Orientation programs are one of the first interactions that students have with their chosen institution; they are also one of the first opportunities for students to begin to build a sense of belonging. Traditional orientation programs are delivered as an in-person, interactive experience. The COVID-19 pandemic necessitated an immediate shift toward online programming, including orientation programming. This study utilized Strayhorn's theory of student sense of belonging as a framework. The purpose of this quantitative study was to compare student reported sense of belonging after virtual orientation programs to student reported sense of belonging after in-person orientation programs in two groups of students, international and domestic students. The findings of this study were the following: 1) a statistically significant difference in the mean reported sense of belonging of domestic students who attended in-person new student orientation programming and domestic students who attended virtual orientation programming, and 2) no statistically significant difference in the mean reported sense of belonging in international students who attended in-person new student orientation and international students who attended virtual new student orientation programming. The difference in the domestic students was shown to point toward a higher sense of belonging in the students who attended in-person new student orientation programming than in students who attended virtual new student orientation programming.
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Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)
College of Community Innovation and Education
Educational Leadership and Higher Education
Educational Leadership; Higher Education Track
Length of Campus-only Access
Doctoral Dissertation (Campus-only Access)
Day, Caroline, "A Comparison of First-Year Students' Sense of Belonging Between Virtual and In-Person Delivery of Orientation Programs" (2021). Electronic Theses and Dissertations, 2020-. 850.