Tammy Haskett, Director Mission Statement

Tammy Haskett, Director
Western Carolina University
Program Assessment Plan
Orientation Programs
Assessment Report 2006 - 2007
Mission Statement
The mission of the orientation program is to assist new students in their transition to the university
through programming designed to address the concerns of the student and the student's
immediate family support groups such as parents, guardians, spouses, significant others and
children. The orientation program addresses the specific needs and concerns of our diverse
student population as well as the critical issues facing the world community today; multiculturalism,
civility, personal responsibility and personal health and safety issues through activities and
programs designed to promote active learning experiences.
Statement on Alignment of Program Mission w/ University and/or Division Mission:
In support of the mission of the university, the orientation program will be structured such that
students will consider their entire experience at Western Carolina University, including student
clubs/organizations, service learning, internships, etc. as a learning opportunity that will shape their
future. Orientation will provide the introduction to this intentional learning concept and
opportunities through our University Academic Experience, their advising sessions and one-on-one
meetings with Orientation Counselors.
Program Goals/Objectives:
*Reduce anxiety about the transition to the collegiate life.
*Assist students in gaining a clearer understanding of the necessity for students to take ownership
in their educational process.
*Provide a comprehensive view of the personal and financial costs of attending college.
*Promote the numerous student activities and student services available on campus.
*Provide an efficient and extensive academic advising session.
*Complete a class schedule and provide appropriate information for the student to declare a
chosen major.
Intended Outcome
Students will receive pertinent information in a timely
fashion related to the registration process, catwalk,
catcards, residential living, and other programs and
services This information will be disseminated in a
straightforward and consistent manner.
This is currently in process (4/17/07).
Curricular and/or Co-Curricular
In accordance with an established university
informational-packet mailing timeline, orientation
programs will send out informational brochures to
all students admitted to the university for each
semester. Once the student has received the
information packet and made a decision as to which
orientation session would best suit their needs and
best fit their schedule, orientation programs will
send out a confirmation letter via email or traditional
mail. This confirmation letter will reiterate the steps
a student needs to take prior to orientation,
(immunizations, vehicle registration, submission of
photo to the CatCard office, et cetera). Once on
campus for orientation, further assistance will be
given by university personnel to students and family
members in the informational sessions and through
follow-up avenues identified on the orientation
website, in the student handbooks and family
guides given at check in. This will insure that
prospective students and those closest to them will
not be given conflicting or confusing information.
This will ease the anxiety inherent in the transition
to college life, and will show the university in a
positive light.
Method(s) of Assessment
The orientation program staff will review
parent and student evaluations to gauge
how prospective students and their family
members perceived the information
delivered to them via the informational
packets, confirmations and the orientation
This will take place following each session.
This is taking place now. (4/17/07)
Students will obtain their first class schedule.
This has no occurred yet.
During the latter half of orientation, (second day or
late evening of one-day intensive sessions)
students will be presented with a schedule based
on their Catwalk preferences. (Catwalk is an online
portal that acquaints new students with Western
Carolina University’s liberal studies program and
provides them with an opportunity to declare a
major.) The student will review the schedule and
speak to an academic advisor about their questions
and concerns. Departmental meetings provide
students with an opportunity to meet with
representatives of their chosen field of study.
Therefore, students will be able to evaluate their
schedule based on the information presented to
them at the departmental meetings by university
faculty. The end result will be a well-advised
student equipped with a schedule tailored to their
tastes and needs.
Orientation program staff will review
registration processes and assist students
in schedule changes resulting in their initial
class schedule.
The first time this will take place will be April
28, 2007.
First occurrence will be April 28.
During the first semester, students will receive timely
and accurate updates from their orientation counselor
on academic and co-curricular activities.
This is a fall initiative.
Interaction between orientation and new students
will begin with the orientation registration process.
Once a student has registered for an orientation
session, the orientation office will send them a
confirmation letter via email or traditional mail that
highlights the steps that need to be taken before
their orientation session. At their orientation
session, each student (first-year freshmen) will be
assigned an orientation counselor. It is the duty of
this counselor to guide the students through the
orientation process and provide them with a
personal contact point. Once the semester has
begun, a student’s assigned orientation counselor
keeps in contact with the student, providing them
with support and pertinent information of an
academic and co-curricular nature throughout their
first semester.
Currently in process.
To measure the effectiveness of our student
contact, each orientation counselor is
required to submit a series of reports
staggered throughout the fall semester. The
first report will coincide with welcome week
and will detail how students are adjusting to
collegiate life. The second report will focus
in on the student’s academic and cocurricular activities as they find their niche.
The third will continue on the themes of the
first two with special emphasis on
academics as deadlines loom. The fourth
report, via the orientation counselors, is a
“wrap-up” report from the first year students
that sums up their experiences during their
first semester.
Fall 2007 activities.
Intended Outcome
Curricular and/or Co-Curricular
Method(s) of Assessment
Orientation will begin to foster student development
and intellectual growth such as effective
communication, realistic self appraisal,
independence, collaboration and career goal setting.
Students will use the information provided at
orientation sessions to make an informed decision
about their academic future. The CatWalk process
and advising sessions will help students to
understand Western Carolina University’s liberal
studies requirements and how students can fashion
their academic plan to facilitate their graduation and
post-graduation goals. Students will be encouraged
to develop a plan for their future that takes into
account how their curricular and co-curricular
decisions of today effect their tomorrow. This
self-appraisal will help student s to articulate their
personal goals, as they formulate an academic plan
that will help them efficiently and successfully reach
that goal.
Orientation programs will introduce
prospective students to the idea of synthesis
and explain how the educational briefcase will
help them build for their future. Synthesis
encourages students to think about their
entire college experience, curricular and
co-curricular, as one cohesive whole that will
better prepare them for the future. Students
will be asked to compile an “education
briefcase,” an online portal that stores their
curricular and co-curricular activities.
Following orientation, students will continue
updating their online briefcase working
closely with advisors and departmental
representatives. Orientation counselors will
survey students through one-on-one
conversations to ascertain the success of
these portfolios.
Has not occurred yet.
Future endeavor.