GGC's orientation is called Bear Essentials.

Bear Essentials is a mandatory, one-day session for all new students where you will be introduced to the GGC community and register for classes.

Bear Essentials helps you with:

  • Your transition into GGC
  • Preparing for both GGC’s educational opportunities and student responsibilities
  • Introducing you to the intellectual, cultural and social aspects of GGC
  • Supporting your family

After you're admitted, you will receive an invitation in your email from the Office of Admissions to attend orientation. The email is sent to the email address you list on your application. Within this email there will be a link that you click on in order to sign up for a Bear Essentials session. GGC does not publish the dates of orientation on the website.

Bear Essentials

Freshmen at Grizzly DaysBear Essentials is an important component to being a successful student at GGC. Orientation is much more than being advised or registering for classes. There is information that you need to know about how and when to do certain things – such as how to pay your tuition online, or what GGC’s mentoring model is and what your role is – so that you will be a successful college student. College is not like high school, and GGC is not identical to other colleges that you may have attended.

At Bear Essentials, you will be assigned to a small group made up of other students similar to you. If you are a first time college student or are transferring in fewer than 30 credit hours, you will be with other freshmen. If you are a transfer student with more than 30 credit hours, you will be with other transfer students. And if you are a nontraditional aged student, in either a freshman or transfer group, you will be with other nontraditional aged students.

Bear Essentials is a day-long session, packed with information, getting to know other people, being advised on which classes to take, registering for classes, and just plain fun.


If you are a first year student, you will encounter many changes in your life when you come to college. It isn’t high school any longer! New student orientation is a process that you may not yet realize you need. Learning HOW to be a SUCCESSFUL college student is critical!


If you are considered a transfer student (transferring in 30+ credit hours), it is thought that you already have "college knowledge" and know how to be a successful college student; however, every college differs in how they do certain things. Your Bear Essentials group will focus more on the needs and questions you may have. You will learn about the “GGC way” so as to lessen your stumbling blocks once the semester begins.


If you have been out of high school five or more years before entering GGC, or if you are 25+ years old, then you are considered a nontraditional student, or a re-entry student. Nontraditional students typically face a different set of circumstances than traditional-aged students. For example, your fears of being successful in school might be greater. Another example is that you may work full-time and have a family, meaning that you are juggling multiple priorities – including college!

Other Resources

For more information about GGC and tips on helping your student prepare for college, visit the Parents section of the website.

Parent and Family Orientation

As a new student, when you come to college, the experience not only affects you, it affects your entire family. Parents, spouses, brothers, sister, grandparents all need “college knowledge” as well. GGC offers Parent and Family Orientation for the very purpose of providing information about GGC, what to expect from your experience at GGC, and what’s available for your family members as well. We want your families to be well informed. We want to work with the families so that they will support you so that you can have an enriching and successful experience at GGC.

Parent and Family Orientation is held during Bear Essentials for students. There are two sessions, of which parents or other family members can choose one. Space is limited, so an RSVP is necessary. When a student receives the email invitation to Bear Essentials, there is a place on the form to indicate his or her parent, spouse or family member is coming to a Parent and Family Orientation. It also asks for his or her email address, so that specific information about the session can be sent directly to the parents, spouse or other family member.

Parent and student at orientation with General the GrizzlyWhen you sign up for the first part of orientation, the Registration session, there is a place on the form to sign up a family member as well.

For more information on what is available for parents and family members, please visit our Parents section.

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