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When College Outdoor Orientation Programs End: A Grounded Theory Investigation of Program Discontinuation at Four-Year Colleges in the United States

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Outdoor orientation programs are established at the rate of 10 programs a year, yet discontinued at a rate of six programs a year (Bell, Holmes, & Williams, 2010). This study examined the discontinuation of 10 separate college outdoor orientation programs between 2003 and 2008. Using grounded theory, researchers proposed three reasons for program discontinuation: (a) the lack of integration with other campus programs, (b) a sense of exclusion from and competition with other student support programs, and (c) difficulty overcoming the departure of a key administrator. Outdoor orientation program sustainability seems influenced more by integration with other student development services and than by research validating a programs worth.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2011

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  • The Journal of The First-Year Experience and Students in Transition is a semiannual refereed journal providing current research on the first college year and other significant student transitions. The primary purpose of the Journal is to disseminate empirical research findings on student transition issues that inform practice in all sectors of postsecondary education, such as explorations into the academic, personal, and social experiences (including outcomes related to success, learning, and development) of students at a range of transition points throughout the college years; transition issues unique to specific populations (e.g., non-traditional, traditional, historically underrepresented students, transfer students, commuters, part-time students); and explorations of faculty development, curriculum, and pedagogical innovations connected to college transitions.
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