Date of Award




Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Department of Educational Policy and Leadership

Content Description

1 online resource (v, 104 pages) : illustrations (some color)

Dissertation/Thesis Chair

Teniell L Trolian

Committee Members

Susan D Phillips, Tomas A Aguirre


orientation, Dropouts, College student orientation, College dropouts, Technical institutes

Subject Categories

Education Policy


This is a quantitative study that examined the efficacy of an orientation program held at a college of technology on first-year student retention and the applicability of Tinto’s Theory of Student Departure (1975, 1993). Data collected through observations and student records of students who began in fall of 2018 and fall of 2019 were analyzed using statistical tests to see if students who were retained attended more sessions than those who departed, if any of the six specific session blocks showed a greater relationship between attendance and retention, and if students who attended more than half of the orientation session blocks were involved in more co-curricular opportunity and had higher GPAs than students who attended half or fewer of the session blocks. The orientation program studied in this dissertation was developed focusing on the components of Tinto’s Theory of Student Departure (1975, 1993), specifically aiming to facilitate a quicker and more seamlessly integration into the academic and social stream of the campus. The orientation was held in two steps. The First-Step occurred in the end of May or early June and was a one-day workshop. The Second-Step was held the Friday through Sunday before classes began, comprised of five separate educational session blocks were held along with entertainment and social opportunities for the students. Finding from this study indicate that students who were retained attended, on average, more sessions than students who departed. This study also found students who attended the first-step and Block 3 showed an increase in the odds of retention compared to those who did not attend the sessions. Finally, this study found that students who attended more than half of the orientation sessions had higher co-curricular involvement memberships and higher first semester GPAs compared to the students who attended half or fewer.