To accomplish its goal of becoming a top ten public institution in the country, the University of Florida has developed a comprehensive transition program for new students and their families. Below is the story of why Preview is crucial to the success of new students and how it has established itself as a national best practice.

“At many colleges summer orientation is mandatory, and for good reason. Important transitions take place at orientations… It will make the beginning of the new semester go much more smoothly for everyone.” -College Parents of America (July 2011)

“College Orientation sessions are a terrific way for new students and their [families] to learn about academic and student life.” -youngadults.com

“Successful Orientation programs have been linked with student retention. Richard Mullendore (2011) states, ‘the literature for the past 30 years has been clear that it is equally important to understand that it is the combination of academic and social integration that is critical to student success and retention, and a student’s comfort level with a college is often established during orientation.’” -higheredjobs.com

 

New students work one to one with a professional advisor/faculty member as well as a peer Orientation Leader to develop intentional first semester schedules. Nationally, UF’s orientation provides students with a better understanding of academic requirements. On a recent survey that asked students to rank their understanding of academics after completing orientation on a scale of 1 to 4 (1 being the lowest and 4 being the highest) UF’s average was 3.35 versus the national average of 3.17.

99% Percentage of students that understand UF’s academic expectations as a result of attending Preview.

97% Percentage of students that felt their 1:1 advising appointment at Preview provided guidance in selecting courses.

98% Percentage of students who successfully started their academic careers “on track” as a result of academic advising at Preview.

Preview focuses as much attention on academics as it does to developing a supportive community to promote student engagement and retention.

97% Percentage of students that plan to get involved in at least one organization during their first semester at UF.

97% Percentage of students that felt it is their responsibility as a Gator to reach out to fellow Gators in distress.

96% Percentage of students that understood their right and responsibilities as a member of the UF community.

Below are statistics collected from an anonymous benchmark survey administered by the National Association for Orientation, Transition and Retention in 2014. 1 – Lowest | 4 – Highest

Chart of sruvey

A top supporter of student success is the presence of a positive academic role model. Preview connects each student with a peer mentor (Orientation Leader) and Professional Academic Advisor.

94%
Percentage of students that felt comfortable contacting their Preview Orientation Leader for advice after classes begin.

97% Percentage of students that felt comfortable contacting their Preview Academic Advisor for advice after classes begin.

PREVIEW SUPPORTS UF’S TOP TIER FIRST YEAR RETENTION RATE OF 96%.

This is also seen in UF’s 6 year graduation rate for FTIC cohorts, which is among the nation’s highest, at nearly 84%. Nationally, UF’s orientation provides students with a better understanding of academic requirements.

“We found all aspects of Preview very helpful and informative… Preview confirmed for me as an educator that we are on the right track, and I found the process provided me with a unique insight that probably more high school administrators and guidance counselors should experience.”
-Jill Kolasa
Assistant Principal, Central High School | Brooksville, FL

“Let me begin by letting you know how deeply impressed I was with this program. It was incredibly informative for both students and parents, and it was a great way to get our kids acclimated to the UF ‘lifestyle.’ The [Preview Team] was incredibly knowledgeable, friendly, and made the unnerving process of ‘letting go of our kids’ A LOT easier.”
-John Wiegand
Father, Class of 2018 Student

“I just wanted to take a minute to say THANK YOU to you and your team for the wonderful, informative orientation this past weekend.”
-Linda Lombardi
Mother, Class of 2018 Student

“Preview is a way to connect with the University of Florida. As a parent of an out-of-state student, the Preview experience helped to personalize the place that now serves as my daughter’s new home for the next four years. In two short days we were able to meet with administrators, faculty, current students and get a glimpse at what life will look like on campus. While students spend time with their Preview Staff peers as well as other incoming students, family members learn about all of the programs offered at UF and how to navigate all of the important information that is available for you and your student to have a successful first year at Florida! Being a former Preview staffer and UF Alumni, I thought I knew everything – – but that was a “century ago” I mean today, there is even a Preview App that has all the information you need at your fingertips on your smartphone!!!”
-Debbie Kaplan
Mother, Class of 2019

“I just wanted to drop you a note to tell you how impressed my wife and I were with your Preview Staff… my wife and I are both UF alums and avid supporters. Without sounding too sappy, your staff gives us hope that the future of UF is going to be in good hands for the next generation.”
-Patrick and Kirsten Tealan
Parents & UF Class of 1989