Faculty Research & Creative Activity

Student Anxiety: Effects of a New Graduate Student Orientation Program

Document Type


Publication Date

January 2014


A significant issue for U.S. institutions of higher education is reducing the anxiety of students in order to help increase retention rates and improve academic performance. The purpose of this study was to analyze the anxiety levels of incoming graduate students at a Midwest regional state university to determine if an online student orientation program would assist in lowering those levels. The State-Trait Anxiety Inventory Form Y-1 (STAI) was used to measure anxiety levels before and after an orientation program was administered. The population consisted of graduate students, with data indicating that anxiety levels of entering graduate students were significantly lower after completing the orientation program. The findings have implications for institutions seeking to understand anxiety levels of incoming students.