Due to the outbreak of the new coronavirus, San Diego City College’s Outreach Department has had to change everything it does at what is among its busiest times of the year — the peak of recruitment season.
Like all campus student services, it has moved fully online.
To adapt with the online operation, the Outreach Department has developed a database of prospective students to provide timely information directly to them.
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It has increased its efforts in answering emails and direct messages from students with questions about campus activities and services.
For Outreach Coordinator Luke Menchaca, moving online was a bit challenging. In order to operate effectively, his team had to adapt to the avenues such as Zoom and Google Hangouts.
“We had tremendous support, collaborations with our community partners, local high schools to help us organize,” Menchaca said in a Zoom interview.
According to Menchaca, the department has recruited 60 applicants via online before the close of the spring term.
That doubled the number of applications received in-person through meetings and workshops.
He was very happy that there were many willing students and said this recruitment was a great chance for students to build their confidence.
The one downside, Menchaca said, has been not being able to introduce new students to the City College campus.
“The best things about those (campus experiences) are when the students can get to be around us and talk to professionals and faculty on campus,” Menchaca said.
But with the changes, there have been unexpected benefits.
Menchaca acknowledged there are out-of-state students who might not be able to attend in-person workshops and campus tours, so having pre-recorded videos and virtual tours on the school’s website has helped those students explore the campus.
Menchaca was proud that his department could develop support and services for students who lack transportation or live too far.
“Although this is a challenging time, it still opens the door to other folks who are hours away,” Menchaca said.
Although the department is working remotely online right now, they are willing to get back to work on campus when the administration and staff allow.
“Whatever direction we’re told to go, you know, my team is ready,” Menchaca said.
For more information about City College Outreach, visit http://sdcity.edu/future-students/outreach.aspx.