Orientation for New Bobcats

Orientation is the bridge between your decision to attend Lees-McRae into being a true Bobcat! Orientation is an opportunity to get to know your peers, navigate the campus, and learn about campus resources. Students are guided by our exceptional orientation leaders to show you the ropes!

Important Dates

  • Makeup Orientation 
    Thursday, August 15
    View the schedule
  • Move-in Day
    Friday, August 16
  • Welcome Weekend
    Friday, August 16–Monday, August 19

Meet the Orientation Leaders!

Get to know the student leaders who will guide you through orientation and welcome you to the Bobcat family.

Meet the leaders

What to Expect: Students

The goal of the Lees-McRae New Student Orientation is to help incoming students prepare academically, socially and mentally for college life at Lees-McRae.

What to Pack

Students will stay in the residence halls overnight! Be sure to bring the following with you to check in:

  • Bedding (extra long twin sheets, light blanket, pillow, pillowcase)
  • Change of clothes and comfortable walking shoes
  • Light jacket or sweatshirt
  • Shower items (towel, flip flops, toiletries)
  • Small fan (optional)

Placement Assessment*

Placement assessments are used at Lees-McRae to determine students' existing skill levels in English, Reading and Math to ensure that each student is placed in appropriate courses. The assessment is not pass/fail and high school GPA and other information is also considered in discussion with the student when creating course schedules for the fall semester. Our aim is to ensure that all students have a successful start to their college studies by enrolling in the classes appropriate to their skills and knowledge. Students who would like to receive their fall semester schedule should complete the placement assessments through the Pre-Orientation Portal two weeks prior to orientation.

*Students with associate degrees or higher do not need to placement test. Please bring updated college transcripts or college credit to summer orientation.

Advising and Registration

You will receive your class schedule during Summer Orientation. You will have an opportunity to meet with your advisor when you return to campus for Fall Semester in August.

All incoming freshmen take First Year Seminar (FYS) during their first semester. If you know your intended major, we will include the relevant introductory courses for your major in your Fall schedule. In addition, you may take one or more courses towards meeting the college's Core Curriculum requirements. Dependent on your placement test scores, you may also take courses for elective credit towards graduation which prepare you for courses you will take in the future that require math, reading and writing skills at the college level.

Parking Permit Registration

For information about parking registration and fees, please visit the Lees-McRae Security Office Parking Information and Registration page.

What to Expect: Parents

We recognize that transitioning your student(s) to college can be a stressful and emotional time for families. During the Lees-McRae New Student Orientation, parents and families will have the opportunity to interact with other parents of incoming students, better understand what your student will be experiencing as a student and how you can support your student's academic and social growth.

Orientation Schedule

Click here to view the parent and family orientation schedule! Topics covered will include Preparing for College Life, Student Life and Development, Academic and Career Resources, Student Health and Wellness, Tuition Payments and Financial Aid and more. You will have time to explore the greater Banner Elk and High Country areas. All parent and family sessions are optional.


Your students will be spending Friday night in a residence hall on campus. Families are welcome to stay at one of our local hotels, inns or bed and breakfasts in the area.

Frequently Asked Questions


    Is orientation mandatory for freshman?

    Yes! All new bobcats attend either session one or session two of orientation. Fresh Tracks, however, is an optional program. If you have a conflict, please call your admissions counselor or the Student Affairs Office to make arrangements prior to move in day!


    Is orientation mandatory for parents?

    Parents and family members are not required to attend an orientation session. However, orientation sessions will be available to welcome you to the bobcat family and answer any questions you might have! For more details, check out the parent and family orientation schedule.


    Is there anything I should be doing to get ready for orientation?

    Before orientation, make sure you’ve registered an uploaded necessary paperwork in the Pre-Orientation Portal on Brightspace! Need help getting there? Scroll to the top of this page, select the wrench, then Brightspace. Use the same information as your Lees-McRae email!

    In the weeks leading up to orientation, keep an eye on your mailbox and Lees-McRae email for more updates and introductions!


    Do I have to stay overnight during orientation?

    All new students are required to stay in one of our on campus residence halls during the overnight orientation session. We believe that the overnight experience helps new students to envision their on campus experience and is an exciting way to meet the rest of the incoming class! If you have concerns about accommodations within the residence halls, please reach out!


    Will my orientation roommate be my roommate for the fall? Will I be staying in my room for the year?

    During the summer you will be randomly matched with a roommate to help you meet as many people as possible! All students will be staying in two of our most popular residence halls, so you may not be in the building that you will move into in August. Students will be able to request a roommate if they meet someone during the orientation session.


    When will the session end?

    We have students coming from all over, so we want you to be able to plan for travel accordingly. Students will finish their last session at 12 p.m. and then check out of the residence halls. Parents and families will finish the last session at 12 p.m.


    What do I do after orientation?

    After orientation, it’s time to start the countdown to Move-in Day on August 16! Move in will happen between 10 a.m.–2 p.m. and then we’ll kick-off Welcome Weekend. There will be tons of events and opportunities on campus that weekend and through the first week of classes!