Saint Mary’s Office of Admission adapts for prospective students
Genevieve Coleman | Wednesday, April 1, 2020
In response of the closure of the College due to coronavirus, the Saint Mary’s Office of Admission is working diligently to address prospective students’ questions and concerns.
Director of Admission Sarah Gallagher Dvorak said her office is facing unique circumstances because of the virus. While admissions counselors will be working remotely, prospective students will still be able to reach out to them.
“This is a challenging time for sure, but we’re coming up with innovative solutions to still connect with prospective students,” Gallagher Dvorak said. “All our admissions counselors will have virtual office hours and [we will have] virtual receptions for areas that we had to cancel off-campus admitted student events.”
According to the Office of Admission’s website, the deposit deadline for accepted students has been extended to June 1 in an effort to help families finalize their plans during this difficult time. Events such as Spring Day on Campus and Meet Me at the Avenue have been cancelled, but the Office of Admission is working to create an alternative.
“Our plan is to host an event, and potentially more events, to replace Meet Me at the Avenue and Spring Day on Campus later in April. We’re finalizing those details now,” Gallagher Dvorak said.
The Office has created several virtual opportunities for prospective students to keep connected to admissions counselors and student ambassadors. This includes twice weekly admissions presentations led by the Director of Admission and Admission Counselors each week over Zoom.
“[In addition], families can set up virtual meetings. They can fill out a form letting us know the day/time they want to meet virtually and the format they want to use,” Gallagher Dvorak said. “They also give us a sense of the types of questions they have and whether or not they want a virtual campus tour led by our admission ambassadors.”
Junior student ambassador Claire Linginfelter said some online tools could be used to give prospective students a virtual tour of the College.
“[Ambassadors are] using the YouVisit tour that the school has already had and essentially using the same tour script as if you’re on campus,” Linginfelter said. “I can come and log in to [a Zoom group], answer questions for [prospective students] and give insight from a current student’s perspective.”
In regards to the importance of student ambassadors in the Office’s outreach to prospective students Gallagher Dvorak said, “[Student ambassadors] will help us give virtual campus tours, text/email/call prospective students and their families, participate in Zoom meetings that target students who have interest in certain majors or areas of campus life and represent Saint Mary’s in a number of marketing efforts.”
Linginfelter said she is proud of the department’s plans, and impressed with how quickly the Office of Admission has come up with a game plan.
“It’s really nice to know that they are listening to our concerns and questions,” Linginfelter said.