Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Open House Friday’s offer innovative approach to engaging prospective students

Manager of Student Recruitment TJ Eveland
The “Open House Fridays” events have been a success in supporting the Chillicothe Campus’ role as a gateway to higher education for area residents. The events, which began in the fall of 2009 and serve as a mainstay of the campus’ recruiting efforts, allow individuals to explore the college application and financial aid process in a convenient, flexible manner.

The open houses are held every Friday except on university holidays and orientation days and average about 18 prospective students each week. They last about three hours, with a focus on college application, financial aid and course enrollment. Individuals may attend all or portions of each session according to their interests.

OU-C student employees and staff assist with FAFSA forms
Each session includes a tour of campus, college information presentation, FAFSA workshop and advising session. The information presentation and FAFSA workshop take place in a computer lab where students can complete both their college application and FAFSA online. This speeds up the processing time and students get a quicker decision regarding their admission and the amount of financial aid for which they might qualify.

“The open house sessions offer a personalized glimpse of the first steps of attending college,” Director of Student Services John Fisher said. “They are tailored for individuals who have an interest in attending college, either for the first time or as a transfer student, but have specific questions they need to address before deciding to move forward.”

“With a smaller setting than orientation, they allow individuals to stop in and learn more about college in general and OU-C in particular in a relaxed atmosphere. This is a very practical way of demonstrating our mission as an access campus in opening the doors of higher education for community members,” Fisher said.

The events involve staff members from all facets of Student Services, including several student employees, who are particularly helpful in providing their perspective to the prospective students.

OU-C studentAshley Beatty leads a campus tour
“Having recently been in their position as someone just starting college, I understand a lot of the questions these individuals have and can help provide a viewpoint that is valuable for them,” said student employee Ashley Beatty, who conducts the campus tour.

Manager of Student Recruitment TJ Eveland said, “The open house events offer a common-sense approach to reaching out to individuals who have an interest in college but are uncertain how to begin or re-start the process. We want them to realize that the first step is the most important part of the journey and we are here to help them succeed. That commitment begins before they even enroll.”

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