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U Nevada Reno Adopts Virtual Recruitment

A Nevada university has begun its recruiting of the class of 2024 through online means, including virtual tours, web conference advising sessions and other digital outreach. Officials at the University of Nevada, Reno said the goal was to remove barriers from incoming high school seniors who might be stymied by the current stay-at-home directive, which Gov. Steve Sisolak has put in place at least through April 30, 2020. According to the university, during a typical April, some 3,000 to 4,000 students and families would visit the campus for tours. Those have been canceled for now.

As a substitute, current outreach efforts include a landing page on the university website where people can register for a guided campus tour or take a self-guided map tour. The guided tour lasts between 30 and 45 minutes and lets the family or student ask admissions staff and students questions, just as they would in person. The interactive tour shows a campus map with the exteriors of buildings highlighted in photographs with text descriptions.

The admissions team and Office of Residential Life & Housing are also connecting with families in real time through weekly Facebook Live and Instagram Live chats to answer questions, and doing daily giveaways to boost interaction.

When students are newly admitted, they're receiving one-on-one advising through Zoom, including access to Spanish-speaking staff.

The school has also shifted its admissions deadlines, begun working with parents who are concerned about a move to pass/fail grades in high schools and waived the advanced registration fee of $250 for families in financial straits.

"This process is ever-evolving and we're doing everything we can to connect with students and their parents," said Director of Admissions Steve Maples, in a statement. Maples, a father of an entering freshman himself, noted that "we want this incoming class, as well as any existing university student, to know that this university is here for students from the start of the admissions process, through enrollment, and until the time they graduate."

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.

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