Seniors to sample campus

When freshman Macie Harshbarger attended a visit day last year, she realized Baker University was the perfect fit for her college experience.

“It gave me an insight into Baker life,” she said. “It made me think that Baker was the kind of college I wanted to go to.”

Today marks the first of two senior visit days planned for this semester, where current high school seniors will have the same opportunity that Harshbarger had to experience Baker life.

“This is a chance for current students to meet some really neat seniors and a chance for the seniors to see Baker in action,” Louise Cummings-Simmons, vice president of enrollment management, said.

Because the visit day takes place on a Friday, Cummings-Simmons said prospective students have the option of sitting in on actual classes in academic areas of their interest.

“The most important people for students to meet are faculty and current students,” she said. “I expect parents, families and students to get to see what Baker life is all about.”

In addition to attending classes, prospective students will receive a campus tour, eat in the cafeteria, learn about financial aid options and ask questions during the student panel.

“I think this will be a wonderful opportunity for students to connect with Baker students, administration and staff,” Director of Admissions Daniel McKinney said. “It’s a way for them to get to know us and for us to get to know them.”

In preparation of the event, University Admissions Assistant Amanda Wahlmeier said the admissions staff has been sending out a lot of information to prospective students.

“We’ve sent out a mass-mailing and made sure all of the UAAs know how to give tours and have all the information they need,” she said. “We really know our information. We make sure everyone either knows it or knows someone who does.”

Cummings-Simmons said making sure prospective students have a positive experience here is important, but getting the students on campus is also important.

“We know that if we get the students on campus, we have a greater chance of getting them to come to Baker,” she said. “It’s all about students and parents connecting here so they feel like Baker is a good investment.”

In an attempt to draw more students to Baker, McKinney said the admissions department has been making more phone calls to students this semester.

“Our (Student Telecounseling Admissions Representatives) have made 2,969 telephone calls to our fall ’08 recruitment pools to invite students to come to campus,” he said. “Our admissions counselors have made more than 1,523 calls.”

In addition to calling high school students, McKinney said the department has e-mailed more than 18,000 students so far this school year.

“Students who come to these events are people who are interested in having a really positive experience,” he said. “They are making observations, conclusions and inferences that will factor into their college decision.”

The next Baker visit event is Baker Weekend, which will be held the weekend of Nov. 10.