Facts of the Month

Community College Student Orientation

More and more students are enrolling in community colleges across the country. Some are traditional aged students looking for a less expensive way to begin their degree programs. Others are working adults returning to school to get a degree or certificate to advance their job opportunities. Whatever the reasons, these students - like all students - need to feel confident and supported in their new academic endeavors. A recent study piloted in the early fall semester of 2007 called the Survey of Entering Student Engagement found that many community college students are not receiving some key services that may help with retention and overall student success. The study which included responses from over 13,000 at 22 institutions yielded several interesting findings, including:

  • Less than a third said a financial-aid staff member helped them analyze their needs for financial aid
  • Only thirty-eight percent said they attended an on-campus orientation before classes began
  • Only one in five said they felt welcome at their institutions the first time they came to campus
As millions of college students from all backgrounds will head off at the end of the summer for colleges and universities of all sizes and types, those welcoming them may want to consider these findings and ponder additional ways to bolster their early, and hopefully continued, success.

(Source: The Chronical for Higher Education, Daily Update 28 March 2008)

Publication Date: April 2008

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