Graduate Admission Embraces New Technology
Things are going high-tech in the Graduate Admission office and our graduate programs are reaping the benefits. Working with the latest in online interactive technology, Graduate Admission has introduced online information sessions as a great way to reach prospective students where they want to be reached—on their computers, wherever they are.
Started as a test program in 2011 by the Master of Fine Arts Low Residency program (MFA), this recruitment vehicle was chosen to allow Fairfield’s graduate programs to reach national and international audiences with a message specific to their interests. As Marianne Gumpper, Director of Graduate and Continuing Studies Admission explains, “Prospective MFA students come from all over the world and many are unable to attend our on-campus graduate information sessions. If we want to speak to them, we need to go to them, because they can’t always come to us.” The MFA’s geographically diverse audience made it a perfect program to test.
The first Graduate Admission online information session consisted of a presentation given by Marianne Gumpper and Michael White, Director of the MFA program. Both spoke and gave a Powerpoint presentation explaining the curriculum, the application process, and the low-residency format. The presentation was followed by an online Q & A.
The MFA’s first online information session was considered a success. Prospective students from as far away as Belize, attended and stayed online for an hour, asking many interesting questions. Although only eleven people participated, those who did were highly engaged. Within the week, three attendees had applied to the program and all three were later enrolled.
Since that first online information session, the Graduate Admission office has hosted online information sessions for the Master of Communication program, the Master of Business Administration (MBA) program, and the School of Nursing’s Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program.
Just last month, Michael White and Marianne Gumpper joined together again to host another online information session for the MFA. This session was a huge success. With 20 prospective students in attendance, attendees asked an assortment of interesting questions and were highly engaged for the full hour. Within the week, one attendee applied and was admitted, another applied and is being considered, and many others have indicated their interest.
Michael White says, “There are talented prospective students out there. If we can get the chance to engage with them, we often get good results. Online information sessions have become an integral part of our recruitment plan.”