Orientation is critical for new community college students, said Arlene Arnsparger of the Center for Community College Survey for Student Engagement at the American Association of Community Colleges board of directors’ retreat in Washington, D.C. From Community College Times:
CCCSE data and focus groups show that recent high school graduates attending a two-year college often have difficulties in navigating the college system, from enrolling and registering for appropriate classes, to learning about available student aid.
“This is a new country to them when they come through our doors,” Arnsparger said.
Fewer than half of recent high school graduates participate in student orientation. As a result, many do not meet with an adviser. Orientation should be mandatory, Arnsparger argued.
However, students complain that advisers aren’t helpful, Arnsparger said.
Too often, the meetings focus on selecting individual courses to fulfill graduation requirements rather than on long-term goals such as career aspirations and pathways and short-term needs, such as time-management skills.
College leaders at the retreat how to strengthen advising and encourage students to reach out for help.