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Intake & Orientation

Evidence-based Strategies - Examples, Research and Tools

Strategy e: Build community by holding group orientations (where possible) for new students, during which students can get to know peers, establish rapport with staff and students, and find connections and commonalities across classrooms.


Looking Through the Window
Nicki McBreen
In this adult school, the introduction of a six-hour orientation increased the percent of students who actually started class after registering and also improved attendance rates.  The orientation covered program information, goal-setting, time management, and study and test-taking skills. The process helped the counselor develop relationships with new students and enabled the students to make more informed decisions about their learning.

Orientation Models, in “Making It Worth the Stay: Findings from the New England Learner Persistence Project”
Andy Nash and Silja Kallenbach
Three diverse (by size, student population, and location) programs that participated in the New England Learner Persistence Project describe the changes they made to improve their intake and orientation processes.

Orientation Outline
Higher Education Resource Center
An example of how one church-based ESOL program organizes its 3-hour orientation to provide a welcoming and informative introduction.

The Results of Implementing ESOL Orientation Classes
Watsonville/Aptos Adult Education
This slideshow chronicles an action research project designed to increase the persistence of ESL students by offering a 9-hour orientation class. Results show that the orientation group had a marked increase in attended hours, post-test rates, and CASAS score gains.


Orientation Survey Tools
Nicki McBreen
This is the series of questionnaires referenced in the McBreen practitioner research write-up, Looking Through the Window.

Peer Interview Questions
Somerville Center for Adult Learning Experiences (SCALE)
This is a set of questions the SCALE program used to help students get to know one another (referenced in “Making It Worth the Stay,” pp. 77-78).