Making the leap from high school to college is a huge and often daunting task for most students and their parents.

Making the leap from high school to college is a huge and often daunting task for most students and their parents. But Patrick Masar, director of admissions for Central Christian College, knows that being part of the college environment, even if it is for only 48 hours, is key to putting concerns at ease and helping the students feel comfortable about the jump from home to the dorm. Central Christian College offers potential new students and their parents the opportunity to experience a glimpse of the campus and college life through its five preview weekends, scheduled throughout the school year. On Friday, Nov. 9, the college welcomed about 30 students and parents to campus. Preview weekends, which begin first thing Friday morning and run through Saturday afternoon, provide students and parents an opportunity to not only wander the Central campus but also sit in on a class, meet with professors and apply for scholarship opportunities. Student athletes interested in playing at the collegiate level are also given an opportunity to try-out with a sports team. “We want to showcase who we are and build that connection with the students and their parents,” Masar said. The admission department also strives to highlight the advantages of the college’s size through interaction with not only department heads but college executives, including President Hal Hoxie. All students that participate in the preview weekends also compete for one of six Dean Scholarships and six President Scholarships. Two scholarship winners are selected from each preview weekend and an additional two scholarships are awarded to preview weekend participants not already named winners in late spring. The scholarships opportunities are a bonus for students already attending and provide an additional incentive for potential students to take part in the two-day event. The final piece of the college’s preview weekends is the interaction with current and potential students. That piece is critical, Masar said, who added that Central’s existing students can speak more directly to questions and concerns of potential students. “The bonds between new students and existing students form easily and help parents see that we are authentic in our care for their sons and daughters,” he said. And for parents, there is time in the financial aid office to review the student loan process. “Students’ needs will vary and all parents have different questions based on where they came from but we try to get them all answers,” Masar said. “We compete with nine to 10 small, private colleges in the Central Kansas area we feel we are the most affordable option for students.” Central Christian College’s preview weekends will continue through the spring semester with the next weekend event scheduled for Feb. 22-23.