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Student Orientation & Transition Services Assessment

Mission Statement

The mission of Student Orientation and Transition Services is to assist students and parents with the transition to college, and to help students navigate breaks in their education by facilitating a smooth leave of absence.  Specifically, the office seeks to educate students about educational opportunities and student responsibilities, and to integrate students into the intellectual, cultural, and social atmosphere of Utah State University.

The SOTS office works to provide orientation and transition programs that meet the needs of students, fulfill this mission of the institution, and keep up with current trends and needs. Goals are developed in conjunction with the foundational documents listed below, and also align with the mission and vision of The Division of Student Affairs, as evidenced in the assessment plan below.

  1. Provide a comprehensive orientation program that delivers specific and timely information about educational opportunities and student responsibilities.
  2. Collaborate in the development, promotion, and execution of a comprehensive first-year experience course: USU 1010 University Connections.
  3. Provide information and advising for students who are deferring admission or taking a leave of absence.
  4. Communicate clearly with parents of students, helping them understand available resources and services.
  5. Coordinate the Aggie Passport program to help incoming students develop a habit of attending events on campus and in the community.
  6. Maintain high customer service standards via a thoroughly trained workforce of current students, (A-Team and Connections Peer Mentors).

Student Orientation and Transition Services uses the CAS standards and NODA professional competencies to guide programming and assessment.

As a department within the Division of Student Affairs, SOTS abides by the professional competencies established by the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA).

http://www.naspa.org/images/uploads/main/ACPA_NASPA_Professional_Competencies_.pdf


SOTS ASSESSMENT PLAN/MATRIX, 2017-2018
Goals
(Objectives and Learning Outcomes)
Assessment Tool
(Criteria)
Data Source
Documentation
Timeline Responsible
Persons
Map to
Division Goals
New Student Orientation
1) Work with other departments to refine orientation processes for students beginning at USU-Eastern, regional campuses, and online.

2) Increase student comprehension by refining orientation pages according to 2017 survey data.

3) Increase the number of students who complete module 5 by 50%.

4) Assess international student arrival and orientation.

Program data


Student survey

Program data

Student survey

Orientation reporting tool, Argos

Orientation survey


Orientation reporting tool

Orientation survey

Fall 2018


Summer 2018

Fall 2018

Fall 2018

Jake V.



Jake V.


Jake V.


Kylee H.

Goal 1 and 2


Goal 2


Goal 2


Goal 1
USU 1010 Connections
1) Grow Connections enrollment to 64% of the freshman class.

Course enrollment data

Argos

Fall 2018

Lisa H.

Goal 8
Leave of Absence/Deferral
1) Assess and update leave of absence and deferral processes.

Student data

Argos

Fall 2018

Nate J.

Goal 6
Aggie Passport
1) Assess retention of Aggie Passport participants.

Civitas

Card swipes at events

Fall 2018

Nate J.

Goal 2
A-Team and Connections Peer Mentors
1) Assess new customer service training.

Survey

A-Team and Mentors

Fall 2018

Lisa H.

Goal 6 and 7
SOTS ASSESSMENT PLAN/MATRIX, 2016-2017
Goals
(Objectives and Learning Outcomes)
Assessment Tool
(Criteria)
Data Source
Documentation
Timeline Responsible
Persons
Map to
Division Goals
New Student Orientation
1) Implement new phased, 5-module orientation.



2) Rework orientation process to separate orientation functions from registration functions, eliminating use of the course cluster website.

Program data



Registration data, student survey

Orientation reporting tool, Argos

Student survey, Argos

Fall 2017


Summer 2017

Jake V.



Jake V.

Goal 1 and 2


Goal 2
USU 1010 Connections
1) Add new one-word response questions to course survey to gauge student satisfaction.


2) Increase visibility of the Connections Luminary among community members.

AAA Course Survey


Social media stats

Course Survey, Tableau

Facebook and Instagram

Annually in the winter

Fall 2017

Lisa H.



Kylee H.

Goal 4



Goal 1
Parent Programs
1) Assess new parent handbook

Survey

Parent orientation survey

Fall 2017

Nate J.

Goal 2 and 5
Aggie Passport
1) Grow participation in the program by at least 100% by implementing a card swiping system rather than a physical stamping system.

Stamping data

Card swipes at events

Fall 2017

Nate J.

Goal 2

Connections attendance dipped in 2017, likely because of the new registration system where students register on their own as opposed to registering at a computer with an A-team or advisor present. As a result, we are implementing some new methods to increase registration for 2018.

Connections Enrollments

Parent Orientation attendance continues to rise on the whole. Parent satisfaction with the overall orientation program remains high, as indicated in the Parent Orientation Survey Report.

Parent Orientation Enrollments

In evaluating what topics students were still concerned about after SOAR and Aggie Orientation, we determined that on the whole, Aggie Orientation and the accompanying online modules were better at alleviating student concerns. Additional attention will be given to financial aid, scholarships, and textbooks in 2018.

Student Concerns after Orientation

Registration changes for first-year students on the Logan campus did not have much of an impact on the number of overall credits first-year students took during their first semester. This alleviates a fear we had that students would not take a full credit load when registering by themselves.

First-Year Credits

Fewer students completed all five modules in 2017 than we anticipated. As a result, we retooled our communication plan for 2018. We anticipated that most parents were completing modules 1 and 2 in order to help their students register (largely for students on leave), and the small number completing all five modules verifies this.

Module Completion

The videos for the 2017 Luminary reached a combined 79,000 views on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Due to the success of the videos, particularly the full version, we plan on using video as a method of promotion in 2018.

Social Media Luminary Stats

Participation in the Aggie Passport had decreased in the past few years, so we switched to a new method of advertising events and verifying attendance. This resulted in a dramatic increase in students receiving awards.

Passport Participation

Assessment in both 2016 and 2017 international orientations show an improvement in 2017, with marked improvements in overall satisfaction with the arrival and orientation process. 

Due to assessment results, the following changes were implemented for 2017 and 2018:

-Changed the Aggie Passport program so students can swipe their ID card for credit rather than having to remember to take their passport booklet.
-Modified the on-campus orientation program to be a phased, five-module orientation that addresses registration and orientation items separately.
-Modified the Connections evaluation to better assess student satisfaction.
-Implemented a new customer service training for the 2018 A-Team training class.
-Modified the international student orientation arrival process and assigned specific A-Team members to the international team.
-Adjusted parent orientation presentations and moved the orientation to a location with round tables to facilitate discussion.
-Implemented several additional facebook live sessions for registration for spring 2018 students.
-Updated the assessment tool for 2018 international orientaiton.
-Updating the 2018 leave of absence and deferral website to better inform students of the leave process.
-Centralizing some presentation in Aggie Orientation, covering them as a group rather than in small groups with A-Team members.
-Modifying the 2018 A-Team training class curriculum.