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Springfield colleges get creative with recruiting as high schools limit visitors

Published: Sep. 2, 2020 at 5:36 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) -The COVID-19 pandemic has colleges in Springfield changing how they recruit new students.

”We normally go to visit every high school basically within an hour radius of here. Well, schools aren’t letting us visit,” said Kevin Kropf, Executive Vice President of Enrollment at Drury University.

Kropf said his team has worked to find new ways to attract students.

”We’re investing in some digital assets, creating some more video tours and things, we’re making a podcast and finding unique ways we can connect with students,” Kropf said.

Amy Moran, a counselor at Kickapoo High School, said going digital isn’t a bad thing.

”They [usually] come to our building and sit at lunch and maybe sometimes kids will go talk to them,” Moran said. “But, I really think this is a lot more information and [students are] able to watch it on their own time and not have to take away from whatever they’re doing and their activities.”

Chris Belcher, Executive Vice President of Enrollment at Evangel University, said the school is still planning on holding recruiting events each semester.

“We typically have several really large events in the year. In the fall we’ll do two to three large events, and in the spring, two to three large events,” Belcher said. “We’re spreading those out and doing a lot more smaller events so that we don’t have the large crowds but we can hopefully attract the same number of visitors.”

Belcher said he has also had to get creative with recruitment.

”We’re reaching out to our alumni, making sure our referrals are strong and there are other ways to connect with students,” he said. “We’re doing a lot of Zoom one-on-one meetings, like we’re doing right now and talking to families trying to stay connected.”

Moran said one of Missouri’s biggest college fairs announced it would be going virtual this year as well. That information was passed on to students at Kickapoo High School this week.

”It’s a whole month that they actually can pick specific section to go to and see. Even if they can’t be there live they’re recorded so they can watch those presentations,” Moran said.

Both Drury and Evangel are still allowing campus visits for interested students. Spots are limited this year due to COVID-19 safety precautions.

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