Smart Start 2024

The Catholic University of America's Smart Start program is a pre-orientation program hosted by DSS for incoming students with a documented disability or condition. The purpose of the program is to prepare students and their families for the transition to university life by introducing various academic, social, and other campus resources and personnel.

The goals of the Smart Start program are:

  • To help students new to Catholic U. prepare for their college experience through targeted programming offered by DSS;
  • To assist on-campus, residential students by providing additional time to physically movie-in to their residence hall room;
  • To introduce DSS staff to our newly registered students and their family members while attending informative sessions on the services and programs offered by DSS;
  • To review and understand how the most common academic accommodations are managed in practice and learn how to access various services provided by DSS to our registered students with accommodations;
  • To begin the development of self-advocacy and a sense of community with other DSS registered students.


DSS will offer Smart Start as both an in-person and as a virtual program, over two half-days of programming: the afternoon of Tuesday, August 20, 2024 and the morning of Wednesday, August 21, 2024. If living on campus, students will be able to move into their residence halls early on Monday, August 19, 2024. There is no cost to attend or participate. However, students are strongly encouraged to complete the Participation Form for the Smart Start Program by the priority deadline of Wednesday, July 24, 2024.

Smart Start 2023 Recordings and Slides

Here you can find the recordings and slides from this years Smart Start orientation program.  


Smart Start 2023 Morning Sessions

Smart Start 2023 Afternoon Sessions


Presentation Slides

Session 1 | Welcome

Session 2 | Transition to College and Personalized Success

Session 3 | What Are Your Accommodations

Session 4 | Dean of Students

Session 5 | Learning Skills Advisors

Session 6 | Testing Services

Session 7 | Assistive Technology

Session 8 | Glean Demo 

Session 9 | DSS Wrap Up

Session 10a | Counseling Center Services

Session 10b | Writing Center

Session 10c | Tutor Services and Math Center


You can access the Smart Start 2023 schedule here for a full sessions breakdown.

Updated March 2024.