Fostering Successful Transitions through Transfer Student Orientation January 27, 2010 NISTS Annual Conference Addison, Texas
Mike Knox University of Texas at Arlington firstname.lastname@example.org Shandol Hoover University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill email@example.com Katie Granholm University of Minnesota Twin Cities firstname.lastname@example.org Chelsea Ruff DePaul University email@example.com
Mission: The mission of the National Orientation Directors Association is to provide education, leadership and professional development in the fields of college student orientation, transition and retention Core Values: Community, Diversity, Integrity, Learning, Scholarship, Service.
What we know about Transfers Numbers are Growing • Almost 60% of students who graduating from 4-yr institutions began at a different institution • Almost 1/3 of college students have transferred at least once Graduation Rates Compared to Native Students • Transfers are less likely to graduate in 4 years • Transfers are just as likely to complete a degree program There is much Diversity within Transfer Population • Types of transfer experience (traditional, lateral, reverse, swirling) • Number of earned credits, educational aspirations, length of time between educational experiences • Age, outside commitments (work, family), first-generation status, ethnic diversity Sources: Jacobs, B. (2008, January) Transfer Orientation. Session presented at Annual National Orientation Directors Association Conference, Boston, MA. National Center for Education Statistics (2007). The condition of education. Washington, DC: Bureau of Postsecondary Education.
Who is your transfer population? Before you make decisions about the size, nature and offerings of your program, you need to know the following: • How many transfer students make up your student body? • What are your top feeder schools? • What majors are attracting your transfer students? • How academically prepared are your transfer students? • What experiences are your transfer students having once they arrive on your campus?
Purpose of Orientation Provide students with attitudes, knowledge, skills and opportunities that will assist them in making a smooth transition to university or college community thereby allowing them to become engaged and productive university community members.
Effective Transfer Orientation Programs • Are based upon institution-specific transfer population needs • Support institutional mission • Extend across entire campus community • Celebrate prior transfer student experiences and address current and future concerns • Assist students through academic and social transitions • Facilitate connections with current campus community members • Address concerns of parents/families • Are consistently assessed for effectiveness
Orientation Program Considerations: • When should you offer your program? • During school/work day? • Evening or weekend? • How long should your program be? • How long will your students commit? • What do you need to accomplish? • Should your program be mandatory? • If you make your program mandatory, you should be prepared to offer evidence that it will or does make a difference by building assessment into your program!
Orientation Offerings • Data tells us transfer students report difficulty with creating networks, and connecting to campus resources. • Advising and registration? • Academic expectations and rigor on your campus. • Policies specific to your campus. • Who to know on campus. • Transfer shock, and how to avoid it.
Other Considerations: • Budget • Marketing • Campus collaborations • Assessment plan
Why Online Orientation? • Increasing numbers of transfer students • Diversity of transfer student population and their experiences • Demand for increased access to our services and resources • Shrinking budgets and/or staffing • Focus on transitional experience & link to retention
Types of Online Orientation Programs 1. Pre-Orientation: provide information or action steps prior to on-campus/in-person experience 2. Replacement to on-campus experience Online Orientation programs are utilized at all types of institutions & for many different student populations
University of Minnesota Online Orientation • Students have two options for fulfilling orientation requirement: 1. Full-day on-campus orientation OR 2. Half-day on-campus orientation with advanced participation in online orientation • Average participation rate of ~ 70% • Program launched in January 2005. Proven successful though comprehensive evaluation. • Streamlined on-campus orientation schedule, while still meeting the needs of all colleges and departments
Transfer Students as Orientation Leaders • DePaul’s Transition Leader Position • Hire 15 Transition Leaders (TL) • Three-day training in June • Payment: $10/hr • Primary Responsibilities • Facilitate small group session • Present “Get Plugged In” breakout session • Serve on panel during Parent & Guest Welcome • Provide campus and neighborhood tours • Promote interaction among new students among all aspects of program
Importance of Leadership Role/Position • Form of Diversity • Share similar experiences • Students can discuss transfer shock from the student perspective • Opportunity to create a transfer community • Traditional-aged transfer student seeking leadership positions
Transfer Orientation Leader Training Topics • Transfer Shock • Transfer Student Demographics • Commuter Issues • Campus Partners/Resources • Parent/Guest Relations • Importance of Small Talk and Public Speaking • Campus Tour • Student Panel Preparation • Overview of Programs
Why Offer Parent/Family Orientation Programming? • Broad base of research suggests that appropriate parent involvement can augment student success • Parent/Family Orientation Programs Can… • Provide insight on transfer student transitions • Communicate importance of parent/family involvement • Connect parent/family members to involvement opportunities • Discuss conversation starters for engaging with students • Communicate strategies for supporting student towards success • Connect parent/family members to campus resources • Enhance parent/family affinity and connection to institution
Framing Parent/Family Orientation Programming • Consider Institution Specific Transfer Student Profile • Timing of program (evening, 1-day, 2-day, etc.) • Program components (veteran affairs, family services, etc.) • Educate the campus community on transfer student needs • Brown bag lunches, newsletters, workshop
Parent/Family Orientation Program Topics • Transitions • Social Transitions specific to transfers • Academic Transition specific to transfers • Academic Curriculum and Understanding Transfer Credits • Career Services • Campus Safety and University Policies/Procedures • Concurrent Sessions • Money Matters, Academic Resources, Health Services, Parking/Transportation, Housing (on and off-campus) • Specific topics related to your institution's population • Veteran Affairs, family services, first generation resources
Ground Orientation Programs in Assessment/ Evaluation • Develop outcome-based programs • As a result of attending transfer orientation, students will…identify campus resources; articulate university policies and procedures • Establish Timeline and Assessment Cycle • Evaluations • Focus Groups • Orientation Committees • CAS Standards • NSSE for Transfer Students • Institutional Research • Communicate results • campus community and prospective transfers
Extending Beyond Orientation Programs • Mentoring Programs (pre and post matriculation) • Intentional Welcome Week Programming • Inclusion in Convocation Ceremonies • Common Reading Program Transfer Discussion Groups • Transfer Seminars • Transfer Student Organizations/Council/Tau Sigma • Publications/Newsletters • Program Series (Transfer Tuesdays) • Living/Learning Communities • Transfer Specific Outdoor Orientation/Wilderness Opportunities
NODA Resources • Conferences • Annual NODAC for 2010 is in St. Louis, MO Nov. 6-9, 2010 • 9 Regional Conferences • Networks – Affinity & Special Interest groups • Transfer Services, Two-Year College, Small College, Multi-Ethnic, Canadian, GLBT Issues, Nontraditional Student, etc. • Publications • Orientation Planning Manual, Parent and Commuter Guides, Designing Successful Transitions Monograph, Journal of College Orientation and Transition • Peer Resources • Data Bank, Website
NODA Home Office University of Minnesota 1313 Fifth Street SE Suite 323A Minneapolis, MN 55414 Toll free: 866-521-NODA or 612-627-0150 612-627-0153 (fax) firstname.lastname@example.org www.nodaweb.org