[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

[Emeriti-faculty] Fwd: Admissions meeting - one more note

Dear All,

I am forwarding you the minutes of today's meeting with undergraduate Tufts Admission on possible ways to increase the number of accepted students who have interests in math and sciences. I think we should be able to provide "stories", I hear that there is an ongoing effort to improve our website (I haven't seen it yet), from what we heard today this may be the most important improvement, if you manage to do it well. We also should update the information in Tufts bulletin, as what the Admissions office distributes to the prospective students and their parents (a copy of the pages from the Bulletin), is outdated.

Begin forwarded message:

From: Anne Gardulski <anne gardulski tufts edu>
Date: November 20, 2008 11:14:47 AM EST
To: Bruce Boghosian <bruce boghosian tufts edu>, Mahnaz El-Kouedi <Mahy El_Kouedi tufts edu>, Krzysztof Sliwa <krzysztof sliwa tufts edu>, "L. Michael Romero" <michael romero tufts edu>, "William P. Oliver" <william oliver tufts edu>, Krishna Kumar <krishna kumar tufts edu>, Juliet Fuhrman <juliet fuhrman tufts edu>, Diane Souvaine <diane souvaine tufts edu>, lenore cowen gmail com
Subject: Re: Admissions meeting  - one more note

Hi everyone,

We had what I think was a good and productive meeting with the Admissions staff this morning, lasting a little over an hour.  The major points I gleaned are as follows (and those of you who were there are welcome to add your insights):

1) The staff clearly are hungry for information from the science and mathematics departments. They need “stories” – anecdotes about how faculty are teaching courses (anything a bit unusual), what student/faculty research projects are going on, interesting research or activities that are going on in the Departments, things like that. Statistics and facts are less interesting to prospective and admitted students – the real story of what they might experience in one of our Departments is more critical.
2) Departmental websites are extremely important! Having just basic information is the norm at all schools that prospective and admitted students are looking at, but having some interesting features on the websites in addition can tip the students in favor or against coming to Tufts (as one staff noted, a 17-year-old is probably making decisions that are based in part or largely on what they can get from a website).
3) We should each provide updated information sheets about our Departments to Admissions. They have stacks of papers available to hand out to visitors, if they ask about Physics, or Geology, or whatever field, and I can see that our Geology one is a bit out of date and is pretty dry.
4) When admitted students are sent the letter from a Department in which they have expressed some interest, we can follow up on that with an email, a phone call, or more information in the mail. Just that personal touch could convince a prospective student interested in Chemistry, for example, to come here rather than another school.
5) When Admissions asks if a Department can provide a “mock class” for visitors in the spring, we should take advantage of that and try to provide interesting and well-presented “classes”. (This has replaced the Panel format from years ago.)
6) We need to be able to discriminate ourselves from other schools like Brown, Dartmouth, Cornell, etc. These are the other places that many students are applying to – it would really help Admissions staff if we could tell them succinctly why our Departments are different/better(!) than other schools’ Departments in easily understandable and quickly conveyable terms.
7) The Admissions staff give the academic aspect of Tufts at a presentation to visitors, whereas the student guides give the student life perspective. We did not get into a discussion of information that the students are relaying – they are volunteers, and must commit to one tour a week, plus a total of 3 tours at other times (probably when the visitor traffic is highest (Oct., Feb. – Apr., Aug.). There are about 86 active guides, including 33 seniors. They are selected on the basis of interviews, and 96 students were just interviewed for about 30-40 slots. They do undergo training, but we did not talk about how they might “stray from message” on an individual basis. There are few science and math majors as guides, probably because of time commitments to labs and the like. But the staff very much would like us to identify outgoing, articulate, and enthusiastic majors in our Departments to apply to be tour guides! Having said that, I do think there are probably things that could be done to improve the student tour guide piece.

I have likely missed some of the points that were discussed, and for those who were there please do jump in with things I may have missed. In summary, I feel we have good allies in Admissions, but we can help by providing them with information and by making sure we reach out to prospective students personally and through web information that is accurate and engaging.

I will be in touch again, as we try to provide a more balanced presentation of what Tufts has to offer to prospective students.

Thank you,

Anne F. Gardulski
Chair, Department of Geology
Lane Hall
Tufts University
Medford, MA   02155

Phone 617-627-2891
Fax  617-627-3584