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UT has been recognized as a leader in the areas of orientation and parent programs by the National Orientation Directors Association (NODA) for Orientation, Transition, and Retention and the Association of Higher Education Parent/Family Program Professionals (AHEPPP).

Staff from UT’s Office of New Student and Family Programs (NSFP) attended both the NODA conference in Orlando, Florida, and the AHEPPP conference in San Diego, California, this month. During the conferences, staff attended keynote presentations from leaders in the field and educational sessions presented by orientation and parent program professionals at other institutions to gain ideas and network with professionals from across the country.

The following awards were presented to UT during the conferences:

  • Outstanding Welcome Week Publicity award in the large institution category at NODA
  • Excellence in Publication: Newsletter award at AHEPPP
  • Excellence in Publication: Handbook/Calendar at AHEPPP

In addition to receiving awards, staff members submitted proposals to present educational sessions. The university was represented during three presentations by NSFP staff and alumni from the College Student Personnel master’s program.

The presenters and a brief description of their presentation are provided below.


Paige Phillips and Brianna Ruggles (’14)

Data Driven Transfer Transformation

“In an effort to stay relevant and in touch with transfer student needs, UT has transformed the transfer student experience by examining the current transfer transition process. Using findings from a graduate student project, UT was able to update the transfer orientation program, create a student mentoring program, add to existing welcome week programming, and create a transfer student leadership position.”


Jamil Price, Ashleigh Moyer, and Kasey Robinson (’10)

Invigorating the Week of Welcome through Welcome Week Leaders

“The presenters partnered with the development of a new Welcome Leader program at a large, public institution for 4,200 incoming freshmen and then created a similar program at a small, private institution for 500 incoming freshmen. Understanding that the Welcome Week experience is vital to student success, persistence, and engagement, presenters will provide a forum for discourse and brainstorming, review relevant literature and standards, share personal experiences, and review assessment data of their programs to assist participants in developing and/or enhancing their Welcome Leader/Week of Welcome model.”


Emily Parker and Patrick Ladd

Impacting Student Success through Communication, Engagement, and Collaboration by Parents

“This session will explore opportunities to provide avenues for involvement, communication, and collaboration that connect and inform families, allowing parents to support student success. We will discuss how strategic partnerships with campus colleagues can help your university streamline messages to families while providing appropriate involvement to promote retention and progression to graduation. Assessment data and examples of parent engagement will be shared.”


For more information about the Office of New Student and Family Programs, visit the website.