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ORM Podcast Enrolling Online Students Transcript


Hey everyone. Welcome to this week's episode of the Online Roadmap podcast, which is WVU Online’s own podcast series. This is Tammy, and today I am joined with Jennifer Pruzinsky. Jennifer is the Coordinator of Enrollment Management for WVU Online. Welcome to our show today. Thank you so much for having me.

It's an honor to be here and to talk with all of you today. Great. We're super excited to have you what'd you feel having, give us a little bit about your backgrounds and your role here at WTF? Absolutely. Yeah, so a lot of people seem to end up working in higher education and admissions roles. I've always known that this is what I was meant to do though.

So I'm really grateful to have worked in higher education and admission. Since 2007, I received my bachelor's degree in biology and psychology from Waynesburg college. Now university, just up the road from Morgantown. And then I went on for my master's degree in student affairs and higher education at IUP.

As I mentioned, I've worked in college admissions since 2007 at several different colleges and universities, and also at the national association for college admission counseling down in Arlington, Virginia. But working for West Virginia university has really always been my dream. And so I'm really excited to now and forever be a Mountaineer. In my role, as the coordinator of enrollment management for WVU online, I oversee the team of online admission coaches and the learner engagement center. Their coaches are really there to help guide perspective and current students. And our goal is really to ensure that all students have support throughout the application, the enrollment processes, and are connected to the appropriate campus resources processed and then even once they're enrolled so that ultimately, they graduate with their West Virginia University degree. And I'm particularly in my role, I also get to collaborate with many different departments across campus, whether it's academics or student affairs or veteran affairs, and just make sure that all processes and communication is running smoothly.

That's wonderful. Engaging with different units across campus to do that for our online students. I know it's such an important thing to make sure that they feel included and have all this opportunities that other students have. So do the students get to like to pick their coach or do they get assigned to them?

How does that work? Yeah, that's a, that's a great question. Students are actually assigned an admissions coach based on the program that they're intending to enroll. So right now we have three of us who work directly with students. We have programs at all levels, so we have undergraduate and graduate degree programs and certificates.

So the coaches work really closely. The academic program, coordinators and faculty. And so they're really, well-versed on the different majors and requirements and credits that are required for each of the programs that they manage. So they help students navigate the process. And so Kelly, she oversees for instance, chambers college of business and economics, the college of physical activity and sport sciences Gary overseas, students coming into the college of education, human services the Davis college.

The culture, natural resources and design, as well as the Statler college of engineering and mineral resources. And then I work with students who are within the Eberly college and schools of nursing, social work and public health currently. And then we have a few other campus partners who work with students for undergraduate business and then legal studies and majors that fall within the Reed college of media as well, too.

Wow. That's awesome that we actually have. Specialized knowledge and works directly with the colleges rather than having to have a little bit of knowledge about everything. So the next question I have for you might be a test, but it might not. Is your favorite college team? Yeah, so definitely the West Virginia mountaineers.

That is definitely been my team for as long as I can remember, even growing up and having a lot of family in Southwest Pennsylvania. Having gone to college there in Southwest Pennsylvania at Waynesburg have spent a lot of time in the Morgantown area and attending basketball, football games.

I'm going to go to my first baseball game. Springs. So I'm really excited to be part of that canvas community now, for sure. So definitely awesome. Correct answer. Yay. Are there certain, like basic common questions that you guys get asked a lot by your students that are thinking about coming here? Or is it more like a scripted thing that most people ask the same things in the same ways?

Yeah, that's a wonderful question. So there is no script or prescribed routine that we go through with our students because they are all so different. And I think that's why we love our job so much is that every student that inquiries or applies or wants to enroll with us at WVU Online they really have their own story and backgrounds and reason for wanting to complete a degree.

So we really tailor our conversations and. You know, ask questions because we want to, you don't just want to sell. Of course we hope that students will want to come to us, but we really want the help the students find the best fit and make sure that what we're offering will fit what their goals are. Academically, professionally and personally.

So we definitely guide the conversations around each student, but there are some certain questions that do seem to get asked a lot being accredited. WVU online accredited and yes, we are through the higher learning commission. And so that's the big thing. I think sometimes online education may have a negative backing to it that people may come in with, but we definitely are a brick-and-mortar institution with an online component.

And so we definitely have a long-standing tradition in online education. And it's not just something that stemmed from COVID or anything like that. So I think we're really proud of what we offer and students are really pleased with their experience throughout their tenure with us, and once they graduate.

So definitely that's a big one. A lot of times they want to know how much it's going to cost, which is obviously a big concern for anyone when they're going to make an investment in an education. So the really great thing with WB online is that many of our programs are the same. Per credit hour, regardless of where a student lives.

So a student could potentially live in California or Washington or wizardry or West Virginia, and depending upon their program, a lot of times they're paying the same rate regardless of where they live. So that's a really big one and a great feature which really enhances the diversity. Within the online space and our classes.

So students really get a broad perspective on topics as they have discussions, but then their classes and with it within their faculty members. And another big question we get is just about the online classes themselves. They want to know. Are they asynchronous or do they have to be on in a certain day or time for an actual live class or are they able to kind of work on their assignments and projects and post their discussions when they're able to?

Because we do have a lot of students who are working professionals who are going back for a graduate degree. We have a lot of students who are completing the region's Bachelor of Arts degree who started college, maybe five, 10, Or more years ago and they just, they have all these credits, but they don't have the degree to show for it.

So a lot of times there are people who are very well established within their careers and profession. And so they do like that flexibility and being able to have the ability to do the classes when they're able to base around their family and work and personal schedules. So that's a really big one that we get a lot of times too.

I really appreciate what you said in that you guys actually have a discussion with each student thinking about coming here and make sure that not only is the program a good fit, but it's going to fit what they want to do. And that sort of thing. That's really important when we're talking to students because you know, They have a reason for coming back to school.

We don't want to put them in a someplace that doesn't fit. So I really appreciate that you guys do that. And then obviously all those other questions. Yes. They're important. And they're going to come up. Different times and mean they can't think of everything, you know, when they're actually talking to someone, but being able to get back to you guys is awesome.

Said that they can get any of that information that they may need. Jennifer, thank you so much for sharing with us today. We covered a lot of topics that will really help prospective students. And thank you all for joining us today. I hope you tune in for future podcasts. Have a great day.

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