Prospective students preview life on Baker’s campus

After spending the night on campus during Baker Weekend, prospective student Staci Tabares said she has a better understanding of what Baker University has to offer.

“Spending the night was a lot of fun,” she said. “I didn’t really expect to meet so many people and have such a great time.”

Baker Weekend, held Saturday and Sunday, gave high school students insight into the lives of Baker students by providing participants the opportunity to tour campus, sit in on classes and attend question-and-answer forums to inform the students and their parents about the university.

“Baker Weekend is an awesome opportunity for students and their families to connect with Baker University and see the quality education that is offered here,” Director of Admissions Daniel McKinney said.

McKinney said the event went well and was a successful recruitment tool for the university.

“I have already had several e-mails from families thanking me for this opportunity,” he said. “A couple of students made their decision to come to Baker as a result of this event.”

Prospective student Kelci Kost said attending Baker Weekend and similar events has contributed to her decision to attend Baker next fall.

“I have been to several Baker events, and every time I come I learn more and more about Baker,” she said. “The more I learn about Baker, the more I want to experience the real thing.”

Even though the event was successful in recruiting some students, sophomore Shanlee Randel, who is a University Admission Assistant, said the attendance numbers were low.

“I think Baker Weekend was another success,” she said. “In the past more high school students have attended, but I think we got to have a lot more one-on-one time with the students this way.”

McKinney said of the 71 students who were signed up to attend, only 41 showed up for the event.

“Our staff meets after every one of these events, and we evaluate how the event went and we talk about possible changes,” he said. “I think we have to look into how to generate a higher attendance.”

Because Baker is one of the few universities in Kansas that offers a weekend experience for students, McKinney said he wonders how many parents and students are willing to sign up to spend the weekend with a stranger.

“(The weekend) requires a lot of resources, and Baker has been willing to provide that and will continue to provide that as long as we have groups this size,” McKinney said. “We’re questioning the numbers and evaluating a strategy. I would personally like to see a higher number of students attending.”