Fall Preview to virtually provide students with a taste of Brock life

Instead of bringing prospective students and their families to campus for Fall Preview next week, Brock University will bring the campus to them.

The University has planned an action-packed online event Monday, Nov. 9 in place of the traditional one-day affair that typically draws thousands of Badger hopefuls looking to learn more about Brock’s offerings.

Virtual Fall Preview — for students considering joining Brock in January or September — will include more than 20 live sessions detailing various programs and aspects of academic and student life, as well as student panels, mock lectures, a live chat and live campus tours that can be enjoyed from the comfort of home.

In addition to guided tours of the main campus, which run every 30 minutes throughout the day, viewers have the opportunity to participate in specialized tours of the Goodman School of Business and Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts. Student ambassadors, who lead the tours, will share their personal Brock experiences and field questions from viewers.

“It has been pretty rewarding to see so many members of the University community — faculty, staff and community partners — come together to contribute to Fall Preview,” said Carly Dugo, Recruitment Officer, Campus Initiatives. “It’s a prime example of the sense of community and collaborative environment that we’re always cultivating at Brock.

“These may be challenging times, but we’ve made the most of it,” Dugo said in reference to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, which resulted in the cancellation of in-person tours and major recruitment events such as the Ontario Universities’ Fair. “Thanks to the collaboration we’ve experienced, we’re still offering just as much, and in some ways, even more than we have in the past to ensure prospective students can make an informed decision as they plan for the future.”

Fall Preview will include a number of opportunities for students and their families to ask questions and interact with department heads, faculty members, staff and existing Brock students.

“We’re trying to provide as much virtual face-to-face interaction as we can,” Dugo said. “And by having Fall Preview online, we’re hoping to connect with students and their family members who otherwise may not have been able to make it to a all-day campus event.”

In addition to Fall Preview, Brock’s Recruitment team has been offering virtual tours and one-on-one chats on an ongoing basis, and delivering hundreds of presentations to high school students not only during the day but also on evenings and weekends to accommodate various schedules.

“We’ve had a lot of students engage with us. They’re asking a ton of great questions and are really excited,” said Dugo. “We’re trying to give them every possible way to connect with us and we’ve been seeing a lot of success so far.”

Since virtual tours were relaunched at the beginning of September, the number of attendees is up more than 50 per cent, said Matt Melnyk, Director of Student Recruitment. Surveys from the tours, he added, have shown the personal experience being offered is helping to boost interest in applying to Brock.

With the secondary school system undergoing changes this year due to COVID-19, it has taken students a bit of time to adjust before turning their focus to the next steps in their educational journey, he said. As a result, Brock is now seeing a “big spike in activity” from prospective students wanting to learn more about their options.

“We know the fall semester has been challenging for them,” Melnyk said, “so we’re making ourselves accessible and trying to reach out to them in every way possible.”

What makes Brock stand out, he said, is the strength of its community and its commitment to supporting students, which has led to the University ranking No. 1 for the third consecutive year for mental health supports for students in the annual Maclean’s University Rankings.

“We’re demonstrating through our actions that we’re available to help students through this process.”

Lynn Wells, Provost and Vice-President, Academic, praised the University community for coming together to make Fall Preview and other recruitment initiatives possible.

“Fall Preview is an important day on the calendar, providing an opportunity to celebrate the academic and student experience Brock offers and to share it with a new group of prospective students,” she said.

“While we would much rather be hosting this year’s event in person, students, staff, faculty members and librarians from around the University have put significant effort into showcasing the best of Brock. I want to thank them all for their hard work and service to the University in this exceptional year.”

Fall Preview content will go live Monday, Nov. 9 at 8:30 a.m. and will remain available throughout the fall, allowing students and their families to watch sessions at their own convenience.

More information on Fall Preview and a full schedule is available at discover.brocku.ca/fallpreview

Anyone interested in applying for Brock’s January Winter Term or September Fall Term can visit brocku.ca/admissions/apply for more information.

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