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History of NODA
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The first official orientation program for new students in higher education was held at Boston University. By 1925, over twenty-five colleges throughout the nation had such courses, and Directors of Orientation began to emerge on various campuses. As the duties became more formalized in the late 1920s, the nature of orientation jobs prompted those in the positions to start correspondence with one another for sharing of ideas. Defining the role of orientation and techniques to be used became a common need. Orientation was now becoming the final stage of admission and the retention of new students. In the 1940s, Directors of Orientation saw a need to share ideas in a more structured setting. Thus, on December 6-7, 1948, twenty-four delegates from six states met in Columbus, Ohio to discuss the theme, "Aims and Objectives of Orientation Week." This began the annual gathering, and soon the conferences included student leaders, recognizing their central role in all orientation programs.

In the early 1970s, a structure began to emerge...the beginning of the National Orientation Directors Association (NODA). The National Bulletin (the forerunner to The Orientation Review), membership roster, Data Bank, and a series of formal committees marked the beginning of the Association. Western Michigan became the first headquarters, and in 1976 the Board of Directors began functioning formally. February 1, 1977 marked the official "birth" of NODA when a Charter of incorporation was given to the organization by the Secretary of State of Mississippi.

Key Moments in NODA History 
    1948 The first national conference of orientation professionals is held in Columbus, Ohio with 24 people in attendance.



   1974 Norman K. Russell at Western Michigan University (WMU) agrees to serve as the Secretary / Treasurer / Membership Coordinator, and WMU becomes the first headquarters for Orientation Directors.



 1977 On February 1, the NODA Charter of Incorporation is approved by the State of Mississippi.

1980 NODA becomes an active participant in the "Student Services Personnel Accreditation and Certification Conference," later to be known as the "Council for the Advancement of Standards" (CAS).


1982 The first Director of Regions is named, solidifying the importance of regional participation in NODA.


1983 The tradition of exchanging school stickers and placing them on name tags begins at the NODA national conference held in Kentucky.


1987 The first Student Leadership Award is given at regional conferences.

 1993 The Associate / Corporate membership is defined and incorporated into NODA culture. The joint NODA / FYE monograph is published.

1999 The first Orientation Professionals Institute (OPI) is held.

  2000 The Parent Services Network is added to provide support to Parent / Family programs. The Parent Handbook is published.

 2001 A new mission along with core values of Community, Diversity, Integrity, Learning, Scholarship, and Service were adopted by NODA. The NODA Board adopts "Vision 2007" which includes four strategic priorities designed to move the Association forward.

2002 NODA Board of Directors vote to support the first "Transfer Institute" to be held at the University of North Texas.

   2004 Regional Coordinators are elected, rather than appointed, for the first time. The Handbook for Families of Commuting Students is published.
   2006 University of Minnesota is selected as the location for the first permanent home office.
 2007 NODA hires its first Executive Director.
   2008-2010 The Board of Directors and Leadership positions go through a series of transformations, including the move from a working board to a policy board.
   2013 The Association rebrands and changes its name from the National Orientation Directors Association to NODA: Association for Orientation, Transition, and Retention in Higher Education
   2016 NODA's Core Competencies to guide professional development of OTR practitioners are approved
 2017 The first Retention Symposium takes place at the 2017 Annual Conference in Louisville, Kentucky.
Past Presidents

1976: Mike Jones

1978: Don Perigo

1980: Bob Walters

1982: Debbie Shriver

1984: Dave Hansen

1986: Yvonne Schildt

1988: Jim Zakely

1990: Richard Mullendore

1992: Becky Smith

1994: Victor Wilson

1996: Daniel Robb

1998: Jeanine Ward-Roof

2000: Cindy Payne

2002: Andrene Kaiwi-Lenting

2004: Charlie Andrews

2007: Craig Mack

2010: Cynthia Hernandez

2013: Rick Sparks

2014: Beth Lingren Clark

2016: Andy Cinoman

2017: Shawn Smee

2018: Quincy Spencer 


1.866.521.NODA (6632) | 1200 S Washington Ave, Suite 215, Minneapolis, MN 55415