Making New Student Orientation “Inescapable”

The mandatory program, Student Orientation Advising and Registration (SOAR), was initiated in fall 2010 to provide new, incoming students with an overview of services and programs at PGCC.  Since fall 2013, SOAR assessment data have been captured through Personal Response System (“clicker”) technology. The initial data, collected on a representative sample of 700 face-to-face SOAR participants, showed students’ ages ranged from 18-22; the ethnicity of the students was predominately African American; more female than male students attended; and the majority of students were first-generation college. In addition, students responded they believed financial aid (23%), time management (19%) and academic preparedness (11%) were their major barriers to success. Students identified three services they needed to help them envision success.  In addition, 69% of the students completed the FAFSA before attending SOAR, and over half (67%) of the students were aware of the cost of attendance and within $1000 of the actual cost of attendance. The participation rate for the face-to-face sessions increased each year until 2015 when the online version was upgraded, and the face to face sessions were changed to a hybrid format.

Attendance data show:

  • Fall 2011 increased from fall 2010 by 22%
  • Fall 2012 maintained the attendance from fall 2011
  • Fall 2013 attendance increased by 23%
  • Fall 2014 decreased attendance by 6%
  • Fall 2015 decreased attendance by 12%. The latter two years are likely related to the decrease in overall credit enrollment.

During FY2015, for students who completed SOAR, fall-to-fall student retention was 60% and fall-to-spring retention was 80%. In comparison to the college's FY2015 fall-to-fall retention rate of 40% and fall-to-spring retention rate 66%, SOAR students overall maintain a higher retention rate, indicating SOAR has a positive impact on student engagement, retention and persistence.

ID 15326

To contact this college about this intervention, take note of the ID above, ID #15326, and then fill out the intervention contact request form

Please note that for security purposes, contact information can only be provided to known contacts at active Achieving the Dream institutions.

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