Master of Arts in Higher Education (MAHE) Theses

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

First Advisor

Todd Ream

Second Advisor

Scott Gaier

Third Advisor

Tim Herrmann


Freshmen beginning their undergraduate education enter with various backgrounds and understanding of what college expectations will be. Institutions must properly ease first-year students into this new transition in their life. One way to help a first-year student transitioning into college is with a first-year orientation program. First-year orientation programs provide unique space for students to adjust well to their institution. Orientation provides time prior to the academic year beginning to allow first-year students to meet their peers, better understand the transition into college, become familiar with campus, feel comfortable with interacting with faculty, staff and administration, and learn more about one’s self and others in a large or small group setting. Orientation provides all of these benefits to first-year students because of various available avenues, such as programming opportunities and small group settings with other first-year students. Orientation allows first-year students to better know themselves, their peers, and the campus culture before beginning the academic year. Institutionally, orientation programs highly benefit first-year students and are utilized nationally across various institution types.