WWC review of this study

Evaluating the Effectiveness of Extended Orientation for New, Undecided Freshmen.

Shoemaker, Judith S. (1995). Retrieved from: https://eric.ed.gov/?id=ED384303

  • Quasi-Experimental Design
    , grade

Reviewed: July 2016

No statistically significant positive
Meets WWC standards with reservations
Academic achievement outcomes—Statistically significant positive effect found for the domain
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
Significant? Improvement

College GPA

First year experience courses vs. Business as usual

1 Semester

College students;





Evidence Tier rating based solely on this study. This intervention may achieve a higher tier when combined with the full body of evidence.

Characteristics of study sample as reported by study author.

  • 9% English language learners

  • Female: 52%
    Male: 48%

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The freshman orientation course was offered at the University of California, Irvine campus in 1993. The students included all incoming first-year students with undeclared majors during that academic year.

Study sample

The intervention group was 53% female, and the comparison group was 49% female. The sample was racially diverse. Students in the intervention group were 68% Asian, 18% White, and 14% other minority. Students in the comparison group were 56% Asian, 24% other minority, and 20% White. Of the full study sample, 24% of the intervention group and 25% of the comparison group were classified as low income, and 9% of the intervention group and 8% of the comparison group were English language learners.

Intervention Group

The intervention was a two-credit freshman orientation course called “The University Experience: Issues and Options for Unaffiliated/Undecided Students.” The course met twice weekly and was comprised of guest lectures from faculty and professional staff, group discussion, and various assignments intended to ease the transition to college. Course topics covered library skills, interacting with faculty, university policies and procedures, assessing individual learning styles, setting goals, cultural diversity, stress management skills, and opportunities for student leadership.

Comparison Group

The comparison condition included all unaffiliated or undeclared freshmen who did not enroll in the orientation course. These students received traditional college services and coursework; they did not participate in the orientation course.

Support for implementation

No information was provided regarding support for implementation.


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