The Commission for Admissions, Orientation, and First-Year Experience hosts webcasts throughout the year to update members on innovative practices and theories related to incoming students.  After webcasts are broadcast, relevant materials will be posted below.

September 2018: A New Approach to Assessing the Educational Benefits of Diversity: Illuminating Diverse Interactions through Geospatical Mapping (Sept 19th at 1pm EDT)

Fostering diverse interactions, defined as opportunities to learn about diverse groups that have an appreciable impact on students’ educational experiences, continues to be a key outcome of campus initiatives. This webinar features on-going research that seeks to understand how students realize the educational benefits of diversity through theuse of an innovative multi-method research design. Specifically, the study tracks and analyzes the location, frequency, and meaning-making of the cross-difference interactions of students in transition, during their first semester on campus. Outcomes of the session include a discussion of the utility of being able to ‘visualize’ the campus climate for diverse interaction and practical interventions to address areas of concern. 

The Mapping Diverse Interactions and Campus Climate project team is led by Dr. Demetri Morgan, Loyola University Chicago. Current or former graduate students, Rachel Fischer, Bree Hyde, Hilary Houlette, and Jessie Payne, manage different aspects of the project. More information about the project team can be found here:

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

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May 2018: Using AOFYE to Navigate Professional Transitions
ACPA’s Commission on Admissions, Orientation, and the First-Year Experience (AOFYE) invite all interested graduate students and AOFYE professionals to join us for a free webinar on Friday, May 25th @ 1:00 p.m. EDT.  The webinar will be focused on getting involved in the Commission for AOFYE and how involvement in the Commission can be useful for those entering the field or transitioning into new roles/institution. Presenters: Shareika Fisher, Assistant Director of First-Year Programs, Wichita State University, Co-Chair, ACPA Commission for AOFYE and Kathryn Knaus, Assistant Director of New Student Programs, Towson University, Vice Chair – Communications, ACPA Commission for AOFYE.

March 2016: Learning from Our Canadian Colleagues: Student Success, Retention, and Students in Transition

This webcast features the comparison between Canadian and American first-year experiences, admissions processes, orientation programs, and student success and retention initiatives.


March 2016: Developing and Implementing Graduate Student Orientation

Panelists included:
Sarah Elsey, Graduate Recruitment and Retention Specialist, University of Colorado Colorado Springs
Jacqueline Looney, Senior Associate Dean for Graduate Programs and Associate Vice Provost for Academic Diversity, Duke University
Christine Wilson, Executive Director, Graduate Programs and First Year Experience, UCLA

Full Presentation here (PDF)


April 2015: They are all [Mascot Name]: International Student Admission & Transition to U.S. College Campuses

U.S. postsecondary institutions have become home to an ever-increasing number of students from across the world, with some institutions doubling their international enrollment in the last five years. Many institutions were caught off guard by this growth, and student affairs and service staff are working to identify ways to best accommodate a globally diverse population. This session will consider international student demographics, the impact of U.S. governmental and institutional practices, and identify ways to better support international students.


January 2015: Strategies for Implementing a Successful International Student Orientation Program

This webinar will focus on strategies for creating and implementing an effective transitional program for new international students to an institution. Using the principles and approach applied by Lynn University (Boca Raton, FL), the presenters will offer perspective and discussion on a theoretical framework, best practices, and a framework for this increasing population on U.S. campuses.

Lynn University is a small private, co-educational institution located in South Florida that enrolls approximately 2,000 students. They have been ranked as having the fourth highest percentage of international students amongst their undergraduate population in the U.S. News and World Report’s annual “2014 America’s Best Colleges” report. Tailoring the transitional experience to a wide variety of cultural backgrounds to maximize potential and growth has been a significant achievement of this institution's existing program.

Full Presentation here (PDF)


December 2014: Incorporating Technology into Orientation Programming
The first webinar in a two-part series will allow attendees to learn about innovative approaches to using technology in orientation programming.  Topics covered will include preparing students to attend orientation, disseminating schedule information beyond paper-based methods, engaging students during orientation, approaches to online orientation, and finally how to use technology and social media to maintain connections with students beyond orientation sessions. Professionals from a variety of institutions will share their best practices.

Recording of Presentation 


December 2014: Exploring Orientation Registration/Attendee Management Systems and Options
In the second webinar of a two-part series, this session will explore various orientation registration and attendee information management systems available for orientation programs and discuss how various universities are utilizing the systems to successfully improve the effectiveness of their programs. The following systems and options will be reviewed: Visual Zen, CMS PeopleSoft, Slate, and in-house systems. Professionals from a variety of institutions will share their best practices.

Recording of Presentation


May 2014: Institutional Best Practices of the Common Reading Experience

The second and final chapter of the Common Reading Experience webcast series focuses on several colleges and universities that demonstrate best practices as it relates to coordinating and implementing a Common Reading Experience program. The webcast highlights the Common Reading Experience programs within St. Ambrose University, University of South Carolina, Georgia Institute of Technology, and California State University, Bakersfield. These four institutions vary in age, scale, size, or have an otherwise unique aspect to their program. Participants are able to learn and ask questions on how these best practices can be adapted or transferred to their respective institutions.

Full presentation here (PDF)

Recording of presentation


April 2014: The Common Reading Experience as an Integrative Learning and Programming Experience

In the first of a two-part webcast, Dr. Catherine Andersen, Associate Provost for Academic Affairs at the University of Baltimore and a scholar of the Common Read, defines the theory, literature, and research that supports Common Reading Experience programs. Christy Metzger, Director of First Year Initiatives, and Dr. Katie Partin, Coordinator of First Year Initiatives, are both practitioners of the Common Reading Experience at the University of Louisville. They provide examples of how theory can be implemented to practice an integrative learning and programming experience. The webcast establishes a common language for participants on Common Read programs and provides an opportunity for discourse on implementing a campus-wide integrative experience. The ACPA Commission for Admissions, Orientation, and First-Year Experience are proud to collaborate with the Commission for Student Involvement to host the webcast series.

Full presentation here