Admissions offices across the country rely heavily on certain amounts of data that they collect throughout the year to determine how the recruiting year is progressing and whether they are on target for the following fall. The main areas of concern are the number of people who have requested information about the college, the number of high school seniors from which to recruit, the number of people who have visited the College, and most importantly, the number of applications received.
As of early January, Christendom’s Admissions Office reported tremendous growth in all of these important areas. The number of general requests for information has doubled over this time last year; the number of current high school seniors who are interested in Christendom is up 30%; the number of visits to campus by prospective students is up 40%; and the number of applications for the Fall 2010 semester is 35% higher than this time last year. In fact, if these trends continue, it is almost certain that the College will have to reinstate a waiting list for this upcoming Fall.
According to Tom McFadden, Director of Admissions, the growth in interest can be attributed to a number of different important areas that he and his team have been focusing on in recent months.
One of the most important areas is the amount of time and effort they have been putting into building relationships with potential students and their schools.
Associate Director of Admissions Mike Schmitt has been hitting the road all semester and will continue to do so in the future. Schmitt, who graduated with a BA in Classical and Early Christian Studies from Christendom in 2003, has visited many Catholic high schools and parishes to meet with students, college placement counselors, as well as pastors and youth ministers. In addition to this, the College has been represented at dozens of conferences and college fairs across the country.
Schmitt is responsible for a number of new initiatives in the Admissions Office this year, with the “Meet Christendom” events being the most exciting. These are informational meetings held in the homes of alumni, parents, and friends of the College. Intimate and enjoyable, the gatherings include a discussion of the value of an authentic Catholic liberal arts education, a slide show of Christendom’s semester in Rome program and a DVD viewing about the College, as well as a Q&A session. Some of the more successful “Meet Christendom” events have been held in Dallas, Omaha, Kansas City, and Raleigh, drawing about half a dozen families to each one. Additional meetings are being planned for Maryland, California, New York, and New England.
Another initiative that seems to be bearing fruit is the creation of Junior and Senior Visit Days. During these special events, high school juniors and seniors participate in a day-long event, and experience first hand what the College has to offer. Two Senior Visit Days were held this semester, and Junior Visit Days are scheduled next semester for February 15 (President’s Day) and April 12.
Organizing longer Visit Weekends has also been a great added feature to the Admissions Office offerings. Each semester, high school juniors and seniors can visit the campus on any of five different exciting weekends, spending Fridays in the classroom, and the rest of the time getting a feel for the social and spiritual aspects of Christendom’s unique way of life.
“The fact that seniors who complete applications can get reimbursed up to $200 for travel expenses when making an overnight visit is bringing more prospective students to campus,” says Brittany Scheidler, the Visit Program Coordinator. “I am sure that we will have even more visitors utilizing this great offer next semester.”
If you would like to have a Christendom representative visit a high school in your area, or speak with a youth group or homeschool community, or if you would be interested in hosting a “Meet Christendom” event, please contact Mike Schmitt at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 800-877-5456, ext.1293.