Winthrop University: New Student Orientation - Frequently Asked Questions
Contact Information
New Student and Family Programs
248 DiGiorgio Campus Center
Winthrop University
Rock Hill, SC 29733, USA
E-mail Us

New Student and Family Programs


Frequently Asked Questions About Orientation


Orientation for Fall 2020: First Flight & Eagles Landing

Orientation Fees and Registration

Freshman Orientation

Family Orientation

Course Registration

Still Have Questions?


FAQs about Orientation for Fall 2020 


With Orientation being partially online now, will my Orientation fee change?

Orientation fees are not being adjusted at this time. Once definitive decisions are made regarding the feasibility of the second portion of the orientation experience, Senior Leadership and the Board of Trustees will determine if fee adjustments are necessary. If changes are made, students will be notified via their Winthrop email accounts. See Orientation fees below.

I don’t have access to a computer/laptop/tablet. Can First Flight be completed on a mobile device?

While it is best to complete First Flight on a larger screen, First Flight can be completed on a mobile device.

I don’t have internet access at home. How do I complete Orientation? 

Because First Flight, advising, and course registration can only be accessed through the internet, you will need to attend one of the last Orientations in August instead, Session 5 for Freshmen or Session G for Transfers.

Will there still be half-day sessions for post-traditional Transfers?

There will not be half-day sessions for transfers for Orientation 2020. In light of the restrictions during the COVID-19 Pandemic, Orientation sessions have had to be totally redesigned, allowing no opportunity for the special half-day sessions. Post-traditional students are encouraged to connect with each other as well as the Transfer Orientation Leader & Mentor (TOLM) staff members who also identify as post-traditional students.


Is First Flight required?

Yes, both parts of Orientation, First Flight and Eagles Landing, are required for all new full-time freshmen and transfer students at Winthrop to receive important information about attending Winthrop University, to meet with their academic advisor, and to register for their classes. In addition, freshmen will meet other new students and current student leaders, and learn about the many opportunities that await them at Winthrop University.  

What will be covered in First Flight?

  • Welcomes from Winthrop’s Senior Leadership

  • General info about WU

  • General info about Academics

  • Specific info about their Academic College

  • WU Student Portals – Wingspan, DegreeWorks, and Blackboard

  • College Finances (Student Financial Services and Financial Aid)

  • Quick overview of campus resources

First Flight is followed by Advisement and Course Registration.

I’ve been told I need to check that my major is listed correctly in Wingspan. How do I do that?

Log into Wingspan using your Winthrop credentials. Under the “Student” tab, then “Student Records,” then “Academic Transcript,” then “Submit.” If your major is listed incorrectly in Wingspan, please email as soon as possible and include your name, WUID, listed major, and new major.

How long does it take to complete First Flight?

Completing First Flight in one setting takes 2-3 hours. For this reason, students are given a 1-week deadline to complete First Flight so that they may take breaks as needed.

How do I navigate Wingspan & Blackboard?

You will experience both a Wingspan tutorial and a Blackboard tutorial in First Flight. 

Who do I reach out to with questions as I go through First Flight? 

All new students are assigned to an Orientation Leader (freshmen) or a Transfer Orientation Leader & Mentor (transfers). These are current upperclasssmen who are excited to help you in your transition and answer your questions. You will have access to your OL or TOLM through First Flight. 

Do I have to complete First Flight all in one sitting?

No. You can start and stop and pick up again in Blackboard at any time. You will need to complete First Flight 1 week from when you receive your email with instructions on how to start First Flight.

When will we learn about and get to meet with Financial Aid/Student Financial Services?

During First Flight, you will experience presentations by both Student Financial Services and Financial Aid. If you need to ask specific questions about your account or financial assistance, contact them by email at or

Is Eagles Landing required?

Yes, both parts of Orientation, First Flight and Eagles Landing, are required for all new full-time freshmen and transfer students at Winthrop to receive important information about attending Winthrop University, to meet with their academic advisor, and to register for their classes. In addition, freshmen will meet other new students and current student leaders, and learn about the many opportunities that await them at Winthrop University.  

What will be covered in Eagles Landing?

  • Campus resources, in depth

  • Student Involvement on campus

  • The Winthrop Experience

  • Transition assistance

  • Connecting with faculty, staff, and other students

  • SKITS - “Students Knowing Information To Succeed”

What should we bring to Eagles Landing?

See Orientation’s webpage on what to bring for more information.

What if I can’t attend Eagles Landing in early August?

In that case, you would need to sign up to attend one of the last Orientations in August, Session 5 for Freshmen or Session G for Transfers.

Can I move into my residence hall room during Eagles Landing?

No.  Eagles Landing sessions are scheduled prior to the opening of the Residence Halls. Move-in day for new students is Friday, August 21.


How do I register for classes? Will we be registering for our classes on Orientation day? Or do we register now? 

You will register for classes after you have completed First Flight, the online component of Orientation, and before you come for the one-day on-campus Eagles Landing date in early August. After you have completed specific content in First Flight, you will meet virtually with an advisor for your major, who will help you in the choice of your classes. You will also register for your classes during your advisor meeting. If you need help with registration or Wingspan navigation after your advisor meeting, please go to the “Registration Help” tab in First Flight for more information.

Can I register for classes early? 

Because Orientation through First Flight covers essential information regarding academics at Winthrop and other things, all students are required to complete and pass the First Flight online component prior to meeting with their advisor and registering for classes.

How do I find out who my advisor is?

As part of First Flight, you will meet with an academic advisor virtually. In the fall, you will be assigned your academic advisor who you’ll meet with to register for all subsequent semesters at Winthrop.

What will be covered in my advising meeting?

The academic advisor you meet with will further cover specifics for your degree program and what classes you should take in Fall 2020. You will also have the opportunity to talk through any transfer credits.

Prior to classes starting, students will need to complete several tasks which can be found in detail on the New Student Checklist, along with instructions for how to complete each task.



Orientation Fees and Registration

What is the cost for Orientation?
More info coming soon!

What does my Orientation fee cover? 

The Orientation fees pay for the cost of meals provided, mailings, publications, technology, operating costs, student staff salaries, advising and registration, supplies, other services associated with Orientation, and Welcome Week in August.  

When do I pay my Orientation fee?
More info coming soon!

If I register for a session and decide not to attend, can I receive a refund?

Refunds will be given only to students who notify us of cancellation before participating in any part of the Orientation program. For 2020, this includes First Flight, Eagles Landing, and sessions 5 and G. Requests for refunds must be received in writing via email to the Office of New Student and Family Programs. No refunds will be granted after any participation in any part of Orientation. If you wish to cancel your registration or no longer plan to attend Winthrop, please email the Office of New Student and Family Programs, and we will cancel your Orientation registration.  Please note: No refunds are issued for students who complete any part of Orientation and then withdraw from Winthrop.  

How do I register for Orientation?
Students can register online 

What if I need to make a change to my registration?
To change your Orientation session, go back to your confirmation email and click "Edit Registration" to reschedule. You will then receive an updated confirmation email. If you have questions or get stuck, please contact us at

I tried to register for a session but the website said it was full. Can I be put on a waiting list?
Unfortunately, we do not maintain waiting lists for Orientation sessions due to high volume. Sessions are first-come, first-serve so we encourage you to sign up as soon as you know which one you can attend. If a session is full, you will need to register for a different session.  

Freshman Orientation

If I have a family member who is a Winthrop alumni, is Orientation still required?
Winthrop is ever-changing and will be a very different campus than the one your family member may have experienced. Orientation is essential for you to learn the current campus atmosphere. Remember, all new students are required to complete Orientation.  

Do I need money for Orientation?
For any in-person Orientation event, you may want to bring money for a visit to the Winthrop Bookstore, a Welcome Week pass, or late-night pizza delivery, but none is necessary. 

If I am traveling from out of town and arriving at Charlotte Douglas International Airport, how do I get to campus?
Winthrop does not have a shuttle service to and from the airport. The airport can provide you with information about ground transportation to and from Winthrop. Uber or Lyft may also meet your needs. Students can find directions to Winthrop University online.  

How do I turn in my required medical and immunization information?  Can I bring it to Orientation?
Paper forms can NOT be accepted. Complete the Winthrop University immunization requirements by creating a Patient Portal account. In your account, you will be able to complete the required forms, enter your immunization dates, and upload your immunization documentation. All documents must be uploaded into the Portal. If you do not complete the requirements before the start of classes, you will be at risk of being charged a non-refundable $50 non-compliance fee. Here is a step-by-step guide to the immunization requirement process. If you have further questions, please contact the Center for Student Wellness (formerly Health & Counseling Services) directly.

Transfer Orientation

I'm a transfer student and have attended Orientation at my previous institution. Do I need to attend Winthrop's Orientation?
All students must complete Orientation at Winthrop. Winthrop has its own academic policies and involvement opportunities--it is important to learn these differences.   

Family Orientation

Do parents and family members need to attend Orientation?
Family Orientation is not mandatory. However, we encourage parents and family members to attend to learn more about Winthrop and ways you can support your student as he/she transitions into the Winthrop Community.   

What exactly is Family Orientation?

The Family Orientation program offers parents and family members the opportunity to learn about various campus services, policies and procedures, and also assists them in understanding the challenges their students may face. The goal of Family Orientation is to provide you with the information to help support your student as he/she transitions into the Winthrop community. 


What should I bring/wear to Orientation?

See Orientation’s webpage on what to bring for more information.

Are there sleeping accommodations for the families?
No. Parents and family members who are attending Family Orientation and would like to stay overnight in the area can view a list of hotels that give a Winthrop discount.  

Can my boyfriend/girlfriend/brother/sister hang out with me while my parents are at Family Orientation?
Only new students can participate in Orientation activities. Students and family members will do some activities together during Orientation but will spend much of their time in their separate programs. The Orientation programs are specifically designed to meet the needs of the population attending. Additionally, this is a time for you to get to know your new home and start feeling comfortable here. If non-students are present, they will be asked to register for and attend Family Orientation or leave.

Course Registration

Can students make changes to their classes after they register?
Yes, students can make changes to their schedule until the end of the add/drop period

When is the last day I can change my schedule?
There is an add/drop date that students must adhere to for each semester.  

How will I know which classes to register for?
Students will meet with an Academic Advisor prior to registering for classes to assist them in deciding which classes to register for. Students can also see which classes they are required to take in order to graduate by visiting the Degree Works page on their Wingspan account or by checking out the Degree Checklist page. Throughout the summer faculty, staff, and Orientation Leaders will be available to help with scheduling, navigating the system, and any other problems. 

What if I haven't decided what to major in?
Winthrop provides advisement for undeclared majors in our University College. You will begin by taking courses that will fulfill our general education requirement.  Applicants who have not confirmed their choice of major but know which general area they are interested in can consult with your personal admissions counselor for additional information. During Orientation, you'll meet with an Undeclared Major Advisor who will help you select classes.

What if I need to get into a class and it is closed? How can I get an override?
Students should complete this form to request an override. If you do not receive a response in a week's time, contact your Academic College's Student Services person.

If I have Wingspan login problems, what should I do?
Please contact the IT Helpdesk at 803-323-2400. Wingspan is compatible with recent versions of most popular web browsers, including Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, and Chrome. Device-specific and service-specific browsers such as Web TV and some hand-held devices may not provide full Wingspan functionality.


Still Have Questions?

Check out these other Winthrop websites that have lists of FAQs:

Family FAQs 
Freshman Admissions
Transfer Admissions
General Admissions
Financial Aid
Cashiers Office
Residence Life
Records and Registration
Traffic and Parking
Office of Accessibility
Cultural Events

If you still have unanswered questions, feel free to contact the Office of New Student and Family Programs via email at

Last Updated: 10/30/20