Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Archer, D. Eric

Degree Name

Ed.D. (Doctor of Education)

Legacy Department

Counseling, Adult and Higher Education


Higher education; Educational administration; College student orientation--Research; Action research in education; Community colleges--Research; Community college students--Orientation--Research; Community colleges--Administration--Research


The focus of this study was an examination of a new student orientation program in the community college setting. Through the use of participatory action research (PAR) methodology, participant researchers addressed a series of research questions about the ways in which the orientation program could be improved. Three co-researchers, along with the principal investigator, the author of this dissertation, engaged in the study, which gathered input from key stakeholders in the new student orientation programs: students who served in the program, peer leaders who work in the program, and counselors and advisors who provide support to new students in the college matriculation process.;This PAR study employed the conceptual frameworks of orientation program assessment to examine the current program and identify possible improvements. Six key themes emerged from the study, providing program developers and practitioners with an action plan to improve the current program. The themes are: You made me feel comfortable and confident; This job is forcing me to grow as a person; Too much, too fast; Helping new students should be a shared responsibility; Do we have a mission statement to support our work?; and We need to connect with the first-year faculty and advisors.;These findings are in alignment both with prior research about new student orientation and with standards noted as best practices in the literature. The implications of this study support the use of additional action research, specifically the PAR method, on other community college campuses.


Advisors: D. Eric Archer.||Committee members: LaVerne Gyant; Denise Rode.


208 pages




Northern Illinois University

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