During the first two weeks of March, the first round of admitted student events came to a close, but like most on-campus events this year, they looked different.
Given the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention’s recommendations against large social gatherings, the Office of Admissions took proactive steps to ensure the safety of attendees while still maintaining a high level of prospective student engagement.
Ryan Myzak, director of admissions, said admitted student events are typically comprised of hundreds of students, open buildings, access to faculty and exposure to organizations on campus. This year, the Office of Admissions divided these events into six ‘micro-events’ featuring each individual school on campus.
“For us, a big part of getting students to come to Truman is getting them to see the campus and experience the environment,” Myzak said.
Despite the impact COVID-19 had on the overall event structure, Myzak pointed out that Truman was positioned to show prospective students that the classroom experience wasn’t radically different compared to pre-COVID times.
This was, in part, because of the overwhelmingly positive support and initiative Truman faculty took during these events, Myzak said.
Myzak explained that faculty took the time to speak to students individually, talk about their respective programs and make accommodations for those who weren’t able to attend.
However, there were plenty of logistical and organizational difficulties leading up to admitted student events. Shari Fieser, assistant director of admissions, said the lack of space on campus and COVID-19 precautions had a significant impact on event structure.
“It’s hard to get a lot of energy from a crowd of only 40 students in a large auditorium,” Fieser said.
Fieser pointed out the many steps the Office of Admissions took to ensure the safety of students, including limiting the number of guests a student could bring with them and contactless check-in with QR codes.
Even though this year’s admitted student events are relatively small compared to the events hosted in the previous two years, Myzak said Truman has fared better than many of his colleagues at other universities.
“People at other campuses are blown away when I tell them that all of our faculty voluntarily went and did online training,” Myzak said. “That says so much about what you get here at Truman.”
Fieser said admitted students who were unable to attend an Admitted Student Event are encouraged to schedule a weekday campus visit — either virtually or in-person — attend a Virtual Showcase or contact the Office of Admission.