Summer Academic Orientation (SAO)

Welcome to Summer Academic Orientation

Welcome to Summer Academic Orientation (SAO) online!

SAO 2014 started on June 19th and so far has seen just over 4,000 first year students. These students brought over 4100 guests to the Western campus, from parents, siblings and other relatives to family friends—all coming to see campus and learn more about what we have to offer. The program has been a success due to the excellent collaboration with each and every faculty on campus in providing advising appointments and academic support. The support of several departments on campus has also been an essential component to ensure a smooth SAO program for thousands of guests, including Housing, Undergraduate Recruitment and Admissions, Western International, Parking Services, and the Registrar’s Office (to mention a few). SAO would not have been possible without the help and support of almost 30 Student Leaders who have guided new students through the course registration process and other orientation activities. SAO wrapped up on July 31st.

Table of Contents

  1. SAO Homepage
    - Program Information
    - Link to SAO Sign-Up
  2. Account Activation
    - Western ID, Western Email & OWL Activation
  3. Course Selection
    - Terms, Requirements, and Restrictions
    - Planning Ahead for Second Year
    - Extra Tools
    - Common Myths
  4. Timetable
    - Creating a Conflict-Free Timetable
    - Tackling Your Timetable (Step-by-Step PDF)
  5. Online Course Registration
    - Using Student Center
    - How to Add, Drop, and Swap Courses
    - Troubleshooting with Information Technology Services (ITS)
  6. ResourcesFAQ and Driving/Parking Instructions
  7. Meet the SAO Team!

Sign Up For SAO!

SAO 2015 will run from June 18, 2015 - July 30, 2015, we will not run the program on July 1st.

Sign ups for SAO begin in early June, 2015.

Students must sign-up in advanceYour SAO day runs from approximately 9:30am - 3:30pm inclusive, and IS NOT a "drop-in" program. Please plan for a full day. International and Out-of-Province students will be offered the option of a phone appointment when they go to book an appointment. Please see our FAQ section for more information.

Parents/guests will be signed up when the student declares that they are bringing someone to their SAO day. This is done when students book their appointment, and there is no further sign up required.

Please email our SAO Coordinator if you require information in an alternate format, or if any other arrangements can make this event accessible to you -

SAO Video Series



How to Prepare

  1. Students must have their Western Identity (which is your username and password) before attending. Visit our Account Activation page to set up your identity now.
  2. Bring your First Year Calendar and have the SAO Course Selection Sheet (page 23) completed by choosing your required and elective courses.
    Course registration for first-year students will have opened by the SAO program. Students will receive an email with their enrolment time prior to course registration, and they are able - but not required - to have registered in any or all of their courses online by their SAO day. 
  3. Students who are interested in registering online can visit our Online Course Registration page for assistance. Remember that you can always change your courses until the second week of classes in September.
  4. Bring government-issued photo ID on your SAO Day for all transactions and discussions about your student record and/or tuition account. If you do not have your proper ID, we will not be able to assist you.
    If you wish to give your parent or someone else the ability to access information or a service on your behalf through the Registrar's Office, you MUST complete the Release of Information that is available on your Student Center. See the Resources and FAQ pages for more information.
  5. Students with Transfer Credit: if you expect to be awarded transfer credits for prior course work, you will not be able to confirm your SAO day until June 5th at the earliest. If you select an SAO day in July, your appointment will not be confirmed until approximately 7-10 days prior to your day. Please click here to get tips for students with transfer credit.