By Deanna Reinhardt
With the college decision date quickly approaching, the need for potential new students to tour campus is higher than ever. Upon the nationwide university closings due to the COVID-19, Sacred Heart University has made the proactive decision to host all Undergraduate Admissions Tours virtually.
The university has been offering a multitude of virtual touring options, immediately following the campus’ closing on March 13.
“We offer virtual information sessions, virtual Q & A’s with various academic and student life departments, and our admissions counselors are having the opportunity to meet with their students via video and phone conferencing,” said Robert Gilmore, Director of Campus Experience.
Additionally, Sacred Heart has also posted virtual tours of campus onto the university’s website to be accessed by incoming students at any time.
“These tours are of Main Campus, the Center for Healthcare Education and West Campus via a shared link to the campus website,” said Pamela Pillo, Executive Director of Undergraduate Admissions.
With the university’s efforts to connect with candidates and keep enrollment rates up for the upcoming academic year, Sacred Heart has placed their focus on giving informative and well-rounded online sessions.
“We are taking a very personalized approach to reaching out and connecting with accepted candidates and families. Our goal is to convey that their academic and extracurricular performance has made them an ideal candidate and we hope to welcome them as part of the SHU community,” said Pillo.
“These virtual events all allow for interaction between presenters and attendees to ensure questions are answered, so that new students can feel comfortable making Sacred Heart their new home,” said Pillo.
Thus far, the virtual tours have been successful, allowing enrollment to be a lesser concern for Sacred Heart.
“Our staff of admissions counselors is doing an amazing job connecting with current admitted students to guide them to enrolling at SHU this fall. We are very confident that we will be able to bring in a spirited class of Pioneers,” said Gilmore.
Despite Sacred Heart’s efforts in their virtual outreach to the incoming class, COVID-19’s effects may hold some impact on the overall decision-making process for students.
“With the more recent times consisting of change and uncertainty, it has created more challenges for students and families in terms of college decisions,” said Alexandra Galan, Senior Associate Director of Strategic Enrollment Management.
Despite the current status that COVID-19 has imposed upon the world as a whole, Sacred Heart remains confident that they will rise above it and bring in a strong, incoming class.
“It not only demonstrates to students and families who we are as a strong and united SHU community, but that we are excited and looking forward to welcoming a new freshman class in the fall,” said Galan.