Beyond orientation

This year, VCU will welcome approximately 4,600 new first-year students. Join us this fall for an academic experience for VCU’s first-year parents: a course designed just for you!

“Beyond Orientation: Partnering for Success in Today’s University” is an online course that provides a network for parents, family members and VCU faculty and administrators. The program takes you beyond what you learn at orientation to give you a closer look at the first-year experience and what it means to be a student at today’s university.

You’ll hear from university leaders, who will discuss some of the key topics and issues in education today. In turn, your experience in the virtual classroom will help you relate to your student and their experiences.

For questions about the program, call (804) 827-8204 or email

Fall 2018 Registration forms will be available during New Student Orientation.

Course details

The Beyond Orientation course takes place throughout the fall semester and is completely online. Family members who register will receive information prior to the start of the semester with more information about how to log in and use the Blackboard system.

  • The course meets online on Thursdays from 7-8 p.m.Recordings of each course are available after class each week if you are unable to attend the live course.
  • The course fee is $25* (*fee is subject to change from year-to-year)
  • You will become a registered nondegree-seeking student and will receive a grade for the course. You will be assigned a VCU student ID number (your V-number) and a VCU email account, which will give you access to all course materials.
  • The course assignments are minimal and include weekly discussion posts (not graded), and one final two-page reflection on the course (graded).
  • Course participants do not use video or voice, but can participate through the online chat function in Blackboard to ask questions and interact with other family members. You will be able to see the instructors, but they can't see you.

Accessing the Beyond Orientation course

In order to log into the Beyond Orientation course, you will need to install Zoom, our videoconferencing and screen sharing platform. You also will need to access Blackboard, the web portal where you will find your course syllabus and class assignments.

You may download the Zoom app for iOS through the Apple App store, or for Android from the Google Play store. You also may use Zoom on on your Mac or PC.

Below are links to the online instructions for how to download and install Zoom and how to access Blackboard.

PC Zoom Instructions: MacOS and Windows

Mobile Zoom Instructions: iOS and Android

Beyond Orientation Blackboard Guide: How to log into Blackboard