Launch into Loras

Transitioning from high school to college

Aug 17-20, 2023

Choosing a college is hard, but leaving everything you’re familiar with when you come to school is an even bigger step. Launch into Loras is an opportunity to experience a smoother, more successful transition from high school to college.


Launch into Loras is an intensive orientation program addressed to help smooth out the transition from high school to college. You’ll begin your First-Year Experience by moving in three days earlier than other students. From the minute your last box is unloaded, your time will be filled with activities to help orient you to campus, build relationships and have fun!

Through small and large group activities, you’ll build lasting relationships with other students, faculty, and staff. And you’ll better understand the opportunities Loras College will bring you. Activities include:

  • large and small group discussions
  • community service opportunities
  • nightly social activities

Launch into Loras participants say:

Getting to know other students in a smaller setting made it easier to meet people and make friends. I enjoyed meeting everyone and making new friends. We’re going to be together for the next four years and it’s a great advantage to get this head start.”

Orientation Program Objectives



The Launch into Loras program seeks to make critical thinking values the unifying theme of the students’ experience, in and out of the classroom, thereby bringing greater coherence to undergraduate education and preparing students who have the skills and dispositions necessary to become principled citizens. The Launch into Loras program seeks to build more meaningful relationships between students and faculty; integrate students’ curricular and co-curricular experience; prepare students to recognize and think critically about values that underlie important social, political, scientific, and professional issues; encourage students to act on their values; and ultimately graduate individuals who are ethically aware, principled citizens.

The Launch into Loras program provides a common curriculum for all participants. Created to support the goals of the summer orientation program, all the sessions offer hands-on experiential learning activities and more abstract discussion time. Small group meetings held throughout the experience complement the large group experiences and sessions. These meetings are designed to assist participants in exploring ideas and issues more fully, as well as ensure a safe place for personal reflection and exploration. Reflection time has been built into the schedule to allow each participant to reflect on their own values and experiences.  Faculty, staff and student group facilitators participate fully in the Launch into Loras program and actively engage themselves in all sessions and group activities scheduled during the program.

Launch into Loras Objectives

  1. Create a sense of community among students in the Engaging Differences class and provide a smooth transition to the course.
  2. Convey rights and responsibilities of being a student member of the Loras community.
Service Project Information


Service Learning refers to service activities which are part of a credit, certification, and in certain circumstances, part of non-credit learning programs. Service-learning involves participating in an instructional method through which citizenship, academic subjects, skills, and values are taught through research, the performance of service, and critical analysis and reflection on that service experience.

In previous years, Launch participants volunteered their services to Dubuque organizations such as:

  • City of Dubuque Leisure Services which maintains and manages city parks and recreation areas
  • Dubuque Arboretum & Botanical Gardens at Marshall Park, the only arboretum and botanical garden in the USA staffed entirely by volunteers
  • Hillcrest Family Services Clinic
  • Hope House, a transitional shelter for homeless women and children
  • Mines of Spain, a nature preserve and interpretive area
  • Dubuque Community Schools
  • Dubuque Humane Society
  • Four Mounds, a model of volunteerism and community partnering at its best, Four Mounds is a non-profit organization with a mission to preserve and educate

Service learning is connected with the fourth Loras College disposition: Responsible contributing.

Launch into Loras Tentative Schedule

The Launch into Loras schedule includes events and class times for Thursday-Sunday, August 17-20, 2023 [schedule TBD].

Thursday, August 17:

8:00 am – 12:30 pm: Move-In (Residential students only)
7:30 am – 4:30 pm Technology Help Desk Open
8:30 am – 5:00 pm: Bookstore Open
3:00 pm Welcome Mass
4:00 pm Families Say Goodbye
4:15 pm Engaging Communities Class Introduction
5:00 pm: Welcome Ceremony with All Engaging Communities Classes
5:45 pm: Welcome Cookout for New Students
View Full Launch Schedule


Questions? Let’s get in touch.

If you have a question, then we have an answer. Please reach out to the phone number below so our amazing staff may assist you.

Assistant Director of Student Life