Members of Geneva’s incoming class are already getting to know each other thanks to summer preview weekends held in July—and the online world of facebook.com.
Approximately 91 percent of incoming students attended one of the weekend previews organized by the college’s student development office in July, and many of them are also connecting via an online community at facebook.com titled Geneva College: Class of 2011.
“It has been exciting to see the incoming class interacting with each other,” says Lauren Howell ’07, one of the college’s admissions counselors. “Now there are over 120 members, 24 discussion topics ranging from summer assignments to majors to favorite movies, and over 230 wall posts.”
According to Howell, students who are part of the online group have been discussing the recent preview weekends, which included sessions designed to help them pick majors, answer questions and give both them and their parents a chance to familiarize themselves with the people, procedures, resources and spiritual climate of the campus prior to the start of college in a few short weeks.
“They loved meeting the professors and staff and how they all seemed interested in their education and well-being at Geneva,” Howell says. “They also talked about how much fun the evening event was, when they just got to sit around and meet other freshmen.”
For staff members like Howell who have worked closely with prospective students during their college decision-making process, preview weekend is an exciting time.
“You talk to your students and their families a lot leading up to the event, so it’s great to finally get to meet them in person,” Howell says. “I love to look around at the incoming students and see how much they ‘change’ from Friday to Saturday.
“You can just see how much more confident they are and how they seem more comfortable getting around campus...suddenly they really do belong here. It’s fun to imagine where they'll be several months from now, too.”
When students were asked in their anonymous evaluation forms whether or not they considered their time at summer preview worthwhile, replies were positive.
“This summer preview was very worthwhile,” wrote one student. “I was able to meet others and familiarize myself with the campus. I liked being able to see faces that run the college and some of the professors. I also enjoyed that my parents were able to come and help me branch out and find things before I'm actually here on my own.”
Parent evaluation forms provided similar feedback.
As one parent wrote, "Listening to the various speakers and professors through all the sessions has proven to me that I'm leaving my daughter in very capable hands."