Becoming an Orientation Leader (OL) will be one of the most positive experiences you can create for yourself and others during your college career. Welcome the new class of students, meet a large group of fellow leaders, and step out of your comfort zone to grow as a person. Not sold yet? Click on the links in the menu to learn a little bit more about the OL experience!
Training occurs the week before classes start. It is an intensive process that requires your presence for about 12 hours each day. It is a great way to get to know your fellow OLs and learn how to work with them in a beneficial manner.
Develop your leadership potential through interactive activities and presentations from experts in their fields as well as:
Learning Outcomes for Orientation Leaders
Based on Orientation Leader (OL) training and Welcome Week experiences, OLs will:
- Understand various student cultures on campus and have increased self-awareness of own identity within these cultures.
- Improve or refine interpersonal skills such as active listening, effective communication, recognition of emotions in self and others, and how to manage conflict.
- Develop skills related to being a successful member of a team.
- Demonstrate flexibility, responsibility, adaptability, and willingness to serve others.
- Understand the ethical implications of leadership, civic, and social responsibility.
- Report meaningful increased confidence, peer friendships, and/or mentorship experiences.
Commonly Asked Questions
What is it exactly that orientation leaders do?
The orientation leader (OL) team prepares and runs all of the super fun events during the first couple weeks of school for the students. We put an emphasis on the very first weekend for new students so that they have a chance to feel more acclimated to campus and meet new friends before classes start.
What am I responsible for?
Be yourself, be a leader, be positive! The whole idea of Welcome Week is to welcome students to (or back to) Penn State Altoona. We want this experience to be a positive one for everyone involved, so you will have fun and make amazing memories too. We do have some expectations of our OL team. OLs are required to come a week before classes start for training and welcome weekend. Training is an all-immersive experience and will take up the vast majority of your time that week. It will be tiring, but in the most productive way possible! We expect OLs to demonstrate leadership and act responsibly during this time. It is also important to note that you are committing to the program for the entire fall semester. The OL responsibilities do not stop after the first weekend. All orientation leaders must fill out an agreement form once they are chosen which goes into the details further.
Do I get paid to do this?
As our fearless leader, Dani, puts it: we pay you in t-shirts, food, and love, but not money. On top of those fun perks you also get an unbeatable college experience, about 80 hours worth of community service hours, a new group of motivated leaders that will be your new friends, and the ability to stand out on a resume after college by building transferable skills that employers across all industries look for.
Thank you for your interest in becoming an Orientation Leader. Please fill out the application or reach out to [email protected] for more information. A member of the Center for Student and Civic Engagement team will reach out to you promptly.