The COVID-19 pandemic may stop prospective students from visiting campus in person, but this year, Marywood is providing an online option.
The university’s admissions department has ensured that prospective students have a chance to experience fall open houses through Zoom meetings with faculty and staff. Additionally, there is an online module available that covers various processes including the application and financial aid.
According to Rachel Hartz, director of undergraduate admissions, the decision to go virtual was not easy to make.
“Our number one goal [is] usually to try and get them on campus, so the decision to move virtual was not taken lightly, but we have to make sure that the health and safety of not only the Marywood community and our current students but also our prospective students and their families has to come first,” said Hartz. “So while it’s not our favorite decision, we do feel like it’s definitely the right one given everything that’s going on right now.”
So far, there have been numerous virtual open houses throughout the course of the fall semester from August to November, each of them successful, according to Hartz.
“The live portion of it is engaging and the student-staff conversations are definitely valuable for students,” said Hartz. “I think that’s the piece that they appreciate the most, is having a small meeting with their faculty members and being able to talk about what the academic program would look like.”
Jason Yander, director of graduate admissions, said the effort put into hosting virtual open houses is much different than hosting the events in person.
“I think it’s probably more work—more planning in anticipation of the event,” said Yander. “We do a lot of pre-produced content that the prospective student can view before we actually have faculty meetings,” said Yander.
Despite online open houses being more difficult, Yander said he believes this semester’s virtual open houses may not be the last.
“We obviously want to follow CDC guidelines, and those are changing on a daily, weekly, monthly basis, so we’ll definitely decide at the time whether or not it’s going to be in-person, but we definitely want to be cautious,” said Yander.
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