Sunday, August 28, 2011

Admissions meets with profs

Last week the Admissions Department had a few hours set aside to talk to professors from various departments around campus to hear stories of students and graduates of Coker College. The Admissions recruiters were looking for stories they could use when trying to interest prospective students and their families in attending Coker. A bit of news from the college this week was that we have our largest student body ever with a first-year class up 25 from the previous high.

Back to stories. While on sabbatical this past semester I was able to read a number of books on public speaking and one common suggestion was 'story telling.' As a race, we humans have learned from stories for thousands of years. In fact, on my door is a quote who origin is said to be an Indian proverb: "Tell me a fact and I'll learn. Tell me a truth and I will believe. But tell me a story and it will live in my heart forever." That is a quote I happen to share with my public speaking students about every semester in class. In fact, we start the speech making process with something called an Icebreaker, which is stories about things that have altered a student's life. Tomorrow we start those in the day classes and we had the Icebreakers in the night class last Wednesday.

Back to admissions. The recruiters were interested in the stories and spent a lot of time listening as instructors discussed things about their students. I got to overhear Dr. Joe Flaherty of Biology talk about how his recent research grant has allowed him to purchase IPads for his student researchers and how those IPads are making a difference in their research approach. Looking around the room as instructors talked, you could see the faces light up as they told stories of how students have grown through Coker and beyond. It will be fun to hear from the admissions folks if they find the stories making a difference out on the road.


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