Orientation Update - June 30, 2020


As the month of June draws to a close, I’m writing to provide an update on the Cooper Union Orientation 2020 planning. The whole campus is coming together to provide you with a great orientation experience that brings you into our community and equips you with the information and tools you’ll need to thrive as a Cooper Union student. Everyone at Cooper is excited to start engaging with you in advance of the formal start of our school year.

We are currently working to pair each new undergraduate student (including transfer students) with a returning upper-class student to serve as a peer mentor. Thank you to those of you that completed the pairing request form. For those of you have not, and wish to, you can still complete the form here. New students will receive the contact information for their peer mentor the week of July 27th to allow you to communicate over the month of August and throughout your first year. You’ll be given your peer mentor’s contact information, but they’ll reach out to you directly to help break the ice and start your dialogue.

As I noted in my previous message, we will be communicating with you throughout the summer to start preparing you for your studies at Cooper Union and for the new experiences and relationships you’ll be building.

We’ll begin with some materials for you to review and think through and then as we enter August, we’ll begin providing more in-depth information about your new student experience. All of this is designed to help provide you with the tools, resources, skills, and connections that you’ll need when you officially join our community in late August. 

Here is an initial schedule of the topics and themes we’ll be covering with you during the Orientation period before classes begin:

Week of July 13 -        Transitioning from High School to College 
Week of July 20 -        Cooper Union Educational Systems and Technology 
Week of July 27 -        Student Life – Clubs, Organizations, and Student Government
                                       Meet your Peer Mentor
Week of August 3 -     Welcome to your Academic Program 
                                       Career Development and the World of Work 
Week of August 10 -   Student Wellbeing, Health, and Healthy Relationships 
Week of August 17 -   Community Standards and Expectations 
Week of August 24 -   Critical Thought and Difficult Dialogues – Focus on Intersectional Justice 
                                       Academic Support Resources
Week of August 31 -    Classes Begin!

Orientation programs and updates will continue throughout the fall 2020 semester as you begin your studies with us.

Beginning July 13, 2020, you’ll be provided with a weekly Orientation Bulletin that outlines the topics of that week and provides you with the key resources you’ll need as you continue your journey with us. Resources will be a combination of videos, virtual meetings, online courses, and materials to read and review. All these materials will also be housed in one central location for you to access throughout your first year and beyond. More information about how and when to begin accessing this central location will be sent in a later Orientation Bulletin and will be our focus the week of July 20.

In addition to the topics and themes noted above, we’ll also be offering regular virtual social activities for you to engage in where you can get to know your fellow new students as well as begin to get to know our current student body. We’ll provide regular updates to you these opportunities to engage and we’ll also include them in the weekly Orientation Bulletins.

Earlier this week, I sent a student life update to our returning students. That update can be found here. Please review that communication for some important information about student life in the fall.

I want to provide a few important reminders as well.

New Student Health Forms and Immunizations

The deadline for submitting student health forms was extended to July 31, 2020. Since all staff are currently working remotely, the most efficient way to submit your forms is by emailing them to Eric Conley, Administrative Manager for Student Affairs, at eric.conley@cooper.edu. Forms may also be mailed to our office or faxed, but they will not be reviewed until we are able to physically return to our offices. If possible, we strongly encourage you to email your forms to Eric. While the deadline has been extended, we do encourage you to submit your forms as soon as possible.  All students are required to complete the health and immunization forms even though all fall 2020 instruction will be completed online. Any questions about the health forms can also be directed to Eric.  

Student Health Insurance

Later this summer all students will receive information about our student health insurance plan. All students who are residing in the United States are required to have health insurance in order to study at Cooper Union. This includes online courses. Students residing in the United States will automatically be enrolled in our student health insurance plan but can waive coverage if they provide proof of comparable coverage. All these details, including how to waive our student health insurance plan, will be coming in August.

Students who are studying at Cooper Union from outside of the United States are not eligible for our student health insurance plan. These students will not be enrolled in our plan and will not need to waive coverage. If you relocate to the United States, you will be automatically enrolled in our student health insurance plan unless you provide proof of comparable coverage that is valid in the United States.

Student Housing

A communication was recently sent about our current plans for the 2020-2021 housing program. You can review that message here. Student who applied for housing need to complete this brief form to indicate their current interest in housing based on the announcement that all fall 2020 semester courses will be conducted online. This form needs to be completed by 5pm on Wednesday, July 1, 2020. If you have already filled out the form and your decision has changed or if you have specific housing-related questions, please email reslife@cooper.edu.

I am truly excited to get to know all of you and work with you as you continue to join this amazing community.

Thinking of you all!

Be well.


  • Founded by inventor, industrialist and philanthropist Peter Cooper in 1859, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art offers education in art, architecture and engineering, as well as courses in the humanities and social sciences.

  • “My feelings, my desires, my hopes, embrace humanity throughout the world,” Peter Cooper proclaimed in a speech in 1853. He looked forward to a time when, “knowledge shall cover the earth as waters cover the great deep.”

  • From its beginnings, Cooper Union was a unique institution, dedicated to founder Peter Cooper's proposition that education is the key not only to personal prosperity but to civic virtue and harmony.

  • Peter Cooper wanted his graduates to acquire the technical mastery and entrepreneurial skills, enrich their intellects and spark their creativity, and develop a sense of social justice that would translate into action.