Significance of a New Student Orientation Within International Education Agencies Offering Higher Education Online: Development of Communication, Computer, and Team-Building Skills at Haitian Connection Network (HCN)

Degree Name

MA in International Education

First Advisor

Richard Rodman


This paper addresses the need for international education to implement new student orientations within cross-border education organizations offering higher education programs online through distant learning. Haitian Connection Network (HCN) offers the opportunity for students in throughout Haiti to earn a certificate/diploma/degree by providing the infrastructure necessary for online learning without a student orientation. The analysis was conducted through an environmental study scan of informal student observations and discussions, in addition to a formal student and staff survey. Knight’s (2006) research on cross-border education, the communication model with emphasis in virtual communication, and Scagnoli’s (2001) research on the purpose and strategies of orientations for online learning have contributed to the theoretical foundations regarding the significance of student preparation in tertiary virtual learning across international borders. The creation of the HCN program and participant goals and objectives are established to require the skillful development of a 5-day orientation curriculum for all new students entering higher education online learning to attend. The purpose of this research is to create a replicable student orientation that will fill present gaps discovered in effective communication, teambuilding, and computer technology skills, and to increase earlier learning success for students pursuing higher education online. The New Student Orientation Program (NSOP) seeks for students to gain academic and social skills that will contribute to long-term educational and professional success in Haiti.

Keywords: orientation, new student, Haiti, Haitian Connection Network (HCN), online, higher education, distant learning, computer skills, communication, virtual learning, teambuilding


Communication | Higher Education | Online and Distance Education

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