Departments share recruitment strategies, tips

Cassie Buchman, Administration Editor

Various academic departments around campus are getting active in recruiting potential students to their schools.

David Griffin, the art department chair, said the art department has several different events planned during the year and is even establishing a new committee for this purpose.

“That committee is charged with looking for ways to go out and publicize great things about us, like the great faculty, the great attention to detail,” Griffin said.

When senior and junior high schools have exhibitions for portfolios, the art department will have tables up for prospective art students.

State schools as well as private art institutes come to these areas to talk to students as well.

Along with going to exhibitions, the art committee hosts tour groups and reaches out to alumni to recruit students because they play a significant part in bringing students to the art department.

“We have a good number of graduates from Eastern who are teaching in the surrounding regions, all around in a 300-mile radius,” Griffin said. We have one alumni in Arcola, who, at the end of the month, is bringing his students to do workshops in Tarble.”

The art department takes advantage of the university’s open house events to educate potential students on the various options and degrees the department has and to interact with the students’ families, as well as the students themselves.

“I look at enrollment numbers and the number of freshmen who did come to campus and they’re both up,” Griffin said.

He said that on a good portion of enrollment sheets, he’ll be able to recognize the names of people he saw and met at open house and other events.

“We really try to take an active role,” Griffin said. “It’s really important to show that we care, to show that we are second to none,” he said. “ I believe in what we’re trying to do here.”

Britto Nathan, a graduate coordinator in the biological sciences department, said they have been using their webpage, as well as going to different conferences, to meet students.

“There are many different ways we reach students,” Nathan said. “There isn’t one specific way, we try many different ways.”

Nathan said the enrollment has gone up in both the graduate and undergraduate programs.

“We tell students when they come here, they can get a hands on experience when they work with faculty members,” Nathan said. “We say we have tutoring services in our department to help students lagging behind. It all adds up.”

Nathan said this, along with the fact the job market is good in the health services area, could be why there are many students interested in the biology department.

Linda Simpson, the family and consumer sciences department chair, said they conducted recruitment events at the high school, along with using the open houses.

Simpson said students are interested in the wide range of career opportunities the major can give them.

“We go to Charleston, Mattoon (and) looking at many other high schools,” she said.

They also host a fall and spring event on campus where they talk about family and consumer sciences.

“This year we are going to a regional meeting in Indianapolis with up to 3,000 high school students,” she said.

Janel Lyman, a freshman family and consumer science major, said when she came to Future Panther Day, she was able to talk to the department chair.

“She was helpful, and told me an overview of the department,” she said.

Linda Reven, the interim chair of the early childhood, elementary and middle school education department, said they will have departmental showcases, where they show prospective students what they are all about.

“We are going to present a mock lesson, so they have an idea of what a methods class is like,” she said.

One of the education departments’ alumni donated Homecoming T-shirts to the department and they will have drawing for the shirt as well.

“We try as much as possible to give students an idea and have students be aware of the opportunities,” Reven said. “We have a strong reputation in the education community, and the reputation serves us well.”


Cassie Buchman can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]