New orientation brings an increase in student retention

Matt Whalen


For the first year of the new student orientation system, incoming matriculated student enrollment has increased four percent according to Jim Macklin, director of planning and research.

“This year, we had close to 3,000 students that attended orientation. I feel like they had a very good experience. They learned about the support services on campus and they had a tour of key places on campus that would be of assistance to them,” said Vice President for Enrollment Management and Student Development Alex Popovics.

All new students were required to attend one session of New Student Orientation. The four-hour-long sessions were offered four or five days per week every week throughout the summer.

Each session began with a presentation by campus faculty, who offered the students tips on how to be successful at Hudson Valley and told them about all the services that the school offers.

The students then took a tour of the campus, guided by student leaders. Orientation ended with a presentation on how to use WIReD and register for courses, followed by student meetings with academic advisors. Students left with complete schedules for the fall 2015 semester.

Prior to this summer, Hudson Valley offered orientation for all new students on one day.

“In the past, orientation was voluntary. We had about 1,000 students [who] would come Saturday of orientation and that was it,” Popovics said.

Since the old orientation system was not mandatory, many new students would not see any of the services the school offers or know how to get around campus until the first week of school.

“Only about a third of the new students were attending, and other students came on the first day of class and had to find out various things about the college on their own,” said Popovics.

Attendance at New Student Orientation was triple the attendance under the previous orientation system. The students, faculty, and staff who worked at orientation sessions helped make the new system a success.

“We can certainly take pride in knowing we all successfully contributed to a very important initiative always aimed at increasing student success,” said Orientation Coordinator Matthew Howe.


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