OTR Central: New Student and Family Programs
February 2019


Current Deposit and Orientation Data (as of 9:30am, 2/14/19)

  • Number of students who paid their enrollment deposit - 1634
  • Number of students currently registered for orientation - 1057

Fire Up Friday Update

As many are aware, the first Fire Up Friday (Admissions preview event) was cancelled due to weather on February 8th. Please make note of the remaining Fire Up Fridays scheduled for March 15 and April 5.

Learn more about Fire Up Fridays.

The Office of Student Success has partnered closely with the Office of Admission to coordinate elements of the Fire Up Friday experience. First, students and families will receive a notice upon check-in of their status for enrollment deposit, academic profile completion, and orientation registration. Additionally, staff and senior student leaders will present about the new student transition experience at CMU and what makes our offering truly phenomenal and unique. We hope to continue to build upon this partnership to make sure that elements between admissions and the new student experience are as seamless as possible.

New Student Orientation Portal Updates

In collaboration with the Office of Information Technology (OIT), text and branding updates were implemented in the new student orientation portal. Students can find this portal by visiting www.cmich.edu/orientation. We hope to improve the user interface and leverage existing online student resources. The online portal is utilized for students to accomplish the four tasks below:

  1. Pay the $175 Enrollment Deposit;
  2. Complete an academic interest profile that academic advisors use to create a draft class schedule distributed at orientation;
  3. Select an orientation date;
  4. Register any family members or supporters for orientation

We will keep you apprised of progress on this project as improvements are made.

NOTE: Staff found six different names being utilized across web, print, and email text to refer to the $175 payment that students and families make. To be consistent across departments, please refer to the $175 payment as the "Enrollment Deposit." This will help prevent confusion among students and families. Of course, some may shorten it to just say, "Make sure to pay your deposit," which then allows you to move forward in the online process to secure an orientation.


Reimagined Orientation Schedule Proposal: Community "Workshops"

Over the course of three workshop sessions last week, over 65 academic advising and administrative stakeholders gathered to review proposed schedule adjustments for the 2019 New Student Orientation season. Campus partners received a 30 minute overview of proposed programming ideas, and then spent time in small groups discussing the four schedules (Freshman Student and Family, Transfer Student and Family). Over 53 participants in the workshop sessions completed individual evaluations. 
  • 92.4% of respondents either "Strongly Agree" or "Agree" that "The proposed changes will provide a meaningful orientation experience for new students. The remaining 7.5% were "Unsure."
    • We are excited about the positive feedback to our proposed changes, but we acknowledge that we still have a lot of work ahead to make this a reality. For folks who are "Unsure," I can assure you that we will do everything in our power to build off of years of tradition and hard work, with the intent to carry on CMU's legacy of putting students and families first. Ultimately, the program will only be as strong as our collective effort to assist new students and their families. 
  • 60.2% of respondents "Believe the orientation content can be delivered in the schedule times." Over 30% are "unsure."
    • Feedback in both the individual and group evaluations revealed concerns around the timing for college major advising and registration. We are working on some proposed alternatives, and will be convening representatives from each of the college advising departments to discuss concerns and come to some common ground.
  • 100% of respondents "Understand transition to college as more than just a 1-day orientation program."
    • We are excited about this finding because we are really working hard to coordinate communication, programmatic, and extended orientation outcomes and experiences to be intentionally crafted, keeping in mind the timing of information, student needs, diversity of experiences, etc.
  • Assorted feedback, critical to the experience:
    • Although quantitative data can paint broad strokes, relying too heavily on numbers tends to hide incredibly valuable feedback, such as the consideration of where students will obtain the IDs, working out logistics for special programs/cohorts, and much more. All of this feedback will be evaluated in our planning.

As far as next steps, the Office of Student Success is reconvening and making meaning of all of this important feedback. Our plans include:

  • We are responding to all of the data from the Workshops, ensuring that we have a plan/determination for every concern and idea;
  • Continued meetings with stakeholders to ensure strong coordination/collaboration;
  • A meeting with college advising leaders to determine the best way forward for addressing timing concerns;
  • We will reconvene the Reimagine Orientation Work Group to discuss proposed changes and progress;
  • Finally, we will host 3 Orientation Preview programs in March, reviewing finalized programmatic features.

Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education (CAS) Review

The Office of Student Success staff will lead a program review and self-assessment of orientation at CMU. In accordance with the Association for Orientation Transition and Retention in Higher Education (NODA), the Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education (CAS) produces Program Review and Self-Assessment Guides. These Self-Assessment tools allow programs of various functional areas in higher education to develop a comprehensive understanding of program strengths and gaps. A Graduate Student from Michigan State University, Jordyn Salerno, will lead the self-assessment process, meeting with key stakeholders over the next several months to produce our report. Jordyn is a Central Michigan University graduate and served as a student employee in the program, positioning her as someone with not only internal knowledge, but also a key lens as an alum. 

New Student Communication Audit

This spring, Enrollment & Student Services is conducting a communication audit to catalog all messages sent to newly admitted students through their first day of classes.  The goal of this audit is to update all the communications a student receives from the University, establish and up to date new student checklist, and to ensure communication is accurate amongst campus stakeholders.

If you or your department sends materials (print/electronic) to admitted/new students between January and August to prospective students and/or family members, please either send:

  1. email copes of your messages to parke1wr@cmich.edu with the subject line "New Student Communication Audit".
  2. physical copes of materials to Ronan 290 (Attention: Bo Parker)

Save the Dates: Orientation Preview for Stakeholders

The Office of Student Success is planning to host three "Orientation Preview" sessions for 2019 for campus stakeholders from 3:00-4:30pm on March 18, March 21, and March 26. The purpose of this program will be to introduce the 2019 model for orientation. Formal invitation with RSVP to follow. 

New Student Orientation Dates

Please consider the following dates in terms of staffing and campus coordination.

Spring/Summer Offerings

  • April 12: Transfer Only
  • April 26: Transfer Only
  • May 3:  Transfer Only
  • May 10: Transfer Only
  • May 13 – May 24: Orientation Staff Training Dates
  • May 28: Freshman Only
  • May 29: Freshman Only
  • May 30: Freshman Only
  • June 4: Freshman Only
  • June 5: Freshman Only
  • June 11: Freshman Only
  • June 12: Freshman Only
  • June 13: Freshman Only
  • June 18: Freshman Only
  • June 19: Freshman Only
  • June 20: Freshman Only
  • June 21: Transfer Only

July/August Offerings

  • July 11: Transfer Only
  • July 25: Freshman Only
  • August 9: Transfer Only
  • August 22: Transfer & Freshman
  • August 23: Transfer & Freshman