Academic Advising

New Student Orientation

SOWELA's New Student Orientation will help incoming students feel connected to SOWELA, faculty, staff, and other students while creating a welcoming atmosphere that builds a sense of community among the incoming class. Orientation will provide new students with academic program expectations. New students will be made aware of the resources and services available to assist with their academic, personal, and professional growth.

All new to SOWELA students are expected to attend one of the orientation sessions. Students are welcome to attend any of the on-site new student orientations in Lake Charles, Morgan Smith (Jennings), Oakdale, or Lamar Salter (Leesville).

A Virtual New Student Orientation for students that are in a completely online program or are taking 100% of their courses online will be available closer to the beginning of August 2024. Please email fastadvising@sowela.edu requesting more information about this beginning 08/01/2024.

Many of the topics discussed and the how to guides presented apply to students that are already registered for classes.

  • In the event you have not been advised for summer and/or fall 2024, we advise that you reach out to your advisor prior to your orientation session to schedule an appointment.
    • Advising for summer and fall 2024 begins on 03/25/2024.
  • In the event you have been advised but haven't registered for summer and/or fall 2024 courses, we recommend scheduling your courses prior to attending orientation.
    • Registration for summer and fall 2024 opens on 04/08/2024.

If you need special accommodations at orientation such as special seating, please reach out to ods@sowela.edu prior to your orientation session.

If you are attending orientation at the Lake Charles campus, please report to the Sycamore Student Center to check-in (building #7 on the Campus Map). Students may park in the parking lot directly in front of the building.

If you are attending orientation at the Morgan Smith (Jennings) campus, at the Oakdale site, or at the Lamar Salter (Leesville) site, please park in the parking lot and check-in at the front of the building. Visit our Campus Map page for more information.

Orientation Schedule

Location Session Number Day of Week Date Time
Lake Charles 1 Thursday 05/23/2024 2:00 PM
Lake Charles 2 Thursday 05/30/2024 10:00 AM
Lake Charles 3 Tuesday 06/25/2024 10:00 AM
Lake Charles 4 Thursday 07/11/2024 2:00 PM
Lake Charles 5 Tuesday 07/23/2024 10:00 AM
Lake Charles 6 Thursday 08/01/2024 2:00 PM
Lake Charles 7 Thursday 08/08/2024 4:00 PM
Oakdale NA Wednesday 07/31/2024 10:00 AM
Leesville NA Wednesday 07/31/2024 2:00 PM
Jennings NA Thursday 08/01/2024 10:00 AM

Additional Details

Check-in for orientation will begin approximately thirty minutes before the scheduled orientation.

Should you have any questions regarding orientation, please email fastadvising@sowela.edu for assistance.

Summer 2024 classes begin Tuesday 05/28/2024.

Fall 2024 classes begin Monday 08/12/2024.

Event Registration

Visit the event registration (opens new window) page to register for an orientation session. Be sure to select the correct location and date for the orientation session you want to attend.

3820 Senator J. Bennett Johnston Avenue
Lake Charles, Louisiana 70615
(337) 421-6565
(800) 256-0483

Mon-Thu: 7:45 AM to 4:15 PM
Friday: 7:45 AM to 12:00 PM
(337) 421-6550

SOWELA Technical Community College does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, gender, disability, or age in its programs and activities. The following person(s) have been designated to handle inquiries regarding non-discrimination policies:

Title IX Officer

Candy Parker


(337) 421-6510 or (800) 256-0483

3820 Sen. J. Bennett Johnston Ave. Lake Charles, LA 70615

ADA Officer

Maegan Lewis


(337) 421-6952 or (800) 256-0483

3850 Sen. J. Bennett Johnston Ave. Lake Charles, LA 70615

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