Innovative hybrid orientation model at NYU College of Nursing emphasizes technological components to better prepare students for academic success
Student orientation programs provide incoming students with important information they need for a successful start to their college career. Typically, student orientation is an on-campus event where incoming students meet with academic advisors to set their schedules for the coming semester, are introduced to faculty and student affairs staff, and participate in social activities where they meet fellow classmates. Lasting from one day to a week, traditional orientations can represent a significant time commitment for incoming students. As today’s student population evolves – 63 percent of undergraduates are over 25 years of age, and six percent of US college students are international – New York University College of Nursing (NYUCN) has adopted a more progressive approach to student orientation in an effort to better meet the needs of its increasingly diverse student body.
NYUCN has become a leader in the use of a hybrid orientation model. This innovative approach to student orientation leverages popular online platforms to deliver important information to incoming students. As a result, the time a student spends at an in-person orientation event is reduced to a two-hour meet and greet that coincides with a campus resource fair.
“Today’s students have demanding schedules, family and work responsibilities, often do not live near campus, and may face a financial burden of attending an in-person orientation program prior to the start of a semester,” said Dr. Jacqueline Klein, Director of Academic Advising and Learning Development at NYUCN. “Academic and student affairs professionals must transform their orientation models to address these very real demands on student time. At the same time, they must ensure students receive the resources and information they need for a successful college experience.”
NYUCN’s model includes a new Student Website, orientation videos featuring deans, key administrators, information about student services, and welcome messages from enrolled students. Once incoming students are enrolled, they are given a series of online orientation videos to view well in advance of their on-site face-to-face meetings. Students are required to, at their own pace, step through each of the online video presentations. Administrators monitor student progress, encouraging them to complete all of the videos.
Academic advisors meet with incoming students about course registration for their first term virtually. By the time students step onto campus at the beginning of the semester, they have already enrolled in their courses and participated in the online component of the new student orientation. The in-person component complements the previously viewed online material.
“Moving a significant portion of our orientation material onto familiar online platforms, like online videos and a dedicated new student website, has increased student accessibility to that information. That, in turn, helps students feel more comfortable and better prepared when they transition into college. In addition, we have found that the hybrid model is having a positive effect on the College’s retention rates,” says Klein.”
“Meeting Students from Where They Are: A Hybrid Approach to New Student Orientation,” was a presentation given at the National Academic Advising Association’s (NACADA) 2013 Region 1 Conference, March 20-22, 2013.
About New York University College of Nursing
NYU College of Nursing is a global leader in nursing education, research, and practice. It offers a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, a Master of Sciences and Post-Master’s Certificate Programs, a Doctor of Philosophy in Research Theory and Development, and a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree. For more information, visit www.nyu.edu/nursing.