College Admissions Focuses On Strong North Country Outreach
SUNY Plattsburgh’s North Country home and its students have always been a primary focus for the team in the college’s Office of Admissions.
“With the pandemic, we are actively working to identify new challenges and barriers that North Country students, their families and counselors are experiencing,” said Jessica Fish, associate director of admissions. As such, Fish said that she and her team “are working to adjust our offerings, resources and approaches to best serve our local community.”
The college has an admissions counselor fully dedicated to serving local student and counseling communities, Fish said.
“While we haven’t been able to travel around to conduct high school visits and participate in college fairs in person, we continue to schedule and virtually visit all North Country high schools that were accommodating a virtual option,” she said. “Many regional and national organizations continue to host fairs virtually that we also participate in.”
Virtual ‘College Days’ for Students, Families
This year, the regular College Days event, traditionally an on-campus field trip event for high school juniors to visit campus, learn more about academics and student life, tour campus and eat in the dining facilities, was held virtually in the fall.
“It included interactive student panels and faculty discussions to encourage engagement and interest in a virtual environment,” Fish said.
Additionally, the North Country adviser texts and emails students on a regular basis to provide them with guidance on next steps, answer their academic and student-life questions and offer to arrange in-person or virtual meetings with current students, faculty, financial aid and more, she said.
“We pay attention to who the student is, what their interests are, match them with experiences and provide information and resources that will enrich their college search,” Fish said. “We recognize COVID presents unprecedented challenges and barriers in the college search and application process, so this outreach is dedicated to helping fill those gaps and give students and their families a direct, personal contact that they can rely on for questions and advice.”
E-communication for Guidance Counselors
As for high school guidance counselors, Fish said admissions has implemented a counselor e-communication campaign that sends North Country counselors — and those around the state — timely information about SUNY Plattsburgh.
“The information is geared specifically toward what counselors need to know to assist students through the college process,” she said. This includes announcements of new programs, reminders on dates and deadlines, upcoming events that would benefit their students, ways counselors can access comprehensive information on their applicants, and more.
To further reach North Country students, the Office of Admissions has enhanced and added new ventures, Fish said. Some of those include:
- Expanded appointment methods and appointment times for all admissions events. Students can still do traditional on-campus visits, but the college now offers virtual — via phone or video — appointments throughout the day and on select evenings.
- Expanded and increased frequency of virtual offerings to include admissions presentations with campus tour, student panels, major-specific presentations and more throughout the year.
- Virtual financial aid appointments where students can book one-on-one appointments with financial aid advisers to go over awards, discuss funding options and more.
- A new portal that will provide North Country guidance counselors as well as those from around the state expanded information on their SUNY Plattsburgh applicants as well as an easy, streamlined way to upload missing documentation.
- Collaborative panel presentations with other four-year SUNY schools planned this spring, each one focusing on specific academic programs or student-life areas
- New Cardinal Community platform for accepted students that will help match accepted students with others who have similar interests as well as with current students, faculty and staff who are best suited to answer questions.
North Country Scholarship
North Country high school graduates from Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Hamilton, Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence counties are also encouraged to contact financial aid for information on the $3,500 North Country Scholarship.
The scholarship is awarded to students who, among other qualifications, exhibit the highest combination of academic excellence and extracurricular achievement.