Due to the COVID-19 stay-at-home and gathering orders, prospective students are unable to visit campus in person, requiring a more creative solution.
Much like the recent online efforts of Campus Ministry, the Newman Admissions team is working hard to provide visitors with enlightening virtual tours of the campus.
Admissions Counselor Macey Neal said, “Even though this is a very unusual time for everyone, we still need to be able to offer the best Newman experience for prospective students and their families. We talked collaboratively as a team and also looked at what other schools were doing and came up with our own ideas for what we wanted the virtual Newman experience to look like.”
Georgia Drewes, associate director of admissions for recruitment, applauded the team for their speedy transition to this online format.
“Amy Arrington, our Welcome Center manager, has done a lot of the work to change our listings and information on the website, change our visit registration form to reflect our current offerings and she also had to reach out to any students who had scheduled a traditional visit in the upcoming weeks and reschedule them for a virtual Zoom visit.”
In addition to website, registration and scheduling changes, Drewes expressed the impressive progress on the virtual visits as a whole.
“Geoff Louvar, our digital marketing manager, has been working closely with our student workers and University Relations team members to turn videos, pictures and commentary into a virtual tour of campus that really flows well and allows us to still show students many parts of campus they would normally see during a traditional, student-led tour. Geoff has also been working on a new presentation of information that we, as admissions counselors, can share with students and families via Zoom.”
Neal spoke of the great need to continue with campus tours, even if they are not in person.
“Just as it is important for students to finish their school work online, it is important for us to be able to serve them online. Students will still be graduating or transferring and wanting to attend Newman this fall. We need to be able to accommodate those prospective students with the best customer service as close to normal as we can.”
Virtual visits are already underway, and Neal believes they have been and continue to be successful.
“I met with a student and her family from Nebraska … via Zoom. I was able to share my screen with them so they could follow along with our visit presentation exactly as if they had been in my office. Both of her parents got to sit in and ask questions alongside her and it was a great visit.”
Drewes announced that prospective students may begin scheduling online visits now.
“Students can go to our website to get more information and register for a particular date and time. Because we know that many students are now utilizing online or distance learning, we are now offering visits at 9 a.m., 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. Monday through Friday, as opposed to our regular 10:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. times each day. Each time slot will include an individual visit with an admissions representative, a student-led virtual tour and a visit with faculty, if available.”
Neal concluded with a message for prospective students: “For prospective students, know that all of us in admissions and Newman-wide are here for you. We encourage you and your families to take advantage of these virtual visits and ask as many questions as you can so you can make an informed decision as you head into college. We are here to help in any way that we can.”