Transition and Academic Skills Center

Leatherneck Launch (New Student Orientation) 

Leatherneck Launch, our new student orientation program, will launch you into your WIU experience.  Western Illinois provides a variety of opportunities for our new students to not only learn about various campus resources, but you'll also engage with other incoming students as you begin your Leatherneck Journey!

Missed one of the recent Leatherneck Launch (New Student Orientation) Programs?
Click here to view a Zoom recording!

Spring Leatherneck Launch  

For the Spring 2022 semester, Launch program will be hosted virtually (via Zoom) on November 13 and January 7. To participate, go to STARS to sign up/register.  

Quad Cities students can learn more about Quad Cities New Student Orientation here.

Summer Leatherneck Launch

One-day, on-campus Leatherneck Launch programs will be held on June 4, June 7, June 9, June 11, June 15, and June 17, 2022.  More details and how to register will be posted at a later date.

Fall Leatherneck Launch

Get ready to launch into an amazing year as a Leatherneck! Rocky's First Four is part of your Leatherneck Launch experience.  Rocky's First Four will take place Thursday-Sunday before classes begin on Monday, August 22, 2022.  A complete schedule of events and programs will be posted on this page at a later date.    



Click on the tabs below to learn more about Leatherneck Launch.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I register for a Leatherneck Launch program?

After you have been admitted, log onto your STARS account and click on "Leatherneck Launch (Orientation). You will be taken to a form to sign up for your Launch date.

What if I reserved a date but want to change it?

Simply return to STARS and select a new program date. You may also contact us at When you are blocked from registering for some dates, these sessions are closed and no longer available for reservation. Please note that if you change program dates, you may receive another Date Confirmation Mailer via e-mail.

Why is Leatherneck Launch so important?

Participating in Leatherneck Launch is one of the first steps students take in their transition to the University. During your orientation experience, you will meet other incoming students, learn about resources, and discover ways to be successful here at Western Illinois University.  

Do I have to attend?

All incoming students must attend and participate in the orientation experience.

How will I know that I am able to attend the program date I reserved?

After you reserve your date online, you will get additional instructions via email one business day after registering.

When do I sign up for classes and get my schedule?

If you are a new freshmen enrolling at WIU, begin the registration process  here.  
  1. Please make sure to complete the 4 steps in the first purple box. 
  2. The forms submitted are necessary before you schedule an appointment with our First Year Advisor team. 
  3. Continue through each box to find the advisor's name and Calendly link. 
  4. Go to the Calendly link and schedule an hour long registration appointment. 
  5. Please make sure to have a laptop, computer, or tablet available for the registration appointment so advisors can teach and assist with the course registration process. 

Do I need to register for fall Leatherneck Launch events? 

There is no need to register for fall Leatherneck Launch events at this time! You will get information about many upcoming events when you start on-campus this fall. 

Terms to Know

Leatherneck Success Leader

A Leatherneck Success Leader is an upper division student dedicated to your success. Leatherneck Success Leaders assist incoming students throughout their orientation experience and into their first year while taking their FYE courses, attending events, and more

Academic Advisor

Your first year (FY) advisor will use a developmental approach to help you build a successful foundation consistent with your aspirations, abilities, and values. They will help you navigate all aspects of college life through multiple meetings, workshops, and referrals. A personalized support network will be established through collaboration with all academic colleges, departments, and offices across campus. You can learn more by visiting the First Year Advising Center 

Rocky’s Online Orientation

Rocky’s Online Orientation is comprised on many resources from faculty and staff around WIU to assist with your transition to campus. Rocky’s Online Orientation is housed in WesternOnline, which will be used for your classes when you begin the semester. Being active with Rocky’s Online Orientation will teach you a ton about campus as well as how to be successful navigating your coursework.

Registration 101

Registration 101 is the first step to registering for your classes. You will gain access to Registration 101 two business days after registering for your Leatherneck Launch day. You must sign up for Leatherneck Launch in order to gain access to Registration 101. Registration 101 will guide you through the first steps of registration, where you will learn more about course offerings and other academic opportunities. After completion, you can meet with your academic advisor and have your class schedule set! If you have any questions, please email

Leatherneck Launch

Leatherneck Launch is your orientation and welcome experience. We are launching you into your time as a Leatherneck through education, events, connections, and more.