Orientation

Welcome to new student orientation at SFSC!

“Quick Start” Orientation is part of SFSC’s Guide to Personal Success (GPS), a collegewide quality initiative designed to help you make a successful transition to the college experience at SFSC.

GPS Quick Start Orientation consists of four informational “waypoints” (reference points) to help you navigate your first year at SFSC. These waypoints are presented in online and on-campus components. You must complete all four waypoints before you may register for classes.

The first step is to submit your SFSC application and pay your application fee. Once your application has been processed (2-5 business days) you will receive an email from SFSC that provides your login credentials (user name and password) to the college’s student portal called Panther Central, along with information for accessing the first part of GPS orientation- Waypoint 1. (This notice will be sent to the personal email address you used when you created your self-service account to apply to the College for admission.) Please log into Panther Central and complete Waypoint 1 as soon as possible after receiving your notice. The instruction document explains how to access the link for Waypoint 1, which is on the student home page in Panther Central.

If you experience challenges logging into your Panther Central portal please call the SFSC Welcome Center (Student Services) at 863-784-7405 for assistance.

Waypoint 1: Online

Waypoint 1 is an overview of SFSC programs and policies. It includes information about the college admission process, financial aid options, and college services.  Waypoint 1 is mandatory for all new students (both dual enrollment/HCI and college level), students returning to SFSC after an absence of more than 1 year who last completed orientation prior to May of 2018, transfer students and transient students.  It is fully online in video format.  Make sure you finish and submit the survey you are directed to at the end of Waypoint 1 to receive credit.  Allow approximately 30 minutes to finish Waypoint 1, which can be completed from a desktop computer, laptop computer, tablet or cell phone with internet access.

If you experience difficulty completing Waypoint 1, please call the GPS Specialist (Career Center) at 863-784-7412 or email sfsccareercenter@southflorida.edu. The Center is at the Highlands Campus, Building B, Room 111. 

Waypoints 2-4: On Campus

Two to three days after you complete Waypoint 1, you will receive an email invitation to complete the second part of “Quick Start” Orientation: GPS Waypoints 2-4. (This notice will be sent to the personal email address you used when you created your self-service account to apply to the College for admission.)

Waypoints 2 -4 are interactive experiences that you complete on-campus. Waypoints 2-4 provide hands-on computer training to use Panther Central (the student records portal) and Brightspace D2L (the College’s learning management system), and includes presentations about program services and other information new students need to know. 

Waypoints 2-4 are mandatory for all new students (both dual enrollment/HCI and college level), students who are returning to SFSC after an absence of more than 1 year who last completed orientation prior to May 2018, and transfer students. Both degree-seeking and certificate program students complete Waypoints 2-4.

College students select a date for their on-campus orientation and register using the same self-service account where they applied for admission to the College.

Dual enrollment/HCI students must call the GPS Specialist at 863-784-7412 for assistance in selecting a date and registering for on-campus orientation.

Basic Law Enforcement Academy and Corrections Academy students do not need to preregister for orientation. (Your orientation will be provided during one of your regular class days on campus early in your program. Your program director will inform you of that date and time.)

You may choose an on-campus orientation date that accommodates your schedule. Orientation sessions are available at all SFSC campuses during daytime and evening hours. Please review the current schedule of upcoming orientations:

GPS Quick Start Orientation Schedule (PDF)

An online orientation option is available only to students with extraordinary or special circumstances that limit their ability to attend on-campus Waypoint 2-4 orientation and to distance learning students who live outside SFSC’s service district. Students who believe that they qualify for an exception should contact the GPS Coordinator (Career Center) at 863-784-7442 or email SFSCcareercenter@southflorida.edu.

IMPORTANT NOTE: You must complete all parts of orientation before you may register for courses.

If you have questions about Waypoints 2-4 or have difficulty registering for a session, please call the GPS Specialist (Career Center) at 863-784-7412 or email SFSCcareercenter@southflorida.edu. The Center is at the Highlands Campus, Building B, Room 111.

Program-Specific Orientations

In addition to GPS Quick Start, certain programs have additional specialized orientation programs. Some examples are Public Safety Academy (Basic Law Enforcement, Corrections), EMT-Paramedic, Firefighter, and SFSC’s bachelor’s degree programs (business, nursing, elementary education). If you are entering one of these programs, discuss your additional orientation requirements with your program director.