Academic achievement -- Education (Higher), College freshmen, College student orientation, Memory -- Education (Higher), Student adjustment -- Education (Higher)


Freshman business administration students were placed into an extended orientation course during their first semester of enrollment at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. The 60 course participants met twice a week for fifteen weeks in a 55-minute class spending approximately 20% of class time in each of the following: (a) lecture; (b) skill exercises; (c) group discussion; (d) guest speaker presentations; and (e) a combination of reviews, quizzes, previews, and assignments. The purpose of the course was to provide students with information and the opportunity to acquire skills to help them to be more successful in college.

Following the end of their first semester the records of the freshmen participating in the course were compared to two control groups; a random sample of 89 entering freshmen, and the 1985 entering class of 51 business administration students. Analysis of the study data led to the following conclusions: (a) The academic achievement of freshmen, as measured by academic standing, ratio of completed classes to hours for which enrolled, and grade point average was not found to be significantly impacted by attending the orientation course; (b) the retention of freshmen into a second semester was not fostered by course attendance; (c) the faculty members teaching the course were not unanimous in their praise of or continuing the course; and (d) the majority of students enrolled in the course did report the course to be beneficial to their academic and social adjustment and recommended that it continue to be offered to incoming freshmen.

Recommendations resulting from the studies findings and conclusions included: (a) to use caution in relying on such courses to improve academic performance and retention; (b) to further explore benefits of such a course to assist in providing a smoother transition to college for freshmen; (c) in offering such courses greater care should be taken with the selection and training of instructors; (d) that benefits or lack of benefits of course participation be tracked over several semesters; and (e) that replication of this or other similar studies be undertaken and that the studies be constructed to limit self-selection into the study groups.


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Graduation Date





Haughee, Harold J.


Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


College of Education


Educational Services

Degree Program

Administration and Supervision




197 p.




Public Domain

Length of Campus-only Access


Access Status

Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)



Accessibility Status

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