Cougar Orientation and Leadership Experience
Hello Class of 2018,
Congratulations, and welcome to the family!
Your COLE mentors are excited to start the year off and welcome you to the
Washington Idaho Montana Utah Regional Program in Veterinary Medicine on the
WSU, USU, and MSU campuses! We hope that you are all having a wonderful summer
and are excited for the official start of your veterinary career.
The off-campus Cougar Orientation and Leadership Experience (COLE) is an
important part of your orientation week and is intended to be a low-stress,
activity filled, and fun start to your time as a Veterinary student. In this
letter you will find information about what you can expect during COLE. COLE
will be the perfect time to mingle and get to know your new classmates, as such,
it is important to understand that school starts during COLE week. We want you to
come well rested and energized to enjoy every second of it!
COLE is an opportunity unique to our school, and we are very proud of the positive
impact it has had on student culture. It is the first step you will take in your
veterinary medical education and the beginning of your professional training in
leadership, communication, and collaborative learning. These professional skills
will be integrated into other classes through all four years of the curriculum
and will help you succeed and grow throughout veterinary school. It also provides
an opportunity prior to the start of classes and labs to meet your classmates,
upperclassmen, and faculty members from all three campuses. Use this opportunity
to establish the type of person you want to be during the next four quick years
and beyond into your career.
The COLE off-campus program will take place at Ross Point Camp and Conference
Center in Post Falls, Idaho from August 18 - 20. WSU students will arrive by bus
after the brief on-campus activities in Pullman. The USU and MSU students will
arrive at camp by bus from the Spokane airport. The mentoring team consists of
student and faculty volunteers who were carefully selected and thoroughly trained
to provide a safe and optimal learning environment for incoming students as well
as each other.
Ross Point is a camp. You should expect simple cabin living with bunk beds
and a shared bathroom and shower. This is not, however, the summer camp of your
childhood. The kitchen staff provides amazing food at meals, the beautiful
Northern Idaho woods are your backyard, the Spokane River outside your window
is your playground, and there is wireless internet. Refer to the packing list
already provided, and dont forget to bring your bathing suits.
At camp you will join a group of 10 classmates, 2 mentors (2nd and 3rd year students),
and 1 or 2 faculty members to engage you in activities designed to challenge
your thinking, promote group learning, and have some fun with your new colleagues!
Your days will be busy with these small group activities in addition to insightful
conversations about what to expect on your journey. There will be free time to relax,
play, and take in the beautiful scenery with your peers or, if you choose, some
time to sit quietly with a book by the river.
This is also the best time to get to know your classmates, future colleagues,
and faculty members. Take full advantage of the student-mentors and ask us questions
about life in school, what to expect in your years here, and how to succeed in classes.
On the evening of August 20th we will leave Ross Point and head back to Pullman
for the completion of COLE/Orientation Week, which culminates in the White Coat Ceremony.
Look for additional information in a separate mailing to be sent by the Student Services team.
By now you have received a welcome packet from WSU with information about COLE,
classes, and paperwork that needs to be filled out. You will also soon receive
instructions on how to complete your MBTI (Myers-Briggs) personality assessment.
This information is used by our faculty to create COLE groups and forms part of
the foundation of your training. Turning the paperwork in late hinders the process,
so please send them in as soon as possible so that we can better serve you.
First and foremost, if you are moving to Pullman, Bozeman, or Logan we urge you to
plan on moving to town with enough time to get your living situations figured out. This
would include: giving yourself time to unpack, get your internet and cable figured out,
and even getting a grasp of where things are on campus. If you have pets you should find
a pet sitter for these three days. Luckily you are starting veterinary school, so if you
need help finding a pet sitter please feel free to email us and we can connect you with
We want to make your transition to the Regional Program in Veterinary Medicine smooth
and enjoyable. If there are any questions, concerns, or thoughts you would like to discuss
with us about school, COLE, life in Pullman, Bozeman, Logan, or anything whatsoever,
do not hesitate to contact the COLE team or your Big Sibs.
You have all worked so hard and accomplished so much to get where you are today. Again,
congratulations on your achievements so far, we are excited to meet all of you and welcome
you to the WSU family!
All the Best,
Matt Sammons, SCAVMA President
Member of the 2014 COLE Mentor Team