Early Connections FAQ

What is Early Connections?

Early Connections is a registration-based early Orientation and ongoing program. It starts with Early Connections orientation September 7–8 and activities will continue throughout the 2021–22 academic year.

Who can attend Early Connections?

Students who satisfy the program’s criteria by answering “yes” to at least two of these questions:

  • Did you attend an ethnically diverse high school, or live in an ethnically diverse neighborhood? 
  • Are you the first in your family to go to a four-year college?
  • Are you part of an ethnic or racial background that is traditionally underrepresented in higher education?

How was I chosen to attend Early Connections?

After talking with incoming students and their families, undergraduate admissions counselors recommend students for this unique program. Likewise, admissions counselors are familiar with high schools and have relationships with school counselors, as well as community organizations and leaders.

How much does Early Connections cost?

Early Connections is FREE, with no cost to participating students. However, Early Connections is by invitation only, and once invited, students must register in order to attend.

What if I can’t attend Early Connections Orientation?

Don’t worry! Students can get connected to Early Connections in a few ways:

Is Early Connections only for students who’ll live on campus?

No. Students who live off-campus will also receive an invitation to Early Connections, as long as they satisfy the program’s criteria.

Where should I go when I arrive on campus Tuesday, Sept. 7?

Early Connections students should go to Upper Gwinn to check in. Move-in time is from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., and Early Connections leaders will be at residence halls ready to help students move-in. Students commuting to campus can come to Upper Gwinn Lobby at 10:30 a.m.

What time does Early Connections start? When will it end?

The Welcome Session for Early Connections students and their families starts on Tuesday, Sept. 7, at 2 p.m. Students are welcome to join the welcoming session with guests (e.g., parents, mentors, siblings, and friends). Early Connections Orientation activities end Wednesday, September 8, at 4 p.m. See the EC schedule here.

Is there a separate program for parents and guests for Early Connections?

Parents and guests will be together with their students for the Early Connections welcome session on Tuesday, September 7, then they will say farewell at noon when students take a group photo and head out to their afternoon activities.

Parents and guests will gather for lunch with staff and older students to talk about what they might anticipate during their student’s first year at SPU and ask questions about campus resources, orientation, etc. Orientation for all students includes a special parents and guest program, and it begins Wednesday, September 8. See spu.edu/orientation for details.

If I’m registered for Early Connections, am I automatically registered for Orientation?

No. Registration for Early Connections was through a specific EC link included on the EC email invitation (sent in early July). Registration instructions for Orientation are on the Orientation website.

Can my parents and guests stay on campus during Early Connections?

No. Campus housing is provided only for students who will be living on campus. Other students will also be moving into campus housing early, so EC students will not be alone. SPU does offer information about hotels close to campus.

What happens once Early Connections is over?

After Early Connections, students will transition to Seattle Pacific University’s New Student Orientation. Once the year begins, students will have continued support and ongoing connection with EC student leaders and Multi-Ethnic Programs staff through 1:1 mentorship, resource connection, academic support, leadership development, and community building through quarterly activities such as family dinners, study breaks, workshops, and service learning.

Does SPU provide transportation from the airport, train, or bus station?

We are unable to offer transportation. We recommend using Shuttle Express for convenient transportation to and from SeaTac International Airport, or your favorite ride share program like Uber and Lyft. You can find driving directions and bus routes to campus on the SPU website.

Demaray Hall Clock Tower

EC schedule

See the schedule for the 2021 Early Connections Orientation, Tuesday–Wednesday, Sept. 7–8.