2022-23 Annual Report

Vision Statement

To be globally recognized and at the forefront of innovation in higher education for empowering students and creating a seamless transition for all.

Mission Statement

To be globally recognized and at the forefront of innovation in higher education for empowering students and creating a seamless transition for all.

Program Elements

The Orientation Programs office provides a series of experiences that facilitate the transition of undergraduate students to Purdue, and the opportunity for student leadership. New students going through Orientation Programs experiences will be welcomed “All Aboard Purdue,” a four-step process to start their journey as Boilermakers.

  • Purdue 101 (Step One) – This self-led virtual module in Brightspace guides students through campus resources and provides information on Purdue's course planning and advising processes. Purdue 101 is available to summer and fall beginning students from May to late August, and January beginning students from October to January. New students are automatically enrolled in this online orientation module and have access to the module through the end of their first semester.
  • Purdue Advising (Step Two) – Once Step One is complete, students receive an email from an academic advisor about scheduling their first advising appointment. Students fill out their course request form after they meet with an advisor.
  • Purdue 102 (Step Three) – This self-led virtual module in Brightspace focuses on resources related to students' transition to campus and adjusting to college life. Purdue 102 is available to all students closer to the start of classes. New students are automatically enrolled in this online orientation module and have access to the module through the end of their first semester.
  • Purdue Welcome (Step Four) – Optional welcome programs for students in West Lafayette include Boiler Gold Rush, Boiler Gold Rush International (fall beginners), and Boiler Cold Rush (spring beginners). For students in Indianapolis, they can attend Boiler Gold Rush in Indianapolis (fall beginners). Students may alternatively participate in campus for the Purdue “All-American” Marching Band, Purdue Musical Organizations (Purdue Varsity Glee Club or Purduettes), or Athletics programs in West Lafayette. Orientation Programs facilitates the following programs:
    • Boiler Gold Rush (BGR) – Established in 1993 as CORN (Collegians Orientating Residential Newcomers) Camp, and as Boiler Gold Rush since 1995, BGR is Purdue’s fall orientation program. BGR takes place in and out of the classroom the week before the fall term in August and is open to all new first-year and transfer students.
    • Boiler Gold Rush International (BGRi) – Established in 2012, BGRi is a supplemental program that supports the transition, adjustment, and acculturation of international students in the days prior to Boiler Gold Rush in August.
    • Boiler Cold Rush – Established in 2021, BCR is a multi-day program for students starting at Purdue during the spring semester. o Boiler Gold Rush in Indianapolis – To be held for the first time in 2024, this multi-day program for students starting at Purdue University in Indianapolis will help students transition in the week prior to the start of fall term in August.
  • Summer Visit Days (Optional) – Orientation Programs host optional events in June so students and their families can visit Purdue’s campus and engage with students and staff.

Notable Changes

Many significant changes occurred from 2022 to 2023, with the hiring of more professional staff, the first year of the All Aboard Purdue orientation experience, and the developments around Purdue University in Indianapolis.

  • Fostering Belonging
    • Data (seen later in this report: Section II. Chart 5) from Boiler Cold Rush participants shows that these students were retained at rates significantly higher than their non-participating peers. All first-time, full-time students (100%) were retained from first-to-second semester for the second year in a row. All new beginners and transfers were retained from spring to fall in 2023 and have remained above 91% retention since the beginning of Boiler Cold Rush in 2021. Prior to this, first-to-second semester retention for this population was no higher than 87% between 2018-2020.
  • Inclusive Excellence
    • Orientation Programs increased financial support for intentional areas that support inclusion efforts, resulting in high engagement for offices on campus and access for students.
      • With support from the Office of the Vice Provost for Teaching and Learning, each of the five cultural centers on campus received $5,000 to support programming efforts for their Open Houses during Boiler Gold Rush. Several anecdotes from staff at each center shared success, and specific impact can be seen from this reflection from staff at the LGBTQ Center:
        • “The extra funding indeed made a difference! I’m very pleased to share that LGBTQ Center data shows an overall increase in BGR Open House visitation from 2022 (461 students) to 2023 (987 unique students over two afternoons). This represents an increase of 115% in participation/visitation from last year. Further, we have had more than 200 unique students at the LGBTQ Center daily [in the first week of the semester]. This represents an increase in visitation/utilization of the LGBTQ Center of 66% over the same period in 2022.”
      • In tandem with the Purdue Promise program and the Office of Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging, nearly $180,000 of fee waivers were awarded to students who demonstrated financial need for them to attend Boiler Gold Rush in person for half or no cost to the student.
    • In partnership with University Undergraduate Academic Advising, students participating in BGR were reviewed to see if they had a full-time course load of courses. Students who did not were contacted through their BGR Team Leader and connected with an Academic Advisor to adjust their class schedules.
    • In alignment with the Equity Task Force, critical reflection looked at the composition of BGR student groups for the third year in a row. Logic was changed in the participant sorting functions so that at least three individuals of similar status were placed in each group (i.e., three Black students were placed in the same Team Leader group, instead of using the previous logic of distributing all non-white participants evenly across all groups). This was done in hopes of improving the experience of Black Boilermakers in BGR.
      • Post-assessment results indicate that the overall satisfaction (Indicating Satisfied and Very Satisfied) of BGR from Black students was much lower than their non-Black peers in years before 2021.
      • After changes were implemented in 2021, subsequent years show that Black student satisfaction slightly remains behind, but with a much smaller gap between Black students and their non-Black peers.
      • While the cause of this satisfaction increase cannot fully be credited to the sorting of groups, we believe that this change and the continued focus on supporting Black Boilermakers does have an influence on the experience of our Black students during BGR.
  • Collaboration
    • On Nov. 3, 2022, the Orientation Programs team hosted colleagues from around campus at the Purdue Memorial Union to introduce the rebranding of the orientation process. The team hosted an additional, annual updates presentation on March 8, 2023, to show updates for the upcoming year to campus and community partners.
    • On Dec. 9, 2022, a presentation was shared with colleagues to reflect on updates related to the First-Year Success Project.
    • Other important examples of collaboration on campus and in the community can be seen throughout this report.

Fall 2022 / Spring 2023: New Beginners, Boiler Cold Rush, First Year Success Project

  • Student Success Programs continued conversations around the First Year Success Project including:
    • Student focus groups facilitated by colleagues in IDA+A
    • Hosting the First Year Success Symposium on May 17, 2023.
  • Students starting in the spring of 2023 were the first students to go through the All Aboard Purdue orientation experience, beginning with Purdue 101, which launched Oct. 17, 2022.
  • To assist colleagues in ID Card Operations, BGR volunteers were part of a pilot group as some of the first students on campus with access to the Purdue Mobile ID.  

Summer 2023: Purdue 101/102, Summer Visit Days

  • Two Summer Visit Days events were held on Monday, June 5, and Monday, June 12, 2023. This optional event had 942 student and guest registrants between the two days (355 for June 5 and 587 for June 12).
  • A variety of campus partners and colleagues contributed to the programs’ success, including Student Activities & Organizations, Housing & Dining, Office of the Dean of Students, Office of Diversity, Inclusion, & Belonging, University Undergraduate Academic Advising and many others were present to assist in the program's success. The event was supported by BGR Team Supervisors and Team Leaders who filled the role of Summer Conductor for these events.
  • One new session hosted during the program was a “Purdue History Tour” led by retired Purdue administrator, John Sautter.
  • Workshops were held in tandem with University Undergraduate Academic Advising to support “Purdue 101 Leads” (Academic Advisors building College-specific content for Purdue 101).
  • IT colleagues that oversee PREMIS software automatically enrolled students into Purdue 101 sections by college, into Purdue 102 modules by start term, and helped start Brightspace courses for each.
  • Purdue 101 opened for all new students on May 2, 2023, with encouraged, final completion dates of June 9 for summer beginners and June 23 for fall beginners.
  • For the third year in a row, students were able to pin themselves on a “Purdue 101 Map,” created in tandem with colleagues from Geographic Information Systems (GIS). 9,263 students engaged in this map (up from 8,050 in 2022), which gave students the chance to select their Academic College and place their pin around the world.
  • For the third year in a row, incoming students were encouraged to complete Purdue 101 by the end of May. If completed, their action would result in a donation to the ACE Campus Food Pantry, where one dollar per completion would be donated. In total, $6,646 was donated from Orientation Programs, UUAA, and the Vice Provost of Teaching and Learning (compared to $6,638 in 2022 and $5,385 in 2021).
  • Overall, 10,936 students completed Purdue 101 by completing the SIF on or before the June 23 deadline (compared to 10,196 on June 24 in 2022)
  • Purdue 102 opened for summer beginners on June 2 and fall beginners on June 16 with encouraged, final completion of August 1 for all students. Purdue 102 included content such as the MyStrengths Assessment (the final step in the module), PERTS Growth Mindset and Social Belonging modules, a reflection on the Purdue Pillars, and other campus and community resources.
  • In tandem with UUAA, Maggie Smith co-facilitated follow up meetings with each Academic College were held in late-July and August to recap the experience of college advising units and understand feedback in preparation for 2024.
  • Continued engagement with colleagues in the Veterinary Nursing Distance Learning program were made to facilitate Purdue 101 and 102 for this unique population.

Fall 2023: Boiler Gold Rush (BGR), Boiler Gold Rush International (BGRi)

  • One “BGR Live” session took place and had 417 (down from 601 in 2022) concurrent live viewers with over 7,500 total views.
  • BGRi preceded BGR for the second year in a row after returning from a break during 2020/2021 and had 716 registrants. BGRi move-in and check-in was centralized at the Cordova Recreation Center (Co-Rec).
  • Move-in for BGR took place over three days, from Sunday, Aug. 13, through Tuesday, Aug. 15.
  • In collaboration with the Fusion Studio for Entertainment and Engineering, five student- and faculty-led projects were featured in the second annual BGR Entertainment Challenge (below). Funding for these projects was supported by the Fusion Studio, Orientation Programs, and the Office of the Vice Provost for Teaching & Learning.
  • The BGR Opening Ceremony event was livestreamed for the third year in a row, yielding 1,175 concurrent live viewers, down from 2022 with 1,815 concurrent live viewers.
  • All large content sessions were held once again in Elliott Hall of Music and supported by Hall of Music Productions. Loeb Playhouse and several other smaller lectures around campus were also used because of the high number of participants. Hall of Music supported each session.
  • For the first time since 2019, Purdue Promise hosted a pre-BGR orientation program for all incoming students.
  • New/revised events during the week of BGR and BGRi included:
    • Meet the Teams: an updated plan for BGRi and BGR resulted in an overall satisfaction rate increase of 11.6% from 2022 to 2023 (75.2% to 86.8%)
    • Opening Ceremony: held twice on Tuesday, Aug. 15 due to construction impacts at Ross-Ade Stadium, included a welcome from President Mung Chiang (attending his first BGR as President of Purdue University) and other introductions for the week ahead.
    • Slayter Slam: held on Wednesday, Aug. 16, featured interactive games and experiences from Big Bounce Fun House, as well as appearances from the Purdue “All-American” Marching Band and two student bands at the Slayter Center of Performing Arts.
    • Public Health and Safety: held on Thursday, Aug. 17 featured a welcome and moderated panel discussion from Dr. Jerome Adams, Executive Director of Purdue’s Health Equity Initiatives and former U.S. Surgeon General.
    • Thursday night events: two additional programs – the Free Money Game Show and comedian Sean Ridgeway – served as concurrent programming alongside the Purdue Women’s Soccer game on Aug. 17
    • SkyElements Drone Show: held on Friday, Aug. 18, featured a Purdue-themed drone show at the IM Fields designed by BGR Team Supervisors.
    • Send Off Ceremony: held on Saturday, Aug. 19, featured David Coleman for his 15th consecutive appearance during BGR.
  • Purdue Women’s Soccer broke their attendance record for the third year in a row at the annual “Boiler Gold Rush” kickoff game against the University of Central Florida. 4,096 fans were in attendance. The next three highest attendance totals in the history of Women’s Soccer are: 3,296 (2022 BGR game), 2,125 (2021 BGR game), 1,712 (2016).
  • For the second year in a row, Boiler Gold Rush attendees were split into student-specific breakouts during the Academic Success session: summer beginners, transfer students, international students, and traditional first-year students. Additionally, because of the success from Boiler Cold Rush, a faculty panel was held at the end of the Academic Success session during Boiler Gold Rush.
  • In tandem with the Fusion Studio, Orientation Programs hosted SkyElements for a Purdue-themed Drone Show on Friday, Aug. 18. The partnership with SkyElements was at no cost to Purdue and gave the ability for ten BGR Team Supervisors to get hands-on experience in the areas of drone technology, marketing, and design. Karl Sidhwa (SOC member) coordinated much of the student efforts. Participating Team Supervisors were: Atin Dewan, Paul Phan, Aidan Janes, Varun Kamble, John Lipinski, Anushka Nilangekar, Delaney Koi, Kyle Heaton, Ben Meshanko, and Mithra Sarkari.
  • In celebration of 30 years since the first CORN Camp held in 1993, Orientation Programs hosted a Student Orientation Committee and Professional Staff Alumni event on Saturday, Aug. 19, the final day of Boiler Gold Rush. The program had sixty-two participants, which included optional events like attending Fountain Fest and the SkyElements Drone Show, participating in video reflections about Kasi Jones and their time in BGR, attending the BGR Send-Off Ceremony, and attending the event reception on the first floor of the Krach Leadership Center. The Office of Special events in the Purdue for Life Foundation supported the event coordination.
  • In tandem with the University Book Store, Orientation Programs teamed up with Champion to deliver apparel for BGR staff members. Champion designed three unique-to-BGR Purdue-themed staff shirts that BGR volunteers wore during move-in. Additionally, Champion provided Purdue jackets to all Team Supervisors, Student Orientation Committee members, and Professional Staff.
  • Orientation Programs and Campus Safety units collaborated on a revised campus safety video, created by Hall of Music Productions. The update came because of new leadership and a change in operational structure for the units that now fall within Administrative Operations.

Beyond 2023

  • The Orientation Programs team will officially welcome students in Indianapolis All Aboard Purdue in 2024. To support these efforts, Sr. Assistant Director and Program Coordinator positions are anticipated to be recruited for and hired in the next calendar year. Students attending Purdue University in Indianapolis will have the opportunity to attend Boiler Gold Rush in Indianapolis in August 2024.
  • With the addition of responsibilities in Indianapolis, opportunities are anticipated to connect students in West Lafayette and Indianapolis, specifically within the Orientation Programs team.
  • With the success of the first alumni event hosted during Boiler Gold Rush, increased opportunities for engagement with BGR staff and volunteer alumni are anticipated in the coming year.

Orientation Programs Team

  • The Orientation Programs Team was recognized for their accomplishments:
    • Virginia Cabrera continued studies in the College of Education at Purdue University in pursuit of a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Curriculum Studies
    • Virginia Cabrera and Max Dryer were recognized in person at the Focus Award Reception on March 7, 2023 as 2022 recipients for their work on the Boiler Gold Rush Sensory Guide
  • Maggie Smith taught courses in other units:
    • EDPS 105 – Academic And Career Plan (Fall 2022)
    • MGMT 295 – Professional Career Management (Spring 2023)
    • COM 217 – Science Writing And Presentation (Fall 2023)
  • Maggie Smith became a Qualified Administrator for the Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI)
  • One staff member departed the office in pursuit of new opportunities:
    • Jake Slodkowski, Program Coordinator, accepted a position at Quickbase as an Enablement Systems Associate. His last active day in the Orientation Programs office was on Friday, March 3, 2023.
  • Three staff members were hired onto the team:
    • Abigaile Molzer, Program Coordinator, began on May 30, 2023, and supports pre-arrival programs (Purdue 101, 102).
    • Whitney Johnson, Program Coordinator, began on June 5, 2023, and supports Purdue Welcome programs and student staff.
    • Adina Loomis, Program Coordinator, began on June 5, 2023, and supports pre-arrival programs (Purdue 101, 102).
  • Additional partnerships and connections were created outside of Purdue for programmatic and professional development:
    • Craig Johnson attended the 42nd Annual Conference on The First-Year Experience with Dan Carpenter and Andrea Mattingly from Feb. 3-6, 2023 in Los Angeles, California.
    • Craig Johnson, Virginia Cabrera, Jake Slodkowski, Jacque Rickett, and Karen Zerby connected with Event Management colleagues at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway to talk about event management strategies on Friday, February 10, 2023.
    • Virginia Cabrera and Jacque Rickett served on the 2023 NODA Regional Conference Planning committee held at Purdue University Northwest in Hammond, Indiana from March 10-12, 2023.
    • Jacque Rickett, Adina Loomis, Abigaile Molzer and Whitney Johnson attended the 2023 NODA Annual Conference in Minneapolis, Minnesota from October 13-18, 2023.
      • Adina Loomis, Abigaile Molzer, and Whitney Johnson participated in the Orientation Professionals Institute

Our Data

For a full picture of our data from the 2022-23 academic year, please view or download our Full Annual Report by clicking the button below.

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