned into roommate pairings prior to their arrival.

Family members within the same reservation are typically housed together in one suite. Individual family members can expect to have another Transitions family member attendee of the same gender, as a roommate or suitemate. A limited number of single rooms may be available by request at check-in.

For each person (students, family members, siblings etc.) staying overnight for Transitions, we require collecting specific information for planning and safety purposes. This information includes: first and last name, date of birth, W# of student and if there are any special housing accommodations requested.

Housing will confirm and collect this information in the “Transitions Overnight Housing Survey” which can be found in the confirmation email students receive from the New Student Services/Family Outreach office. Please note, the confirmation email will be sent to the students’ email only, but the survey is intended to collect information for both family members and students staying overnight. It is preferred students complete the Transitions Extended Stay Reservation Request survey PRIOR to their arrival at Transitions to expedite the check-in process. For those unable to complete the survey beforehand, the housing staff will work with students and their family members at check-in to collect necessary information.

Can I stay with my friend who is attending my same Transitions session?

Students are pre-assigned into roommate pairings prior to their arrival. Therefore, rooming with a specific friend is unavailable. Students stay in the same residence hall, so it is easy to connect with specific friends throughout Transitions while also meeting new people!

How do I make a request for accommodations, such as an accessible room or gender-inclusive housing?

If you or a family member needs special housing accommodations, such as a wheelchair-accessible room and bathroom, you may do so in two ways:

  • Submit the request through the “Transitions Overnight Housing Survey” link contained in the confirmation email; OR
  • Contact the Guest & Housing Operations office ( to share and discuss your request.

Can I stay more than one night? (Extended Stay)

If space is available, students and family members (who are staying on campus for the night of their Transitions program) can request an extra night for an additional cost. An extended stay cost is NOT included in the orientation fees for Transitions.

Due to space limitations and sequential Transition sessions, we can only house students/family members for one night before or after their Transitions session. The cost is $36.80 per night/person for a double-occupancy room, paid online prior to stay. Cost includes bed and bath linens but no meals. Please note: An extended stay request for Transitions is DIFFERENT than the Transitions Overnight Program. Please see FAQ #4 to review the Overnight Program option.

The Transitions Extended Stay Reservation Request survey will open on June 4th and remain open until 10 business days prior to each session or space fills up, whichever comes first. After the request is submitted, a member of the Guest & Housing Operations office will contact you regarding housing availability, confirmation and payment. It is recommended to submit the Extended Stay Reservation Request at least 10 business days in advance of your Transitions session.

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8. Where can students and/or family member stay off campus?

For a list of accommodations near Western, go to Visit Bellingham

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9. I cannot attend any Transitions session - can a parent or friend register for classes for me?

No - Transitions is designed to teach students about WWU's course registration process in a setting with direct support of faculty, staff and student advisors so that you are able to register effectively on you own in the future. Students who do not attend Transitions must wait until Phase II Registration opens on August 28, 2018 to register for Fall quarter classes.

After the Transitions program, new transfers may contact the Academic Advising Center for advising assistance (appointment availability may be limited), but will need to wait to register until Phase II. Access to online resources regarding how to prepare for Western and academic advising, and campus services information will remain available on the New Student Services/Family Outreach and general Western websites.

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10. How important is getting cleared for measles prior to Transitions?

Very important! You will not be allowed to register for classes if your measles vaccinations/immunity documentation has not been received prior to your registration appointment at Transitions. Options for providing proof and additional information are available from the Student Health Center. If you have any questions regarding the measles immunity requirement, please visit the Student Health Center website or call 360.650.3400.

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11. How do I know if I have to take the ALEKS Math Placement Assessment?

Most students, including transfer students, who plan to register for a course at Western that has a mathematics prerequisite, must first take the ALEKS Math Placement Assessment (MPA) twice. The MPA also serves as a prerequisite for courses in other departments such as Astronomy, Chemistry, Computer Science, Decision Sciences, Economics, Environmental Science, Environmental Studies, Geology, Physics, and Science Education. Some students will need to complete Western’s Quantitative and Symbolic Reasoning (QSR) as part of Western’s General University Requirements (GURs) and may need to complete the MPA in order to register for coursework that will satisfy this area.

Please refer to our Preparing for WWU webpage for more information to help you determine if you need to complete the assessment prior to Transitions.

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12. How do I know if I have to take the Spanish Placement Test?

If you are planning to take Spanish in Fall quarter, you should take the exam, which is offered during the Transitions program. If you are planning to take Spanish, but not in the Fall, do not take the exam during Transitions as you will be asked to retake it again later. The WebCAPE Spanish Placement Test is a multiple-choice computerized exam that tests a student’s knowledge of Spanish at different levels of difficulty. The exam discerns a student’s solid knowledge from partial knowledge, which allows the assignment of a score that will predict accurately a student’s ability to succeed at a particular level of Spanish course.

The exam measures knowledge, rather than experience, so students will place into the appropriate class based on their language skill rather than number of years/classes completed. The Spanish Placement Test is a 45-minute test and will have a $5 fee charged to the student account.

For more information, visit the Spanish Placement Test website.

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13. What else should I bring with me to Transitions?

  • Confirmation Checklist you will receive via email and postal mail – it has a campus map, parking instructions, and a parking code to use in the lots.
  • Valid photo ID
  • Your Universal Account username and password
  • Copies of any college transcripts (if applicable)
  • Comfortable clothing and shoes; we also recommend watching the weather forecast – will you also need a raincoat/umbrella…or maybe sunscreen?
  • A water bottle – bottled water is NOT sold on campus, but water bottle refill stations and water fountains are available.
  • If staying overnight on or off campus: Personal toiletries (toothbrush, toothpaste, prescriptions, etc.); note that bedding and bath linens are provided in the residence halls.
  • A pen and notepad

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14. Where should I park for Transitions?

Students will receive confirmation information via their WWU email as well as a mailing sent to their permanent address. This information will include a campus map, instructions for parking in specific lots, and a parking code to use in the lots. For general information about parking, you can explore Campus Maps for a printable map, including Accessible Parking notations.

Transitions parking (discounted rate) is available in the C Lots (Commuter Lots) on the south side of campus. Parking on north campus near the Edens/Higginson residence halls (3R Residential Lot) is available at the regular daily parking rate. You must purchase a parking permit to park on campus. Parking enforcement is done by license plate readers, so you need to know your license plate number to complete the permit purchase.

You obtain a parking permit by one of the following options:

  • When you arrive on campus, purchase a permit from the parking pay station in the C Lot or the 3R/7G Lots. Credit/Debit cards ONLY!
  • Purchase a permit the day of your orientation session in the C Lot or the 3R/7G Lots using the Parkmobile app (note there is an additional $0.25 fee to use the app). Click on this Parking Services link to learn more about the Parkmobile app.

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15. How do I connect to the wireless network (WiFi) on campus?

For more information on how to connect to the wireless network, go to WWU Public WiFi Network

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16. Whom should I contact regarding a request for Accommodations?

For requests concerning disAbility accommodations and services such as Sign Language Interpreter services, note taking services or similar services during your time at Transitions, please contact disAbility Resources for Students (DRS) directly via email at or by phone at 360.650.3083, or visit the disAbility Resources for Students website for additional information.

For requests concerning housing accommodations such as an accessible room, gender-inclusive housing, etc., please contact the Conference and Guest Housing Office via email at to discuss your request.

For requests or questions concerning dietary requirements / allergies during your time at Transitions or during the academic year, please contact University Dining Services by email at or by phone at 360.650.2970.

For information regarding accessible parking on campus, there is a printable parking map which shows Accessible Parking areas around campus. Participants are still required to purchase a general permit for the program, and must have a valid state disability permit to park in designated spaces. Please contact Parking Services for additional questions by email at or by phone at 360.650.2945.

Please note that Western and the New Student Services/Family Outreach office does not provide support equipment such as wheelchairs, crutches, or motorized scooters. We recommend participants bring equipment from home as needed.

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17. Convenient Campus Extension Listing

Department Telephone No.
Academic Advising Center 360.650.3850
Admissions 360.650.3440
Conference & Guest Housing 360.650.3537
disAbility Resources for Students 360.650.3083
First-Year Interest Groups Office 360.650.3004
Financial Aid
  • Financial Aid
  • Scholarship Office
  • Student Employment
International Student & Scholar Services 360.650.7971
Math Department 360.650.3785
New Student Services/ Family Outreach 360.650.3846
Parking Services 360.650.2945
Registrar's Office 360.650.3430
Student Business Office
  • Student Accounts
  • University Cashier
  • Loans & Collections
Student Health Center 360.650.3400
Student Outreach Services 360.650.7443
Testing Center (Math Placement Assessment) 360.650.3080
University Residences 360.650.6565
Veteran's Services Office 360.650.3324

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