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The American College Personnel Association (ACPA) and the National Association of Student
Personnel Administrators (NAPSA) developed a series of competencies that student affairs
practitioners should strive to accomplish in order to become versatile when aiding in the
development and experience of students throughout their college career. One key competency
is Assessment, Evaluation, and Research, which states that student affairs practitioners should
be able to “design, conduct, critique and use various AER methodologies and the results
obtained from them, to utilize AER processes and their results to inform practice, and to shape
the political and ethical climate surrounding AER processes and use in Higher Education” (ACPA
& NASPA, 2015). It is critical that in the redesigning of the orientation process, that assessment
of the program is incorporated.
Before an assessment can be established to effectively analyze the orientation program, the
staff needs to define clear and achievable learning outcomes. The assessment then will be
structured around those outcomes to evaluate if students are learning and developing through
the program. The program needs to consider what methodology will be used to assess the
orientation program (qualitative, quantitative, or a mix method approach). Additionally, a
detailed rubric should be established to provide consistency and eliminate biases when
evaluating the results of the assessment.
The assessment should include:
1. Instill some satisfactory questions, what did students and guests enjoy, what critiques
do they have, what suggestions do students and guests have for the program.
a. This will allow a student and guests perspective. As well the feedback can
provide insight on ways to improve the orientation program.
2. Implement questions that link to the specific learning outcomes of the program.
a. This will allow the orientation program to test if they are achieving the
The benefits of implementing an assessment tool:
1. Allows the program the opportunity to evaluate the effectiveness of the orientation
2. Provides insight on ways to improve the orientation program to ensure a meaningful
experience is occurring.
3. Provides raw data to showcase the significance orientation has on the student
What are other community colleges in Massachusetts doing?
After researching their online websites and conducting informational interviews via email, a
majority of the institutions from my understanding are not conducting assessments of their
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orientation programs. Of the ones that do have assessments the questions are mainly focused
on student feedback or satisfactory of the program rather than learning outcomes.
Example: Cape Cod Community College provides student attendees a two-page survey
immediately following the orientation experience before they leave campus. After collecting
the data, it is shared to the senior administrators of the college. Please reference pages 3- 4 for
Cape Cod’s current evaluation survey. Bristol Community College did not implement an
assessment within their orientation program this year. However, in the past they have
implemented surveys via a web link that were administered after the orientation in the
computer labs. Lastly, Middlesex Community College is working on creating a formal
assessment tool, but nothing is implemented currently. The culture of assessment at Middlesex
is relatively new and therefore adopting a healthy assessment practice is still being developed.
Outside at Jefferson State University of New York, on their website a new student orientation
survey is available for students to complete. Students who participate in the survey are entered
into a raffle to win a basket full of supplies, electronics, snacks, and more! This can serve as an
example of a well-developed survey that NSCC may consider following. Please refer to pages 5 –
8 for the survey example at Jefferson State University.
Moving forward NSCC should consider:
1. Implementing an online survey that is filled out directly after students register for
a. The students are already in the labs with access to the internet.
2. Having all attendees and guest participate in the survey.
3. Creating clear and achievable learning outcomes.
4. Incorporating the learning outcomes of the orientation program.
5. Creating an incentive (raffle, parking pass, meal plan, etc. . . ) for students to complete
the survey.
6. Using the information collected to help improve the overall program.
a. As this will be the first year implementing a new orientation program, it is going
to be critical to evaluate its effectiveness on the students experience and the
outcomes that wish to be achieved.

As NSCC is redeveloping its orientation program it is imperative that an assessment is built into
its foundation. When the practice of assessment is established it will continue to expand and
prove the necessity of the orientation program at NSCC. Through this NSCC will become a
leading institution in Massachusetts for developing a sophisticated and successful assessment
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Example: Cape Cod Community College Assessment

Summer 2017
Orientation Evaluation Session July 25, 2017

1. How would you rate the greeting you received upon arrival at Orientation?
Very Good Good Fair Poor
2. How would you rate the overall quality of the information you received in
the Orientation Video?
Very Good Good Fair Poor
3. How would you rate the time with the Student Ambassadors?
Very Good Good Fair Poor
4. Was the tour guide effective in helping you to become familiar with the
campus? Yes No
5. How would you rate the presentation by the Coordinator of Student Life?
Very Good Good Fair Poor
6. How would you rate the presentation by the Office of Advising and
Counseling Services?
Very Good Good Fair Poor
7. Do you feel that you can use the College E-Mail, Campus Web, Moodle and
Starfish effectively as a result of the technology session? Yes No
8. How would you rate the overall helpfulness of the Orientation Program?
Very Good Good Fair Poor
9. Was there a topic or subject you had hoped would be covered in
orientation but was not? (Please circle)? Yes No
If “Yes” what was the topic or subject? ____________________________
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(Please Turn Over)

10.Please comment on any aspect of the Orientation that you found helpful or
that you think could be improved upon on the spaces provided on this

Please give this evaluation to the Presidential Student Ambassador upon completion.
Thank you
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Example: Jefferson State University of New York New Student Orientation

To access the website please visit:

After clicking “Survey” it brings you to a survey monkey that students complete.
The questions asked are below:
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Additional Resources
American College Personnel Association (ACPA) & National Association of Student Personnel
Administrators. (2015). Professional competency area for Student affairs educators.
Retrieved from:
Bloxham, S., Boyd, P. (2007). Developing effective assessment in higher education: A practical
guide. New York, NY: Open University Press. Retrieved from:
Petersen, K. (2016). Direct assessment of student learning outcomes. National Association of
Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA). Retrieved from:
Student Learning Outcomes in Higher Education. (2017). Educational Testing Services. Retrieved
Tremblay, K., Lalancette, D., Roseveare, D. (2012). Assessment of higher education learning
outcomes. OECD: Feasibility Study Report, (1). Retrieved from: