Is Orientation a one-day thing? Will we get our schedules there? Should my parents come?
These are the types of questions Wright State University students are handling for two hours a day, three days a week, as they call students who have been accepted to the university but have not yet signed up for Orientation.
They’re working the phones in the new Wright State Enrollment Call Center. They’re trying to make a personal connection with admitted high school students now, so they will choose Wright State.
“We communicate with our incoming freshmen all summer with a comprehensive plan to ensure that we will have them with us in the fall. It’s so very important that we stay ‘top of mind’ with these students and their families, so they feel a part of the Raider family,” said Dr. Jacqueline McMillan, vice president for enrollment management.
Orientation is a daylong event in the summer and dates range from May to August. New students come to learn more about their academic college, meet their dean, academic advisor, faculty and alumni. They also get their schedule, Wright1 Card, and meet other freshmen.
“It’s better if you make a personal call and it comes from a current student, rather than an automated call,” said Josh Hilgefort, a graduate assistant getting his master’s in student affairs who is managing the Call Center.
So far, about 2,000 prospective students have been called. The plan is to call another 2,000 over the next few weeks. Junior Tylar O’Neil is one of many current students working in the Call Center and scheduled to serve as an Orientation leader.
“They have a lot of questions,” said O’Neil. “I think it means more when they hear from us because it shows we genuinely want you at this school, we want to help you get here and we want to be the ones who greet you.”
Students don’t always reach a prospective student on the first try. They end up speaking with parents and voicemails frequently, but they believe persistence and friendliness will pay off.
“We don’t want to bug them too much, but we do want to keep calling them to remind them that Orientation is mandatory,” said Hilgefort.
O’Neil says she’s made a couple hundred calls and looks forward to the conversations she participates in, but one things is always consistent.
“The last thing I say is always the same,” said O’Neil. “‘We look forward to seeing you on campus this summer.’”