By Cole Schnieders, Staff Writer
High school seniors worldwide are mourning the loss of graduation ceremonies and final sports seasons, but admissions is trying to keep one senior tradition alive: campus visits.
Georgia Drewes, Associate Director of Admissions, says the shift to online had to be quick.
“We found out we were going to be working from home two weeks ago, and we came up with this whole virtual visit format and finalized it within a week,” she said.
Drewes said larger colleges often go to expensive outside companies to put together virtual tours, but the new virtual campus visits have been put together by Newman staff.
The visit is similar to normal campus visits, consisting of a presentation by an admissions counselor, a virtual tour led by a student ambassador and an opportunity to meet with a faculty member in the student’s major, Drewes said. The main difference is that it is now all over Zoom.
Drewes said she is glad that Newman now has a virtual option.
“If there’s ever an instance where we go back to offering on-campus visits and we’re clear and we can start meeting with people again, I think that we will keep the virtual visit option,” she said. “We have international students that sometimes decide to come here without ever seeing campus.”
Senior and Student Ambassador Jose Rojas-Montero was one of those international students.
“I’m all for this sort of thing, and it’s going to be so useful for the future… A lot of people make their decision [to attend Newman] on a tour or visit,” he said.
Senior Dania Jumpa, another Student Ambassador who made the decision to attend Newman without a campus visit, thinks this will help out-of-state students.
“At least they will still have the opportunity at some point to come and see the school… I would have loved that opportunity at least to get to see the campus itself through video,” Jumpa said.
In addition to virtual visits, Drewes said admissions has also been adapting their tour Navigator, a new program intended to be a guide for student success, from enrollment to graduation.
Drewes said the program builds up and accentuates things Newman University does well, from interdisciplinary learning to service. According to the Newman website, with Navigator, students will learn leadership skills and have opportunities to apply what they learn in the classroom to the real world.
“I really like talking about Navigator, especially from the Student Support Services side of it,” Drewes said. “A lot of people don’t know all the different resources that are available to them as a student to be successful.”
Courtesy photo, Newman Admissions