LIMA — With colleges and universities conducting classes online, it seems only fit to also recruit students through online means.
The University of Northwestern Ohio used the internet to hold virtual open house events Friday through Sunday.
“We typically hosted an on-campus one this weekend. So this is taking the place of that,” said Tony Azzarello, director of admissions at UNOH. “Before the virus hit, we had a lot of registrants or pre-registered people already in place for this, and we didn’t have the ability to host it. So this was something that we came up with and developed in the last three and a half weeks.”
The Virtual Open House features video tours of all campus buildings in addition to specific major spotlights.
“We have live chat sessions, where we’ve got some of our representatives all online from various departments to answer questions as students navigate through our program today. It’s just that we’re trying to have a nice, interactive and informative online discussion with these students as they go about their selection process,” Azzarello said.
Bluffton University is also holding virtual visits with recruits.
“We’re trying to keep it as normal for the students as possible and just remaining in contact through texts and phone calls, but now offering these different Zoom opportunities for students to be able to visit campus virtually and see us face to face,” said Alyssa Eby, admissions counselor at Bluffton University. “We’re doing these virtual visits for students to be able to see our faces, still get a tour of the campus — just virtually, and then also connecting them with professors as well. We’re trying to give them the same aspects, just in a virtual format.”
This week, prospective students can take part in a Zoom video conferencing webinar for the program of their choice, with a different program highlighted each day.
Over at Ohio Northern University in Ada, staff members are taking a personal approach with prospective students with virtual meetings.
“We’ve been reaching out to them with a focus on individual students in arranging virtual counseling appointments or virtual chats. Those have been very successful, but they’re coming from a variety of audiences,” said Bill Eilola, vice president for enrollment management at Ohio Northern University. “Our staff of admissions counselors and financial aid counselors have been reaching out to those incoming students and their parents to talk about next steps in the enrollment process, and to spend time reviewing their financial aid awards and look at all the options they have for helping to finance their education.
“The faculty members have been very enthusiastically reaching out to students. We’ve been scheduling a lot of virtual chats — virtual question and answer periods — with our faculty members.”
Reach Sam Shriver at 567-242-0409.