Bluefield State College has responded to COVID-19-related challenges to its traditional approach to recruiting students by focusing more on the needs of each student, according to Dr. Anthony Underwood, the College’s Chief Enrollment Officer.
Dr. Underwood participated in an “experts panel” for the Appalachian Region Federal Student Aid virtual partner conference in September. He subsequently detailed how BSC has adapted its recruitment and admission philosophy and practice in the October issue of Friday Finds, the monthly newsletter of the Appalachian Education and Workforce Network.
Rather than adhering to the traditional model that focused more on the number of students in the recruitment funnel, the BSC approach considers the unique needs and challenges of each student, according to Underwood. “Counselors now know that their priority job is to develop a strong relationship with the student,” he explained. “A strong student-counselor relationship makes it possible to break down a major barrier to first-generation student success,” by helping students feel free to ask for help with topics including financial aid, academics, and family issues.
The Friday Finds newsletter provides timely information for individuals working in the Appalachian region, focusing on increasing post-high school education and development, according to Betty Hale, Leadership Mentor/Appalachian Education and Workforce Network.