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Wheaton Passage Orientation FAQs

What is Wheaton Passage?

Passage is the ultimate orientation experience for all new Wheaton College students that will help you transition into college by providing opportunities to build community, connect with professors, and welcome you to your new Wheaton home! Students choose based on interest from various site options where you will meet with your small group and engage in learning activities about our Christ-centered liberal arts mission.

Who participates in Wheaton Passage?

All new students should plan to participate in Wheaton Passage. Wheaton Passage is a transition program for launching the Wheaton experience well, and we expect all first-year students* to participate.

*We strongly encourage transfer students to participate, as we have planned a Passage site and an abbreviated program specifically with transfer students in mind.  

How will Wheaton Passage prepare me for collegiate-level academics?

Wheaton Passage began in 1969 and is designed to bring together community formation and academic preparation for life at Wheaton College. Wheaton Passage includes participation in a pass/fail course that focuses on identity formation, your walk with God, life in community, and crafting a vision for your time in college. This will be the first Wheaton course recorded on your transcript! All students are required to purchase the workbook and complete assignments. You will receive more information on the course after you pick your track.

When can I expect to be able to sign up and choose my track?

Site sign-ups will begin Tuesday, February 15, 2022. You will be able to log in to the Portal to request your track at that time.  

What is the fee for Passage? 

The full length program cost of $895 for first year students and the abbreviated program fee of $495 for Transfer students is itemized as part of your fall bill.

The fee is all-inclusive with the exception of meals when traveling between sites, and spending money during the program. It will include your housing, experiences during Passage, transportation, and essential outdoor equipment where needed. A student may want to bring discretionary money for use at some Passage site options. Financial Aid for Wheaton Passage will be determined by Wheaton’s Office of Student Financial Services with the information provided on a student's FAFSA and aid eligibility. No further application is required.

What Passage Site Locations can I request? 

Wilderness Passage

Your wilderness trip will take you on one of these four amazing excursions to enjoy God’s creation: 

  • Sea kayaking on Lake Superior
  • Canoeing in the Boundary Waters of Minnesota 
  • Backpacking in the Sawtooth Mountains of Minnesota
  • Rock climbing on the North Shore of Minnesota 

Your trip will provide close community, facilitate personal growth, and prepare you for the transition into college. Previous wilderness and camping experience are not necessary.   

Northwoods Passage

Northwoods Passage takes place at the HoneyRock Center for Leadership Development, a campus of Wheaton College. After settling into your cabin, you’ll quickly take in all the Northwoods of Wisconsin has to offer: hiking, canoeing, star-gazing, campfires, and more! The residential experience provides a great opportunity to begin building friendships as you share life through activities, meals, and small group discussions. 

  • Northwoods Passage - Equestrian Track

The Equestrian track of Northwoods Passage takes place at the HoneyRock Center for Leadership Development, a campus of Wheaton College. In the Equestrian track, you will become immersed in the world of horses and equestrian training. With the beauty of the Northwoods surrounding you, you will participate in a variety of horsemanship activities such as arena classes, trail rides, and ground-training skills. While involved in these experiences, you will form close friendships with your peers and leaders. 

  • Northwoods Passage - HoneyRock Track

After settling into your cabin at HoneyRock, you’ll quickly take in all the Northwoods of Wisconsin has to offer: hiking, canoeing, star-gazing, campfires, and more! The residential experience provides a great opportunity to begin building friendships as you share life through activities, meals, and small group discussions.

Urban Passage

  • Urban Passage - Woodlawn Track

Urban Passage Woodlawn track will take you right into Chicago, where you will reside at Wheaton College’s Urban Studies facility located in Southside Chicago’s Woodlawn community, historic home of Emmett Till, Lorraine Hansberry, and Jesse Owens. Dedicated to community partnership, this track will connect you to organizations that minister in the Woodlawn neighborhood. With small groups of peers, you will engage with topics of race, justice and urban spaces through the lens of Christian faith. You will enjoy proximity to the University of Chicago, the future Obama Center and Library, and delicious food from all over the world, as you form close friendships to start your Wheaton College experience.  

  • Urban Passage - Downtown Track 

Urban Passage downtown track will take you right into the heart of the global city of Chicago. Students can participate in a range of urban experiences from kayaking to exploring public art and architecture and visiting neighborhoods representative of the richness of Chicago's ethnic diversity. With small groups of peers, you will engage multiple facets of the city, from the skyscraper-stacked lakefront to historic neighborhoods with multigenerational businesses, restaurants and communities, and a little bit of everything in between. Through the lens of Christian faith, you will engage topics like immigrant and refugee experiences, wealth and inequality, and flourishing in urban places as you form close friendships to start your Wheaton College experience. 

Transfer Passage

The location of the transfer site is yet to be determined. Transfer Passage offers a custom experience for transfer students who want to get to know others who are transferring their enrollment to Wheaton College. 

Other questions?

If you have questions not addressed here, please send them to passage@wheaton.edu.