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Successful Takeoff for New Student Orientation Pilot

More than 220 students participated in CNM's first in-person New Student Orientation, July 19-20. It's a pilot program that seeks to build upon the regular online orientation all first-time and returning CNM students complete before attending classes. The new orientation pilot program is a cross-department CNM team project and designed to increase student retention. Effective orientation programs have been shown to increase student success.

Aug 30, 2016

August 2012

More than 220 students participated in CNM's first in-person New Student Orientation, July 19-20. It's a pilot program that seeks to build upon the regular online orientation all first-time and returning CNM students complete before attending classes. The new orientation pilot program is a cross-department CNM team project and designed to increase student retention. Effective orientation programs have been shown to increase student success.

The NSO team was chaired by Jennifer Cornish and the experiment in student retention was underwritten by general scholarship funds. Whether to repeat the event in 2013 is yet to be decided, but the success of the initial pilot is encouraging.

The orientation program consisted of general, large-group presentations before the students broke into smaller groups. In the smaller groups, participants had a chance to "Explore Your Major" and they also met with academic advisors and financial aid specialists. At the conclusion of each four-hour program, the students actually got to complete the registration process right there on the spot, with experts on hand to help them with any questions.

In addition to the student sessions, the orientation program also included a presentation for "allies" – parents, spouses or other individuals significant in the students' lives – to help them better understand the demands and processes the students are undertaking. Having an informed, supportive home-base has been shown to be an important factor in student success, prompting CNM to involve this component.

The orientation also featured refreshments — including a pizza luncheon each day, as well as beverages, pastries, cookies and fresh fruit. Participants are also eligible for a book allowance. Each will have a $50 "letter of credit" waiting for them at the CNM Bookstore.

Evaluation of the submitted feedback forms is still pending, but initial responses on-site were enthusiastic and positive.

The 222 participants surpassed the 200 initially planned for and 124 "allies" showed up to support their students. Approximately 30 faculty and staff participated in the "Discover the Majors" booths and around 22 student volunteers helped with everything from event registration to serving their soon-to-be classmates slices of pizza.