The Bethany College admissions department is following its potential students body into the virtual world.
On Wednesday and Thursday, the Lutheran-based college participated in CollegeLive, a national online, virtual college fair that lets students, parents and guidance counselors connect with admissions representatives from dozens of colleges across the U.S. This is Bethany’s second year to participate in the event and David Olson, assistant director of admissions for the college, said the ability to connect and community with dozens of potential students, without leaving his office, is what makes the program a success.
“This provides us with another avenue of communication,” Olson said. “We are trying to communicate with students where ever they want to communicate. This is just another way to start that conversation.”
Students who enroll in the CollegeLive program can walk through a virtual college fair with “booths” or sites for each school in the program. The colleges’ booths contain information on the college’s residence halls, academic and athletic programs, admissions process, scholarships and financial aid. If a student wants more information or has a question for a college, he or she can click to chat live with a representative from that school.
Schools can use those chats to answer questions, relay information to a student and invite the student to visit the campus.
Olson said the college has seen a large interest from students located outside of the Midwest, specifically the east coast. For those kids, the opportunity to gather information about Bethany and chat with a representative could be enough to get them on campus. If a student likes what he or she sees through the CollegeLive program, that person can apply immediately through the site.
“We will answer any question a student has a try to get their needs met,” Olson said. “I feel like we are still getting our message across and getting the word out about Bethany.”
Jill Heggen, director of communications for Bethany College, said the program is a win-win for the students and the college. Students can have access to hundreds of school representatives and Bethany representatives can connect with students that could have potentially never considered Bethany.
The CollegeLive program is free for students and partners with several student organizations and the U.S. Department of Education to bring a diverse student population to college’s computer screens Heggen said.
The spring CollegeLive program concluded Friday. The fall CollegeLive fair will be held in November.