The expected estimate of 1,500 guests blew up to 2,000 for this year’s annual fall open house Nov. 6, as the college provided free transportation for high schools in the Ottawa area.
“This year we doubled the amount of buses (that are paid for by the college),” said Michael Nhem, who works with student recruitment for Algonquin. “We have prospects coming from as far as Kingston. It really helps when students can see the environment of college life, what students are like and how the classrooms look.”
Most future prospects were eager to find out anything and everything about the college and what daily life is like for students.
Questions were one of the main focuses of the day, with informational tables set up in ACCE, Student Commons, the gym and the Marketplace Food Court, giving information on the courses, services and residence options.
“Students want to gather info, so there are tons of FAQ sheets they can collect to take home and look at, or discuss with their parents before deciding,” said Diane Banks, Algonquin faculty marketing specialist. “The tables are all run by coordinators, professors and students so they can answer any questions.”
“It seems like people smile a lot, everyone is friendly. They all know where to go, and how to get there which is crazy.”
Banks also noted that it’s helpful to have students manning the tables, as they can answer questions from a more accurate student point-of-view, such as what the assignments are like or how heavy the workload can be.
Some were even interested in finding out how the food in the cafeteria tastes or what kind of gear is sold in Connections, upon having the chance to take time and browse the college in person.
“There are lots of people,” stated Lindsey Schulz, an 18-year-old student visiting from Osgoode Township high school along with her twin sister. “It seems like people smile a lot, everyone is friendly. They all know where to go, and how to get there which is crazy.”
“The signs are really helpful too because the place is so huge,” added her sister Patricia Schulz, 18, after noting that the pair come from a smaller high school of about 700 students.
The success of this event rings in only the first of three open house events to take place during the 2014-2015 academic year.
“This open house is a day about exploring and discovering options,” stated Banks. “There is one more open house in January to get more details, and a final one in April that is sort of like the ‘deal maker.’”