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firstSTEP Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How do I sign up for my firstSTEP Orientation Session?

Sign up for EWU's firstSTEP Orientation will be by invitation only starting March 4. Invitations will be sent weekly to new students that have completed the steps below.

To receive an invitation you must first complete the following:

  1. Confirm your intent to enroll. If you have not done so, please visit the Admitted Students webpage and follow their directions. 

  2. Setup your NetID and Password and SAVE. To do so, you will need your EWUID. To begin go to accounts.ewu.edu.
  3. Set up your student Eagles e-mail. To receive an invitation and successfully sign up for a firstSTEP Orientation Session, you will have to enter your student e-mail. To setup your student e-mail Click here to begin. ATTENTION: SAVE your new email address and password. You will have to login to your student e-mail account at least once for it to be activated. To login now go to http://mail.eagles.ewu.edu.

Once you successfully sign up for firstSTEP you will receive a confirmation e-mail with details and your Pre-Orientation Homework.

What does it cost to attend the firstSTEP and Transfer Sessions?

firstSTEP Orientation is part of your EWU confirmation fee.

If you will have family members or guests attend they each have an option of purchasing a lunch ticket for their parent/family lunch session three (3) days before attending firstSTEP. Lunch purchase link is coming soon. NOTE: Students who have successfully registered for orientation session will receive lunch the day of at no additional cost and family/guests 5 and under eat free and 6-12 years old eat at a reduced price. 

What happens at firstSTEP Orientation?

Students attending the firstSTEP Orientation will:

  • Learn about academic requirements;
  • Meet with an academic advisor to learn the steps to earn a degree and receive their fall quarter class schedule;
  • Have the opportunity to meet with and build relationships with faculty, staff, and peers and learn about the campus and surrounding community;
  • Visit select residence halls;
  • Receive detailed information regarding academic expectations of students and relevant academic policies;
  • Connect with campus support services to ensure a smooth transition to campus; and
  • Meet other Eastern students!


Parents and family members attending the firstSTEP Orientation will:

  • Have the opportunity to sign up for the EWU Parent E-Blast (Listserv) to receive campus information and other related news;
  • Learn about your student's academic requirements;
  • Have the opportunity to meet with and build relationships with faculty, staff, and other EWU parents and learn about the campus and surrounding community;
  • Connect with campus support services to ensure that your student experiences a smooth transition to campus;
  • Visit select residence halls; and
  • Meet other Eastern families!

Will I be registering for fall classes at firstSTEP?

No. You will be receiving your fall class schedule from your Advisor at firstSTEP. Academic Advisors will use the your transcripts, advising inventory (a survey that is part of the Pre-Orienation Homework Canvas Course), and test scores to build the best possible schedule for you. The Pre-Orientation homework will be sent to your Eagles student email once you successfully sign up via your invitation for firstSTEP.

When are the firstSTEP Orientation Sessions?

Summer 2016 firstSTEP Orientation Session Dates

For EWU first year students (Freshman, Transfer, non-traditional) with zero or FEWER than 40 university/college credits and ALL former Running Start students:   

  • June 17
  • June 24
  • July 8
  • July 15
  • July 22
  • July 29
  • August 5
  • August 12

Transfer students with 40 or MORE university/college credits will attend our Transfer Summer Session on June 18.

Do I have to attend the firstSTEP Orientation?

  • First year (Freshman, Transfer, non-traditional) with zero or FEWER than 40 university/college credits and ALL Running Start students: Yes, in order to receive your fall schedule, you must attend the firstSTEP orientation. If you are unable to attend the firstSTEP orientation, your fall registration may delayed and your schedule changed.
  • Transfer students: It is highly recommended that you attend the Transfer Session to learn of the vital campus academic and service resources that are avaialble to you.
  • Parents/Family/Guardian members: You are highly encouraged to attend the firstSTEP and Tranfer Sessions with your student.

How do I get advised and register for classes if I don't attend firstSTEP or Transfer Sessions?

Please call New Student Transitions and Parent Programs at 509.359.6843 to discuss your options.

How long is a firstSTEP Orientation Session?

The firstSTEP Orientation Session is an all day 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. program. Please visit our firstSTEP Orientation webpage to see a sample schedule.

How do I make changes to my fall schedule after firstSTEP?

We recommend you consult your academic advisor before making any changes to your schedule.  Course sequencing is critical in order to ensure you graduate on time. Changes can be made through the myEWU Portal after August 15, 2016.

Is housing provided during the firstSTEP Orientation?

Housing is not provided at firstSTEP. Please see the "What accommodations are near the EWU campus for lodging?" for lodging information.

What accommodations are near the EWU campus for lodging?

Holiday Inn Express, Cheney University Area (1.7 mi. from campus) Phone: 
(509)-235-1100

Super 8 Motel (8.7 mi. from campus)
 Phone: (509)-838-8800

Holiday Inn Spokane-Airport (13.7 mi. from campus) Phone: 
1-800-HOLIDAY or 
509-838-1170

Ramada Inn, Spokane Airport (17.1 mi. from campus)
 Phone: (509)-838-5211

What do I need to bring to firstSTEP?

You should plan to bring a state issued picture ID, latests unofficial transcript(s), and any other documents that may be used for your reference. Everything else will be provided at check in.

Where can we park?

The designated parking lots for firstSTEP Session participants are P-17 and P-11. Please see our campus map for locations and our Driving and Parking Directons on our firstSTEP webpage.

What if I need special accommodations?

For special accommodations please call The Office of New Student Transitions and Parent Programs at 509.359.6843 at least five (5) business days prior to your scheduled session.

I am an out of state student. Do I have to attend the firstSTEP Orientation?

If you are an out of state incoming student and unable to attend any of the firstSTEP Orientation or Transfer Sessions please call New Student Transitions and Parent Programs at 509.359.6843 to learn of your options.

How can I change my firstSTEP Orientation Session date?

To change your firstSTEP Orientation session date please call New Student Transitions and Parent Programs at 509.359.6843 at least five (5) days prior to your scheduled session.

How do I change my intended major after I sign up for the firstSTEP Orientation?

Please call The Office of New Student Transition and Parent Programs at 509.359.6843 to do so.

I didn't register a guest but I plan to bring one or I need to add more/less guests. How do I notify you?

Please call The Office of New Student Transition and Parent Programs at 509.359.6843 to do so.

What placement tests are required?

With very few exceptions, all students must take the math placement assessment one (1) week before attending their firstSTEP Orientation Session and before they are allowed to register for fall math courses. Eastern Washington University currently uses computer based assessment software called ALEKS. for more information please visit the Math Placement Assessment webpage for more information.

The English Placement Test is given to new or transferring students who are unable to be placed by an ACT/SAT or TOEFL score. For more information please visit the English Placement Webpage.

Can I still attend firstSTEP Orientation if I haven't taken the ALEKS Math Placement Assessment?

You only have to take the math placement Assessment (MPA) one week before if you are planning to take a math course this fall quarter. If you do not plan to take a math course in the fall, please consult with your advisor, you may attend firstSTEP without having previously taken the ALEKS MPA.

What is the Online Orientation?

The Online Orientation is a guidance and reference tool for new incoming students. Please visit www.ewu.edu/onlineorientation for more information.

Note: The Online Orientation is not to be completed in lieu of the firstSTEP or Transfer Sessions.

Do I have to do the firstSTEP Orientation and Online Orientation?

The online orientation is a guidance and reference tool for new incoming students. Not to be an alternative to the firstSTEP or Transfer Sessions.

What Transportation services are there in the area?

Spokane International Airport

Spokane Transit Authority

Cheney Cab Co. LLC (509) 993-7989 call for Airport Reservations

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