Wednesday, July 31, 2013 9:15 am ·  0 Comments
When people think of college orientation, the images that often come to mind are student flash mobs, proud displays of school colours and clothing, and organized games and cheers designed to build instant bonding. While school spirit will always be a mainstay of any post-secondary experience, staff members at Sheridan have determined another good reason to hold orientation sessions – they are linked to learning.
“Successful orientation programs have a powerful influence on a student’s academic transition and social integration,” say Joe Henry, Associate Dean of Student Success at Sheridan. “They help students familiarize themselves with many sources of help on campus, build peer support networks and get a jump-start on finding out about student activities and organizations – all before the stress of school work begins.”
Henry’s observations run deeper than common sense. “We’ve compared cohorts of students who participated in last year’s first-year orientation against those who sat out. The group that attended had an average GPA of 3.15 after one term as compared to 2.49 for the group that didn’t. Of those who participated, 81% were in good academic standing. Only 58% of students who didn’t attend achieved that milestone. We will continue to track these groups to see if the numbers hold true over the long-term.”