Beginning with the End in Mind:
An Evaluation of Goshen College’s Colloquium Program
Hannah Miller, Devon Rouse and Luke Yoder
SOC 392: Methods of Social Research II
Spring Semester 2010
The purpose of this study was to explore Goshen College’s Colloquium Program and investigate the ways in which it helps first-year students transition to life at Goshen College. Research was also done into how Colloquium could be improved to better meet this goal. Three focus groups were conducted by the researchers in order to collect data. One was a group of students who participated in Colloquium; another was a group of faculty members who have taught Colloquium courses. A third was composed of students who transferred to Goshen College after beginning their education at another institution. The results showed that both the Colloquium student group and the faculty group believed Colloquium was helpful for first-year students, but that certain aspects of the program could use improvement. These areas include the orientation of students to campus resources, the discussion of “sensitive issues” and other community standards, and the time limitations of Colloquium. The transfer student group provided data with regards to the transition they experienced upon arrival at Goshen College, affirming some parts of their orientation but offering a critique of Orientation Weekend and the time limitations of this session. Finally, this study offers various suggestions as to how Goshen College’s Colloquium Program could be improved in the future in order to better meet the needs of students in transition to Goshen College as well as the campus community as a whole.