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College & Career Training in Alaska

09Apr

Virtual Admission Counselors, Tours, and Orientations, what are they all about?

For students who haven’t decided on where to pursue their education next, it may be a bit challenging as many students are home right now as a result of the COVID-19 Pandemic.  While it is unknown at this time when life will return back to “normal,” there are still opportunities out there to help you make informed decisions about your next steps.  Many institutions and trade schools are increasing their virtual presence to showcase what they have to offer.  They can come in many forms, but what I am finding is that they fall into three virtual categories: Admissions, Tours, and Orientations.

Admissions:

University Admissions Counselors have been able to work remotely from home and continue to field calls from prospective students. While it varies from institution, they are still able to answer your phone calls or set up a virtual meeting using Zoom, Skype, or another platform.  Some will have set hours for you to remote in and others will want to have a prescheduled appointment.  Check your prospective institution’s admissions page to learn what options are out there.

Tours:

Virtual tours have been around for some time as not everyone can afford to fly across the state or continent.  Many will feature the highlights of their campus, whether it be a specific building relating to their core programs, while others could showcase the natural feel of the campus as if you were actually there.  Some could feature the residence halls rooms, so you know which one to apply for.  Youvisit and Campus Tours are two of the many websites that allow you to tour a campus, but we recommend that you visit the official website of your school to see what they offer as they may use a different software.  We expect to see a few Facebook Live events where Admissions Counselor walks around their campus in the coming weeks.

Orientations:

Virtual orientations are likely to take place over the coming weeks and months, and institutions are already updating their Admissions pages to allow you to register. They may be for specific groups such as first year students, transfer students, graduate students, and veterans, but they offer universal orientations as well.  They may be run by teams from admissions staff, registration, financial aid, and even a few faculty members.  We have found some institutions have already preloaded virtual orientations in prior years as a requirement for you to complete before you arrive on campus.

Advice:

Take advantage of the different virtual opportunities that currently exist and those that are on the schedule.  If you have questions, contact your school admissions office and see what they have to offer.  Another place to look would be their social media pages.  If you decide to take a virtual tour, you could familiarize yourself with campus.  If it is an orientation, you could find out about important resources that may be buried on the schools website.  Choosing where you continue your education is a big decision. If you cannot make it physically to the campus of your dreams, at least get a free preview.

Right now, the ACPE Success Center staff are working from home.  If you have any questions, feel free to contact at 1 (800) 441-2962, option #4, or you can email us at acpesuccesscenter@alaska.gov. We will be updating our website and Facebook pages to let you know when we will be back in the Dimond Center location and able to meet with you in person!

About the Author

Tyler Eggen

Tyler Eggen

Tyler is Alaskan born and educated, with over a decade of experience in higher education & student affairs.  When he is not serving the next generation of postsecondary education students, he enjoys spending time outdoors while hunting and fishing.

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