Otterbein’s office of admissions' staff has been working remotely since the COVID-19 pandemic shut down campus. 

Admissions counselors and student tour guides have not been able to meet with high school students and their families in-person. A normal day for admissions would consist of admissions counselors meeting with families, the families being shown an Otterbein presentation, tour guides taking families out on tour and Otterbein professors meeting with the prospective students. With the closure of campus, admissions’ daily functions were forced to take a new direction. 

Jennifer Markovich, an assistant director of admissions in the enrollment management division, has been helping to lead the office of admissions into using new technology to communicate with students. “Since we are not able to accommodate in-person tours, we’ve been able to get creative using technology. We’ve held Instagram Live student sessions, we’ve posted virtual tours online and we’ve also held virtual overviews and tours for families via Zoom,” said Markovich. 

The office of admissions worked to transition to online accommodations for the demand of prospective students wanting college visits. “We were able to act quickly to move all of our visit opportunities to an online platform. We hosted a well-attended virtual Experience Otterbein Week for admitted students at the beginning of April, and we currently host weekly overviews and tours for prospective students and their families,” said Markovich. 

          

The admission counselors found it challenging yet rewarding to find new and innovative ways to connect with future students and their families. It was also hard on the counselors to be away from each other, as they work as a cohesive team in the office each day and are generally very social people who miss being on campus together, said Markovich. There are over 15 admissions counselors and staff and over 20 student hosts and tour guides that are used to working together daily to promote recruitment. 

As the office of admissions prepares for upcoming months, daily functions will most likely change, but in a positive way, according to Markovich. There will be more conversations about how to move forward in ways that will benefit prospective students the most. 

Markovich hopes that the virtual visit options that have been developed will continue to be used, even when in-person tours continue, to be available for students that live out of state or cannot miss a day of school to travel for the visit.