Would you buy a house without ever stepping foot inside of it? Or purchase a car without taking it for a test drive?
More than likely, you answered “no.” And that’s because each of these decisions involves a high level of commitment and consideration.
Choosing to attend college involves a similar thought process. Touring a campus gives prospective students an idea of what it really means to attend school there, and it’s not uncommon for many to say that a certain university just “felt” right.
But how does that experience translate into the online environment?
How can online students learn more about how their degree program plays out in the digital space, whom will they be learning from, and what the learning will look like?
One answer: Attend a virtual open house (VOH).
Johnson & Wales University offers several VOHs throughout the year, geared toward giving prospective students a better understanding of what it’s like to learn online at JWU. The 30-minute webinars not only walk students through an overview of the program offerings and admissions requirements, but also allow students to chat in questions and receive immediate answers along the way. In addition, a guest speaker, usually an online professor or academic advisor, shares useful information on what it takes to be successful in the digital classroom.
Here’s why our online admissions team thinks the VOH sessions are worth checking out.
You get a no-pressure, backstage pass.
Lindsay Nunes, online admissions associate, said, “When discussing and explaining the benefits of the VOH, I like to start off by sharing with students one of my favorite quotes, ‘The expert in anything was once a beginner.’ As silly as it may seem, it redirects the focus and eases any fears of the ‘unknown’ in signing up for the VOH. I feel the VOH provides students with the ability to learn more about the university, connect names to faces, and learn about what we offer in a friendly, inviting platform that encourages participation.”
Online admissions associate Abigail Cogan agreed. “When students do a tour of a traditional campus, they picture themselves at the school to see if they can see themselves there. This is the same thing.”
“Students also have the opportunity to see what the online classroom set-up looks like,” added Grace Flaherty, online admissions associate. Part of the presentation shows a glimpse inside of ulearn, the online-learning classroom.
You hear from professors.
Online admissions & training specialist Lyndsy Tainsh thinks that “students should attend the VOH to learn more about the school and also have the opportunity to hear from a faculty member or an academic adviser.”
Nichole Cordeiro, online admissions associate team lead, said a huge benefit is that prospective students get to “hear realistic expectations from current JWU Faculty.”
“It is a great way to speak with a professor about online classes before stepping foot in a classroom, metaphorically speaking, “ said Zachery Miller, online admissions associate.
You hear from current students.
Miller also stated that guest student speakers bring a unique and valuable dynamic: “Prospective students should attend the VOH to hear firsthand experiences from other students who are already on the path toward their degree.”
You learn of the immense online student support network.
Online students may think they will be isolated from a university’s resources, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Attending a VOH could help you know what’s available and whom to contact when you need help. “It is a your way to get to know members of the support team … yes, we are real people who are here to help you!” said Ricky Carchedi, director of online admissions.
Tainsh echoed this thought: “The sessions show students there are many levels of academic support with JWU Online—everybody is here to make sure they are successful!”
To attend the next Johnson & Wales University College of Online Education Virtual Open House, RSVP here. If you’re ready to learn more about learning online, complete the “Request Info” form on this page or call 855-JWU-1881 or email [email protected].