Student Achievement Assessment Committee
Orientation & First Year Programs
Learning Outcomes Assessed this Year:
The learning outcomes for the UNIV 100 – University Success course are:
• Gain an understanding of the learning traditions and resources of Bowling Green State University.
• Actively participate in co-curricular learning experiences affiliated with a variety of BGSU programs and services.
• Develop intellectual, personal, and social skills that will assist in future semesters at BGSU and beyond.
• Develop skills in preparation for their future roles of productive employee and citizen.
The learning outcomes for Orientation & Registration are:
• Acknowledge Bowling Green State University’s academic expectations and the responsibilities of joining a learning community.
• Develop relationships with peers, faculty, and staff.
• Discuss the complex transitions and changes associated with the collegiate experience.
• Identify resources, services, and technology available at Bowling Green State University.
• Foster affirmation and pride in the choice to attend Bowling Green State University.
The learning outcomes for the Welcome Program are:
• Engage in discussions and activities that assist with the transition to college life and foster a desire for academic success.
• Acknowledge Bowling Green State University campus culture and tradition.
• Build upon relationships established during the Orientation & Registration program and have the opportunity to further develop relationships with faculty, staff, and other new students.
• Learn how to effectively use campus resources and services.
• Introduce in-class and out-of-class involvement opportunities.
• Investigate transition issues throughout the first semester (i.e. advising, test taking tips, registration, time management, conflict management, etc.) in order to impact student success and retention.
Assessment Methods and Procedures:
UNIV 100 – University Success course
In Fall 2003, all sections of UNIV 100 completed The First Year Initiative (FYI) benchmarking instrument. This survey was developed through a partnership between the Policy Center on the First Year of College and Educational Benchmarking, Inc., with support by a grant from The Pew Charitable Trusts. This is the third year that BGSU has participated in the first benchmarking process specifically designed to compare student learning and satisfaction outcomes across variations of first-year seminars. The process included the administration of an on-campus survey and a reporting procedure that allows institutions to benchmark outcomes against self-selected peer institutions.
Instructors and peer facilitators provided written feedback on their teaching experience, the course content, and the support provided by the staff in Orientation & First Year Programs.
Instructors evaluated the performance of their peer facilitator and provided feedback on the established competencies.
Journals, reflective papers, and/or scrapbooks are collected from students throughout the semester to assess their transition to the first semester of college, their reaction to the course, and their overall BGSU experience. Information collected allows the instructor to make appropriate course changes and address student issues one-on-one.
Most classes distributed a mid-course assessment to determine the extent in which the class is meeting the needs of the students and the determined course objectives. Information collected allows the instructor to make appropriate changes to the course in response to the feedback provided.
Implemented a Peer Facilitator skills and competencies self-assessment instrument that was monitored throughout the teaching semester by peer facilitators, instructors, and Orientation & First Year Programs Staff.
Incorporated a common reading assessment into the FYI survey implemented in all sections of UNIV 100.
Orientation & Registration and Welcome Programs
• Evaluation of Orientation Leader Training by Orientation Leaders
• Evaluation of Orientation Leader Training by Orientation & Registration Staff
At the conclusion of each Orientation & Registration session:
• Evaluation of Orientation & Registration by students
• Evaluation of Orientation & Registration by family members
At the conclusion of the entire Orientation & Registration program:
• Evaluation of Orientation & Registration by Orientation Leaders
• Evaluation of Orientation & Registration by BGSU campus participants
• Evaluation of Orientation & Registration by Orientation & Registration staff
In addition to post Orientation & Registration evaluations:
• Post-Evaluation of Orientation Leader Training by Orientation Leaders
• Post-Evaluation of Orientation Leader Training by Orientation & Registration staff
• Orientation Leader Self-Assessment of skills developed during Orientation Leader Training and through participation in the Orientation & Registration Program
• Orientation & Registration staff self-assessment
• Evaluation of Welcome sessions by student participants
• Gathered feedback from Resident Advisors and Orientation Leaders on Welcome programming and its impact on new students
• Post-evaluation of Orientation & Registration sent to 1,000 randomly selected families who attended the program to determine how they used the information presented
• Focus groups with first semester students to gain feedback on their experiences at Orientation & Registration and Welcome Programs and their applicability during the first semester
• Administered a survey to McDonald Hall residents to gain feedback on their experiences at Orientation & Registration and Welcome Programs and their applicability during the first semester
• Orientation Leaders wrote a reflective essay defining and assessing skills developed as Orientation Leaders and their transferability to their major/intended occupation.
Inferences from Assessments:
UNIV 100 – University Success course
Students reported positive reactions to the following aspects of UNIV 100:
• The course improved presentation skills.
• The course improved the ability to use the library.
• The course improved efforts to get to know other students in classes, establish friendships, and work in groups.
• The course encouraged students to work together.
• The course encouraged students to speak in class.
• The course improved abilities to set priorities, establish personal goals, and manage time.
• The course contributed to the ability to adjust to the college social environment.
• The course improved the ability to deal with stress.
• The course improved the ability to see multiple sides of issues.
• The course improved the understanding of faculty expectations of students and communication with instructors outside of class.
• The course improved the understanding of academic honesty.
• The course improved the understanding of the role of the academic advisor, academic probation policies, the grading system, registration procedures, and how to obtain academic assistance.
• The course improved the understanding of health and wellness issues and the effects of alcohol and drug use.
While generally few concerns about the course or its content were indicated, it is important to note that there was a statistically significant increase from Fall 2002 means to Fall 2003 means for improvement in the course readings and the students’ understanding sexual health and wellness issues. Students also indicated at a higher rate in 2003 that they would recommend BGSU to a friend, plan to return to BGSU, and found their college experience to be a high quality learning experience. Instructor enthusiasm, availability, approachability, preparedness, teaching methods, and organization were consistently rated extremely high.
Orientation & Registration
General Observations from Student Evaluations
Breakout Groups/Sessions: Students commented on the effectiveness of their breakout groups. They found the information discussed helpful in preparing for the collegiate experience at BGSU. The small group interactions allowed them to become acquainted with other new students.
Orientation Leaders: Students commented on the effectiveness of the orientation leaders and found it very beneficial to speak with current students about the collegiate experience and possible transition issues. The orientation leaders did a good job in facilitating student-to-student interaction and with disseminating directions and information.
Academic Advising: Students remarked that their individual meetings with advisors prepared them for online course registration. Advisors were efficient in answering questions regarding courses and major requirements. Students stated they were less confused about registration after these interactions.
College/Department Sessions: Students commented on the effectiveness of meeting with their individual college with the goal of receiving more specific information in regards to their course of study.
Registration: Students commented on the effectiveness of the registration process in obtaining their fall courses. The online course registration process was seen as a relatively smooth experience.
Campus Familiarity: Students commented that the campus tours and having to walk to the sessions helped them to become familiar with the layout of the campus facilities.
Session/Program Length: Students commented most frequently on the length of the Orientation and Registration Program. They felt that in particular the first day of the program was too long. It was suggested that portions of day one be moved to day two to even out the schedule. At times they felt that some of the presentations and sessions were repetitive. Streamlining presentations would help reduce the length of the day.
Focus on Campus Life: Students commented that the content of the skits could be improved by focusing on more realistic and pertinent issues.
Session Movement: Students commented that there was a great degree of movement around campus to attend specific sessions. It was suggested that all the sessions be organized out of or around one central set of buildings to minimize traveling.
Group Discussions: Students commented that it would be helpful to include more group time during the breakout sessions with Orientation Leaders to discuss college transition issues.
Interactive Opportunities: Students suggested including a greater variety of activities in the program that would provide more opportunities for interaction between new students. They would have preferred a greater selection of evening activities in which they could participate. Programming at the Recreation Center was suggested as an option.
General Observations from Family Evaluations
College Advising: The majority of the comments from the family evaluations focused on the specific college advising that their student received. Participants were pleased with the overview of academic information presented and the responses provided for student/parent questions.
Registration: Family members were pleased with the efficiency of online course registration on day two and were put at ease when their student was able to walk away with a fall semester schedule. Family members commented that it was easy to complete the process, especially with the help of academic advisors. However, registration seemed to be an area of concern for some program participants. They stated that the process was a bit difficult due to limited class availability, while others expressed that the difficulty was due to confusion after the academic meeting.
Student Services Information: Participants commented that offices such as Residence Life, Bursar, and Financial Aid provided useful information during their sessions. They felt better prepared after hearing from these areas and were pleased that they had this opportunity for interaction.
Coffee & Connections: Participants remarked that they enjoyed this portion of the program. It provided them with an arena in which they could have many of their questions answered.
Small Groups: Family participants commented on the effectiveness of the small groups. They appreciated the opportunity to engage in smaller discussions to help process information they had previously received and to ask follow up questions.
Orientation Leaders: Family participants commented that the Orientation Leaders were most helpful within the Orientation and Registration process. They were impressed with their enthusiasm and commented on the effectiveness of the information they provided.
Dinner Skits: Participants enjoyed the dinner skits and thought the production was well placed and needed after a long day. Others, while expressing satisfaction with the skits, stated that the dinner show made it hard to socialize with other participants during the production.
Accommodations: Participants enjoyed the opportunities the program provided for food and lodging and commented that the quality of the food was especially good.
Directions: Participants commented that the directions they received prior to their arrival were helpful in getting them to campus. Maps and the assistance of the orientation leaders helped them get a better feel for the campus. However, better signage is needed for parking and building identification.
Organization: Participants stated that they were pleased with the organization of the program and felt that the schedule flowed well and was easy to navigate.
Length: Family members expressed that the program could be condensed into a one-day program. The family participants commented that the information that was given in many of the presentations was repetitive and at points during the program there was too much “down time”. Participants who have been through a BGSU orientation program in the past felt that there should be a separate day specifically for returning family members eliminating the session presentations that they have heard at previous orientations.
Residential Tours: Family members wanted to have the opportunity to tour the specific residence hall that their student would be residing in for the year. It was suggested that the tours be offered at additional times and that Greek houses be open for viewing.
Advising Preparation: Family members suggested adding more time during the program for them to regroup with their student and discuss matters such as registration so they would feel better prepared going into the advising process on day two.
Parent Sessions: Program participants expressed an interest in more small group sessions dealing with parent/student issues and suggested that more panel discussions with BGSU students discussing their experiences would be helpful.
Activities: Family participants expressed a need for their students to have more activities to partake in during the day and at night. The emphasis of their comments was on the evening activities, especially increasing the use of the Recreation Center.
Additional Program Content: Family participants indicated an interest in more information on campus and community safety, student health issues, out of class activities, and a preview of a “typical” student day.
Pre-Program Information: Program participants suggested providing a greater amount of information prior to arriving for the program. This included directions and instructions for check-in, lodging, and parking, as well as student and academic services information. Earlier dissemination of this information would allow them time to process and develop questions before Orientation and Registration. The suggested method of delivery of this information included both Internet and additional mailings.
General Observations from the Campus Community
• Students and parents seemed pleased with their Orientation & Registration experience. Parents commented on how organized Orientation & Registration was compared to orientation programs at other institutions. They thought the faculty and staff were very genuine.
• At times, students did not seem comfortable and parents seemed overwhelmed.
• The morning session may be too long for family members. It may be too long of a period of time to be seated without a break.
• Provide more discussion opportunities for parents to ask what they are most concerned about.
• Provide more time for the academic meeting.
• Consider adding group advising after the college meeting and have families remain with the college while students receive peer advising.
• Provide more academic forums.
• Provide students and parents with information on the B!G Charge prior to Orientation.
• Include more free time in the schedule.
• Provide a student and parent session on using MyBGSU.
• Evenly distribute the number of students attending Orientation & Registration throughout the 16 days. There are too many students in the beginning and not enough in the end.
• If all placement tests are completed prior to Orientation and Registration, consider making all sessions one day.
General Observations from Student Orientation Leaders
• All of the Orientation Leaders indicated that they would apply again for the position.
• The Orientation Leaders indicated the job description was accurate, but did not emphasize the amount of memorization expected during Focus on Campus Life and the dinner show.
• Orientation Leaders noted that training was organized, logical, well planned and prepared them to not only be familiar with the program, but to answer questions and feel confident about their responsibilities.
• They enjoyed working with first year students, their families and the entire Orientation staff. The “low traffic, little contact with students or parents” responsibilities were their least favorite.
• They indicated the position improved leadership and communication skills and increased their level of pride in BGSU.
The most common theme identified in the student responses was that events were valuable in helping new students meet faculty, staff and fellow students. Students mentioned that activities that are more social are attractive as they become acclimated to BGSU. Campus Fest was particularly helpful in assisting new students with getting involved in campus activities and organizations.
When asked what type of events and programs students would like to see added to the Fall Welcome, most students overwhelmingly indicated they liked the events that were already in place. Some suggestions for additional programs included coping with stress, a dance party, a session on BGSU traditions, a concert, and more interaction time for students entering the same college/academic area.
A survey submitted to McDonald Hall residents indicated that they would like to see more social events such as dances, picnics, games, and movies. Suggestion included more information about Student Employment, as well as requests for more events where everyone attending has at least one specific thing in common such as their major or college. It was also recommended that more activities should be scheduled in the residence halls.
RAs offered positive thoughts regarding what currently takes place in the program but also had a few suggestions for additional sessions. Topics such as “partying smart”, date rape, vandalism, and hate crimes could be covered. Some RAs also mentioned that touring various buildings would be helpful since they remember having difficulty when they were freshmen finding their classrooms. It was also suggested to hold academic programs in the residence halls so students may be more likely to attend.
Orientation Leaders indicated that they thought appropriate topics were covered and that overall the Fall Welcome is a quality program. Additional Welcome topics suggested by Orientation Leaders were responsible decision making, striking a balance between academics and social interests, more get-to-know you sessions, presentations from Parking and the Health Center, opportunities to meet with faculty, and academic myths.
Overall, students responding to the evaluations whether new students to BGSU or continuing students working as an RA or an Orientation Leader were positive about the Fall Welcome program in its current format. The suggestions offered to enhance the program have been considered for Fall 2004 planning.
Actions Taken/Program Improvements:
UNIV 100 – University Success course
• Gathered feedback from UNIV 100 instructors and peer facilitators at the end of their teaching semester. Information gathered was used when reviewing course content, developing instructor development sessions, and revising the online Instructor Resource Manual for Fall 2004.
• Course evaluations and analyses of enrollment patterns have been used to modify course content, expand the number of sections offered, and enhance instructor development sessions.
• Regularly gathered feedback from UNIV 100 instructors and peer facilitators participating in spring instructor development sessions to address immediate and long-term training needs.
• Plans are underway to incorporate First Year Success Series programming into UNIV 100 for Fall 2004.
• Secured new resources focusing on academic success that instructors can use in the classroom.
Orientation & Registration
• Reviewed the length of the program and continue to streamline the content.
• Increased faculty participation during the Orientation & Registration Program.
• Expanded academic programming during the Orientation & Registration Program.
• Continue to review the timeliness of the information presented and the readiness of students and their families to process the information presented throughout the program.
• Focused on consistent messages throughout the program with regard to academic and community expectations.
• Implemented online placement testing with a pilot planned for Spring and Summer 2004.
• Revised Focus on Campus Life session to provide more realistic student perspectives on campus life at BGSU.
• Integrated the planning of Welcome Programs into Orientation & Registration Committee meetings.
• Integrated the planning of New Student Convocation into Orientation & Registration Committee meetings.
• Increased collaboration with the Office of Residence Life through Resident Advisor and Orientation Leader partnerships during Fall Welcome.
• Expanded the First Year Success Series for 2004-2005 to include all first year residence halls and all UNIV 100 classes.
• Expanded communication with students throughout their first year via MyBGSU web portal.
• Incorporated programming resources from key areas on campus including the Counseling Center, Campus Involvement, Career Center, Greek Affairs, Residence Life, and Recreational Sports.
• Expanded workshop offerings during Fall Welcome to include academic success and out of class involvement opportunities.
During the 2003-2004 academic year, the following evaluation and assessment initiatives were completed in Orientation & First Year Programs. Detailed reports are available for review.
• Evaluation of Orientation Leader Training by Orientation Leaders and Orientation & Registration Staff
• Evaluation of Orientation & Registration by Students & Family Members
• Evaluation of Orientation & Registration by Orientation Leaders, BGSU Faculty & Staff Participants, & Orientation & Registration Staff
• Post-Evaluation of Orientation Leader Training by Orientation Leaders and Orientation & Registration Staff
• Orientation Leader Self-Assessment of skills developed during Orientation Leader Training and through participation in the Orientation & Registration Program and their transferability to their major/occupation and other leadership opportunities
• Post-evaluation of Orientation & Registration sent to randomly selected families who attended the program
• Welcome Program feedback gathered at each event, as well as follow-up data from McDonald residents, Resident Advisors, and Orientation Leaders
• Focus groups with first semester students to gain feedback on their experiences at Orientation & Registration and Welcome Programs and their applicability to the first year of college
• First Year Initiatives Benchmarking Survey in all UNIV 100 classes
• Peer Facilitator and Instructor feedback and self-evaluation process
• Common Reading Experience feedback gathered in all UNIV 100 classes
• UNIV 100 Instructor and Peer Facilitator training feedback
• Firelands student transition survey
• Transfer student transition survey
• Connections newsletter survey