The COVID-19 pandemic has had major effects on colleges nationwide. From a student’s perspective, you would think that the college staff has an easier job since there are no students on campus.
For the Sterling College Admissions team, this is not the case.
Many issues arise when you can’t be within six feet of a person and you can’t have more than ten people in a group at a time.
Going virtual in a classroom setting may be an easy-fix, but for a team of people trying to show prospective students what Sterling College is all about, it is not as easy.
Dennis Dutton, the Vice President of Enrollment and Admissions vocalized some of the struggles they are dealing with.
“Adding to the significance of this moment is the reality that seniors in high school and potential transfer students are being called upon to make a decision during unprecedented circumstances,” Dutton said. With practically everyone not able to leave their home, it is imperative that we move to an online format for admissions processes.”
Admissions Counselor Carrie McGlynn recognizes the difficulty of working in admissions during this pandemic.
“COVID-19 has the Admissions team working around the clock to come up with new and inventive ways to show off the community aspect of who we are at Sterling College,” McGlynn said. A huge selling point for prospective students has always been coming to campus to see and feel that for themselves. We have been working on a virtual campus visit where students will be still able to experience this by chatting with their admissions counselor, coach, directors and financial aid. It is also affecting some of our prospective students who had planned on taking the ACT or SAT test this spring. All test centers have been closed and no alternative measures provided. As a team we have been reassuring these students that we will still have scholarships waiting for them when test sites open back up in June.”
One of the way the admissions team is dealing with these setbacks is by creating a virtual campus tour through the app Zoom.
“The Sterling solution to this recruitment dilemma is to use “Zoom,” an online conferencing website, allowing for “virtual” meetings and conferences,” Dutton said. Many high schools are using the popular conferencing site, so it is familiar to many people. A Zoom virtual campus visit will not differ from a traditional on-campus campus visit. Prospective students and parents still register for a Virtual Campus Visit (VCV) through an online web form on the Sterling College website. There they indicate their major and activity interests and the date they wish to “visit.” The Sterling College Admissions Office then schedules appointments with faculty, coaches, arts directors, as well as financial aid representatives and others. A Zoom link is sent via email to the student, parents and all the various college appointments with an Admissions Counselor hosting.”
Sterling College Admissions is just one of many teams across the country that are facing these issues brought forth from the COVID-19 Virus.