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Family Orientation

Knowing where to turn when help is needed is important! Attend our Family Orientation program for the answers. The Family Orientation program is an optional, two-day program for parents that has been highly rated in the past and gives parents helpful information to support their student, especially during the critical first year.

The Family Orientation is held at the same time as New Student Orientation. The program gives family members an introduction to campus resources, opportunities to ask questions and meet others and a chance to see our beautiful campus.

The success of your student is our top priority. By sharing this information with parents, you can help ensure the success of your student. We encourage you to e-mail or call the Office of New Student Programs if you have any questions! Contact us at a 843.953.2017.

Orientation Sessions

Summer 2019 Orientation Dates

The following sessions are for students who are starting classes at the College of Charleston in fall 2019.  New students who pay the enrollment confirmation fee to the Office of Admissions will begin to receive orientation information in the mail at the beginning of March.  Students may complete their orientation registration online through MyCharleston starting mid-March 2019.

Session 9 Monday and Tuesday August 12 and 13 transfer students only Closed
Session 10 Thursday and Friday August 15 and 16 freshmen students only - as of 7/3 the mileage restriction was lifted who live FARTHER than 700 miles away from Charleston Closed
Extended Orientation Monday - Friday,
Monday and Tuesday
August 19 - 23,
26 and 27
We do not offer a family orientation during the extended orientation sessions

Session 9 is for transfer students only. Transfer students are welcome to attend any of the first eight sessions. You may not register for session 10.  Please note: There are a limited number of seats available that we will reserve on a first-come, first-served basis.

Session 10 is for freshmen only who live FARTHER than 700 miles away from Charleston. You are welcome to attend any of the first eight sessions. Please note: There are a limited number of seats available that we will reserve on a first-come, first-served basis.

If you are participating in sorority recruitment or Cougar Excursion, you will not be able to attend Session 10 on August 15-16.

The first day of classes for the fall semester is Tuesday, August 20, 2019. For additional semester dates, please refer to the academic calendar for each semester.  

Student Holds

All students have an orientation hold on their file until they attend orientation. It does not affect the ability to register for orientation.

Before Orientation Information!

You may find more information about the schedules at

Directions to campus are under “driving directions” at

Maps of the campus are available at

The closest parking garages to campus are:

  1. St. Philip St. Garage (89 St. Philips St.): located on St. Philip St. between Vanderhorst and Calhoun streets
  2. George St. Garage (34 St. Philips St.): located on St. Philip St. between George and Liberty streets.
  3. Wentworth St. Garage (81 Wentworth St.): located at the corner of Wentworth and St. Philip streets

The approximate fee for all-day parking is between $10.00 and $16.00. If you have a valid South Carolina state-issued handicapped placard, you can park in a garage free of charge. Upon exiting, you must present your driver’s license for verification. Note: Do not park in College of Charleston student or faculty/staff lots because you will be ticketed. The Office of New Student Programs does not validate parking.

Family Orientation Activities

The family orientation program is a full, two-day program. Students and families should plan for activities to start at check-in between 7:30 a.m. and 8:15 a.m. and last until 5:00 pm on the first day. On the second day of summer orientation, activities will begin between 7:30 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. and end between 3:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. Students will have separate activities from their families for the majority of the program.

The general overview of summer orientation will give you an idea of the sessions that are conducted during the summer program.  The schedule will be posted in June on the orientation schedules section of this website. 

Notification of Confirmation

Please do not make travel plans and/or lodging reservations until your assigned orientation date has been confirmed. One week after you have submitted your online registration form, you’ll be able to see your confirmation online. (We do not mail or email confirmations.) Log onto, select the “academic services” tab, locate the “orientation” box and click on “orientation session confirmation.”

How to Register for Family Orientation

There is a space on the student's online reservation form to indicate how many family members will be attending. The cost, $35 per family member, is non-refundable.

Reservations can ONLY be made by completing the orientation reservation form online through My Charleston. Please do not make travel plans and/or reservations until your student's assigned orientation date has been confirmed.Students can view their assigned date on My Charleston one week after they have submitted their online reservation form.  Confirmations are not mailed or emailed. 

When New Student Programs receives the orientation reservation, we will mail confirmation information to the student with additional details about the orientation session.

If a student needs to add an additional family member after they have registered, contact us with the student's name and the correct number of family members. The additional fee will be added to the student account and due with the tuition bill. Also, family members can sign up at the late registration table at check-in.

Special Needs Students and Family Members

If you have special needs because of a disability, please call the Office of New Student Programs at 843.953.2017 so we can make appropriate arrangements to assist you during orientation.

For more information about services available to students at the College, contact the at Center for Disability Services at 843.953.1431.

More Tips for Families

Family A to Z Guide

Tips for Families

Summer Reading List

Like Clockwork: The Rhythms of College Life

Family Services

The College of Charleston welcomes parents and the families of our students. The family website is your resource and connection to the College as your student moves through his or her time here. The links and pages listed here are your resource for information and updates.

Of course, if you have any questions, please feel free to contact us in the Office of New Student Programs.