Since the COVID-19 situation began to change in early March, the university’s enrollment management team has had to make some quick changes to support the needs of incoming students and their families.
In March, the university announced the cancellation of all events that were open to outside visitors to drastically limit the number of people coming to campus. This included the university’s March 21 Open House, an important opportunity for many prospective students and their families to visit Stetson University, tour campus, and talk with faculty and current students.
The March Open House did proceed for a few families that could not change travel plans at the last minute without significant financial consequences, and the small gathering was uneventful. Since then, the university has moved to key or card access only for buildings and facilities, closed previously open spaces to visitors, and limited gatherings to 10 people or fewer.
As you can imagine this has had an impact on enrollment staff. But as Vice President for Enrollment Management Joel Bauman says, they have responded to the challenge.
“They’ve been great, phenomenal,” Bauman said of his staff. “We knew we had to keep the health and safety of our community in mind, but still find ways to engage and communicate with students and parents interested in a Stetson education.”
To address the change, his Campus Visitation team and leadership created, tested and now offer daily Virtual Information Sessions.
“We’ve hosted virtual sessions before,” said Dana Dolbow, director of Campus Visitation. “They were mostly utilized for graduate or special program-specific information. This meant taking the very personal, one-to-one tours we were doing and moving that experience online to engage and connect with our students remotely. ”
Dolbow said the entire team is also working on the challenge of creating a unique and special virtual Hatter Saturday event for students planning to enroll for Fall 2020 Semester.
Until then, to support the new virtual experiences, the university’s Creative Services team has taken an existing tour and revamped and updated the information, video and visuals. We hope the new Virtual Tour captures the beauty of the historic DeLand campus and the lasting appeal of a Stetson education.