An early-summer introduction to post-secondary life shows how Brandon University has adapted to keep students safe while also delivering a quality educational experience.
“We were thrilled with the turnout, the engagement, and the results,” said Kathleen Richards, BU’s Acting Director of Recruitment and Retention. “Moving to an online format was new this year, and it was a huge success.”
The university’s Pre-Orientation event, held this week, drew around 100 people to a webinar-style presentation.
“Our focus was on getting students excited about the upcoming school year, even though there is more uncertainty that normal,” Richards said. “We also give students a chance to meet the people here at BU who will help them through their studies, like our Academic Skills Team, our counsellors and mental health supports, and an elder.
Also on the schedule were presentations by BU President David Docherty and Dean of Students Katie Gross, as well as a student panel sharing ‘What I Wish I’d Known In First Year.’
“This was the best part of the entire day, and our current students got the new students so excited about BU and the wonderful things a small campus has to offer,” Richards said.
Using a chat box alongside the video presentations, students were able to ask questions throughout the afternoon event and have panelists answer in real time. The online format also allowed students to participate from anywhere, rather than having to come to campus in the middle of the summer — something that can be a challenge for students who are coming to Brandon for university in the fall, but don’t yet live here. It was also recorded, so students can watch it on their own schedules, whenever is convenient, or revisit the information at any time.
“In many ways, this new format is more accessible to more students than an in-person, on-campus event,” Richards said. “We are looking for ways to expand it even more so that students with less access to the Internet can take advantage as well.”
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