Q&A: IU Southeast admissions team helps first-year students transition amid pandemic

8th June 2020

This year is going to look very different for first-year students due to the current global health crisis caused by COVID-19. Indiana University recently released the adjusted academic calendar for 2020-21, outlining the plan for resuming instruction and education on all IU campuses. Students will be welcomed back to campus on Aug. 24, and instruction will be a blend of in-person and online.

Many incoming students are already having non-traditional experiences as they embark on their college journey, but the Office of Admissions and the enrollment management team at IU Southeast are determined to make the transition as seamless as possible.

Read more about the ways the enrollment management team is working to ensure a smooth transition for the Class of 2024:

What has the enrollment management team done to help ease the transition for incoming students during this time?

Our team is still ready and able to assist incoming students. We have moved everything to a virtual format including our campus tour and our admission appointments and conversations. We have weekly “go-live” events with counselors and other IU Southeast individuals. We’ve made it easier than ever to apply to IU Southeast by waiving the SAT and ACT score requirement, and there is no application fee with our waiver code. We are also doing personal outreach to each admitted student to guide them to their next step, which is meeting with an academic advisor and completing the online orientation modules.

How are you ensuring that admitted students are still getting all the information they need?

Our team is consistently doing outreach to our admitted students through a variety of channels including: email, phone, live chat and social media. The goal is to give them the most up-to-date information and guide them to their next steps.

How is orientation different this year?

Orientation is typically a face-to-face, one-day activity in the summer. Due to the need to keep everyone healthy and safe, we have moved orientation to an online format. Students can complete online modules at their own pace. These modules include information on academic advising, registering for classes, financial aid and ways to get connected to the university. We will still hold a live virtual orientation session on certain days in the summer. These live sessions will provide students with the opportunity to hear from campus staff and current students, and allow them to meet other new students.

How has the admissions staff adapted to not being able to meet face-to-face with students? How has that transition been for them?

Admissions staff have taken many steps to be as accessible and responsive to prospective students as possible. Although our typical spring recruitment activities weren’t possible, staff quickly pivoted to replace in-person interactions with virtual ones. We continue to supplement our virtual resources to reach students where they are. While our preference, of course, is to meet with prospective students face-to-face, admissions staff continue to make the best of this unprecedented situation. 

What are some ways you will help the Class of 2024 throughout their first year?

The first few weeks at the beginning of the fall semester are very important for our new students. We are still thinking about how we will modify our Week of Welcome and other activities to ensure our new students can get connected to campus resources and student organizations. No matter the format, our entire team will be reaching out to new students during the first few weeks of the semester to assist them in their transition.   

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