Admissions Office Creates New Ways to Engage with Prospective Students


Vlada Watkins '21, Guest Writer

 Amidst an unprecedented semester in Dickinson College’s history, the Office of Admissions continues its work to welcome and recruit prospective students to the college community.   . 

Molly Boegel, Assistant Vice President of Enrollment and Director of Programming and Services, said that the Admissions staff knew in March 2020 they needed to act swiftly and strategically in order to pivot to a virtual format. In doing so, the Admissions team has demonstrated g how to find ways to make connections with students and families without in-person work. 

Although  recruitment work is highly relational during a typical year, the Admissions team has found ways to connect with applicants and prospective students nonetheless. Some Admissions counselors hostvirtual high school visits and  virtual campus programming. In addition, the Liberty Caps, Dickinson’s volunteer tour guides, are getting trained to lead virtual tours via Zoom as well as assist in virtual information sessions as panelists. Virtual tours take place on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays at 3:30 p.m. and virtual information sessions are on Mondays and Thursdays at 3:15 p.m.

Bogel said  that through a proposal drafted by the Admissions Recruitment Contingency Committee, and reviewed and approved by the college’s Implementation Committee, they have also been able to reopen the campus to visitors on a very controlled and limited basis. In-person tours began in July and have continued into the fall semester. This has been very important to their continued success.

Boegel said that the Admissions staff have been very thankful for their student volunteers since they are at the heart of what they do. These volunteers include ambassadors, tour guides, interviewers, and the voice of the student body for prospective students. The Admissions team has also relied heavily on a core team of trained Liberty Cap tour guides who were given approval to live on campus for the fall semester and have agreed to lead tours in-person..

When they learned that this group would be on campus, the Admissions team contacted them about the opportunity to fill student worker positions in Admissions which would include limited-size, socially distant, fresh air campus tours. For these reasons, the Admissions team is able to offer campus tours on weekdays.

Admissions staff will also host virtual programs throughout the fall semester. Boegel said that the Admissions visit team, including their events intern, has set their sights on a thoughtfully designed virtual fall. First, they are gathering data from the prospective student population to better understand what type of virtual programming most interests them. The Admissions team wants to make sure that they are providing the needs of  students, according to Boegel. 

Based on that feedback, they will plan a few key virtual events for this fall, including the annual Discover Diversity at Dickinson special visit opportunity. Traditionally a fly-in program, this will now take a virtual format over two consecutive weekends in October. 

Another essential fall program that will find life in the virtual setting is the Fall Open House. Planning for that event is underway and will include participation from across the campus community. Lastly, the Admissions team will continue to offer regular virtual information sessions and student-led virtual tours throughout the fall semester.