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Building an Online Orientation Program for Transfer Students Presented By: Beth Lingren, Ph.D. University of Minnesota Twin Cities.

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Presentation on theme: "Building an Online Orientation Program for Transfer Students Presented By: Beth Lingren, Ph.D. University of Minnesota Twin Cities."— Presentation transcript:

1 Building an Online Orientation Program for Transfer Students Presented By: Beth Lingren, Ph.D. University of Minnesota Twin Cities

2 Introduction of Presentation Importance of Topic Meeting the needs of the transfer student population (how do you define?) Logistics of developing an online program Challenges & Outcomes

3 Presentation Outline Why develop the online program? Who were the key players/stakeholders? Does the online replace an on-campus orientation program or supplement it? Overview of U of M process What costs are affiliated? Question & Answer????

4 Planning Process October 2004 developed new framework for Transfer Orientation Used focus groups, round table discussions, past orientation evaluations, national research

5 Mission & Objectives Mission: Acknowledge the diverse needs and experiences of transfer students and stress that online orientation can give an additional option to help meet the students' transitional needs. Objectives: –Continually consult with appropriate campus constituents. –Continually assess the needs of students and colleges while improving the program as needed. –Continually assess the knowledge of each student throughout the online orientation experience by establishing learning objectives and outcomes. –Provide avenues that will enhance the relationships between students, faculty, and staff. –Provide a wide variety of delivery methods that meet diverse learning styles. –Provide only accurate and relevant information that will assist students with the transfer process and enhance curricular and co-curricular success.

6 Our Paradigm and/or Goals Charge was to develop and implement a program that achieves the following: –Encourages less prescriptive (i.e. many freshman orientation models) and more developmental programs –Provides options within the mandate of Orientation –Provides highly individualized attention to each transfer student –Allows transfer students to make choices (whether we agree with them or not) based on their own experiences, interests, and needs –Strategically communicates with transfer students through print, web, , and one-on-one contact from March through the first week of classes in September –Offers programs specific to St. Paul services for St. Paul students –Provides a comprehensive, fiscally responsible orientation program to use the money saved for first-year programming for transfer students

7 Model of General Needs of Transfer Students During Transition and Orientation Transitional Campus Information Social Financial Academic

8 Beliefs of an Effective Transfer Orientation Program Collaboration with college constituents Intentional integration in fabric of university Institutional commitment Alignment with mission of OFYP and University Assessment and feedback to all relevant parties Programs that guide students (not mandate)

9 Beliefs of an Effective Transfer Orientation Program Takes into account students past experiences and future expectations Continual contact with transfer students after orientation through graduation Inclusion of parents/guests Academic, social, and behavioral expectations interwoven through the orientation experience Provides options for students’ various developmental needs

10 Items to consider when building an online program… Conceptualizing the program while identifying desired outcomes. Developing and editing content. Developing theme and graphic design Conducting a focus group with current transfer students and other orientation staff supporters from other campus units. Marketing program to new transfer students Setting up and tracking student participants as it relates to retention.

11 Items to consider when building an online program… How are students identified and populated? How do they log in? How does the orientation office know that they have successfully completed the online program? How many times can they take a quiz? Is there an evaluation component? Other………

12 University of Minnesota Go Gophers!!

13 Lessons Learned - Recommendations for Transfer Programming Students transferring with less than 18 credit hours or less should have the option and/or requirement to attend the first-year orientation program. Consider a transfer portal or change the first-year portal to a broader transitional portal that is populated with both first-year and transfer students. Continually develop the new model of orientation for transfer students by fostering the goals of the new program: –Encourage less prescriptive (i.e. many freshman orientation models) and more developmental programs –Provide highly individualized attention to each transfer student –Allow transfer students to make choices (whether we agree with them or not) based on their own experiences, interests, and needs –Strategically communicate with transfer students through print, web, , and one-on-one contact from March through the first week of classes in September

14 Lessons Learned - Recommendations for Transfer Programming Offer orientation programs that are specific to cultural needs (returning adults, student parents, students of color, etc.) Infuse transfer concepts and issues during selection and ongoing training of Orientation Leaders or have a separate group of Orientation Leaders that are trained on these concepts and issues. Always have a transfer student in the Transfer Student Coordinator position that can speak with a transfer voice and knows transfer-related issues. Some things can be trained, but rarely can knowledge and empathy from experience be trained. This pays off with publications, program planning and implementation, and communication with all transfer students and campus constituents. Consider recruiting student transfer coordinator to work year round in the position.

15 Online Orientation Programs Arizona State University: Augsburg College: Carroll Community College: Duquesne University: Florida Atlantic University: New Mexico State University, on-line orientation reservation process:

16 Online Orientation Programs Portland Community College: San Francisco State University: Salt Lake City Community College: Southern Illinois University Carbondale: SUNY Alfred: University of Minnesota:

17 Online Orientation Programs University of Mississippi (Ole Miss): University of Central Florida, Through WebCT: ハ User name: vguest Password: vguestUniversity of Texas, Permian Basin: (Search for "Campus Connect") University of Utah: Utah Valley State College: Western Illinois University: /

18 Questions & Answers??? All information was taken from a report entitled “Framework, Paradigm, and New Transfer Orientation Program.” This report was prepared by Andy Howe, Assistant Director in Orientation & First-Year Programs, 2005.


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