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General Information

New Student & Family Programs Overview


New Student & Family Programs (NSFP) is committed to providing services to cultivate new students and family connections and engagement in the community.  Eastern views orientation as on ongoing and multi-faceted transition process which involves academic, intellectual, civic, and personal development.  NSFP builds collaboration between students, families, and the institution for the common goals of student learning, development, and success.


The vision of New Student & Family Programs (NSFP) is to deliver best in class services that promote retention and graduation through services and programs that encourage students to connect, engage, and learn.  The department, with the expertise and wisdom of the university and its resources, provides for student success through education, communication, and the collaboration of the wisdom of parents and families.

Core Values

  • Collaboration - NSFP builds and maintains CommUniversity partnerships that embody shared goals and mutual support in services and programs.
  • Innovation - NSFP values creative forward thinking that generates solutions that will build, sustain, and improve resources, programs, and processes to achieve greatness.
  • Growth & Development - NSFP pursues lifelong learning and knowledge acquisition, providing opportunities that invest in the personal and professional development of our students and staff.
  • Positivity - NSFP embraces an optimistic outlook in what we do and how we do it, empowering those around us, and responding to needs of each person with kindness and concern.  We commit to the idea that environment is created by each individual's actions.
  • Leadership - NSFP strives to develop a shared vision that supports our CommUniversity with respect and integrity; allowing individuals to work with their strengths in achieving excellence, envisioning possibilities, and seeking opportunities to succeed.
  • Service - NSFP commits to supporting our CommUniversity and demonstrates this by a commitment to our common cause, making the environment and those living in it better.
  • Community Building - NSFP commits to creating and enhancing our shared CommUniversity interest, forged through a shared understanding and expectations that provide a strong community.
  • Inclusion - NSFP commits to creating environments that foster belonging, equality, and empowerment ensuring individuals find worth, dignity, and recognition.


Orientation, Advisement, and Registration (Debut)

Once admitted to Eastern, students will be required to attend the Orientation, Advisement, and Registration program (EIU Debut). New Student & Family Programs will invite students to attend either a Transfer or Freshman program. The program allows students to meet with their adviser to develop a course schedule, learn about academic life at EIU, and discover opportunities and services that Eastern provides students. Family is welcome and encouraged at all EIU Debut programs.

Transition to Campus (Prowl)

All new students (freshmen and transfers) are required to participate in our transition program (Prowl). The program provides ongoing orientation and transition programming for new students. The objective is to provide educational and social opportunities for students to understand community standards/expectations and to make connections to EIU, providing them with a solid foundation.

Prowl begins the Friday prior to the first class day and will continue for the first six weeks of the fall semester. Events fall into five categories: Civics & Citizenship, Academics, Personal Wellness, EIU Traditions & Culture(s), and Social Connections. These categories will be represented in programming prior to the first day of class, providing a thematic foundation for the weeks to come. 

Emerging Leaders

The Emerging Leaders Program is designed to guide and support students during their first year at EIU. Emerging Leaders will explore various leadership topics, learn about themselves and develop their own leadership style. Emerging Leaders connects students to campus by encouraging involvement in campus activities, dedication to academic excellence, providing support and guidance during the first year of college, and linking students to campus and community leaders.

Transfer Leadership Institute

TLI is a four week program designed to help transfer students grow, both personally and professionally, through several activities and discussions. During weekly meetings New Student & Family Programs will help transfer students to cultivate new leadership skills while continuing to expand upon those you already possess as a transfer student. The program will also discuss individual and group development as well as creating your own leadership style.