New student orientation is the intentional process of assisting first-year and transfer students in making the transition to the academic and cultural environment of Calvin College.

Orientation Leaders play an integral role in this process by helping new students successfully navigate their first semester on campus; participating with new students in all orientation activities; being an enthusiastic and positive role model; distributing important information in a timely manner; supporting Calvin's mission in day-to-day contact with new students; and assisting in the teaching of the First Year Seminar class during first semester. Each year the Campus Involvement and Leadership Office hires approximately 50 Orientation Leaders.

More info

Who can apply?

Any Calvin student with the following characteristics may apply to be an Orientation Leader:

  • Interest in and commitment to helping new students make a smooth and successful adjustment
  • Willingness to exercise gifts of creativity, hospitality, and service
  • Possesses general understanding of Calvin's campus environment (current or previous experience in orientation, a student organization, student leadership, or campus office is highly desirable)
  • Demonstrates confidence and maturity in interpersonal relationships
  • Strives to manifest Christian commitment in thought, word, and deed
  • Has a minimum GPA of 2.5
  • Maintains full-time student status at Calvin and fulfills the college's eligibility requirements for participation in campus activities as reflected in the Student Handbook.
Specific responsibilities

Being an Orientation Leader is demanding work that requires commitment and dedication. For the full week prior to the beginning of fall classes Orientation Leaders will be quite busy. During this week, other obligations and responsibilities should be avoided altogether. Orientation Leaders will be involved in all aspects of Calvin's new student orientation program. Responsibilities will continue into the first semester as Orientation Leaders serve as assistants to the instructors of the First Year Seminar program for first-year students.

Calvin's orientation program is divided into a summer component (Passport) and a fall component (Quest). And connected to the Quest program is the First Year Seminar class, which will conclude by the mid-point of the fall semester. Orientation Leaders will participate in all aspects of the Quest program and help with First Year Seminar class, but not the Passport program.

  • Spring: All Orientation Leaders will attend a leadership training. more information on dates will come.
  • Summer: Orientation Leaders are NOT required to be in Grand Rapids for the summer. We will send information to Orientation Leaders throughout the summer via email and Facebook.
  • Fall: All Orientation Leaders are expected to be at Calvin early August 25 to participate in a three-day training retreat followed by two days of training on campus. During QUEST, which begins Wednesday, August 31, Orientation Leaders will mentor a group of approximately 22 new students through all of the scheduled activities including small group discussions, a diversity seminar, group building games, and a service-learning project.
    • Orientation Leaders will assist new students in moving into the residence halls and will generate enthusiasm for informal networking and social activities.
    • During and after the orientation program, Orientation Leaders will also participate in a reflective evaluation of the entire orientation program.
    • Responsibilities during the First Year Seminar class for first semester include attending 7 two hour class sessions, facilitating their Quest group in small group discussion, and meeting with the instructor to prepare for class.
    • Orientation Leaders will be expected to plan one group activities and meet individually or in small groups with every student before the completion of the fall semester.
What's the compensation?

For their dedicated efforts, new and returning Orientation Leaders will receive $300 plus a $100 bonus for additional responsibilities for participating in both the orientation program and First Year Seminar. As a smaller token of appreciation, they will also receive two complimentary T-shirts.

Steps to apply
  1. Complete an online application
  2. Submit a formal resume to the Campus Involvement and Leadership Office or email in PDF form to
  3. Contact two people to submit online recommendations. Applicants are responsible for contacting their references and ensuring that the recommendation forms are submitted by noon on April 8.
  4. Attend one informational meeting on March 30 at 4:00PM in North Hall 078 or on April 5 at 7:00PM in the RVD basement.

What's the selection process?

Orientation Leader application materials must be submitted no later than April 8 by noon.

Applicants will be notified if they were selected for individual interviews. Students will sign-up online for these interviews. Orientation Interns and staff will conduct the individual interviews April 12–14. Applicants will then be notified if they made it to the group interview April 15. After the interviews are completed, the orientation staff will select 49 Orientation Leaders. All applicants will then be notified of their status April 19.