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High School Recruiting That Works: The “Day In College”

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2008 Annual Conference & Exposition


Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Publication Date

June 22, 2008

Start Date

June 22, 2008

End Date

June 25, 2008



Conference Session

Recruitment & Retention in ET Programs

Tagged Division

Engineering Technology

Page Count


Page Numbers

13.667.1 - 13.667.10



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Paper Authors

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Ralph Schaffer Purdue College of Technology

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Joseph Dues Purdue University-New Albany

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Timothy Cooley Purdue University-New Albany

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Damon Sisk Purdue University-New Albany

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

High School Recruiting that Works: The “Day in College” Introduction

Many engineering technology programs conduct open houses and other, similar recruiting events for high school students. These events attempt to showcase the college’s academic programs and laboratories to potential applicants and their parents. However, these open house type events typically fail to fully engage the audience they seek to impress and the yield for these events – the number of matriculates compared to the number of attendees – is typically low.

In contrast, “Day in College” is a by-nomination program designed as a focused high school recruiting tool. Day in College exposes nominated high school seniors and juniors to engineering technology degree programs. It allows high school students and their parents to interact with faculty in a classroom setting. Day in College does not seek large numbers of potential students like an open house. Instead, it is a by-nomination event; students must be nominated by a high school advisor or teacher. Students and their parents are personally invited to attend, and the program is conducted by faculty in the college’s laboratories and classrooms.

The Day in College event is structured to replicate a typical day for a freshman. These potential students and their parents attend a one-hour “class” in each of the engineering technology degree programs offered. By the end of the Day in College, attendees will have met all of the engineering technology faculty members and staff, toured all of the engineering technology classrooms and laboratories, completed hands-on activities in every engineering technology laboratory, received a short briefing on each degree’s job prospects, and completed a workshop on admissions and financial aid procedures.

This paper describes in detail the entire Day in College program and the processes related to it. Readers will be presented with enough detail to replicate the program at their own institutions, if desired. Specifically, this paper: 1) begins with a brief outline of procedures necessary to conduct a Day in College event, 2) outlines the recruiting presentation made to high school advisors and teachers, 3) explains the nomination package and processes, 4) describes the documentation and process used to recruit students and their parents to the event, 5) presents a sample of activities for a selected degree program, and 6) summarizes attendance, application, and matriculation statistics that, anecdotally, demonstrate the effectiveness of Day in College.

Outline of Day in College from Preparation to Follow Up

The actual Day in College event is relatively easy to conduct with limited faculty preparation necessary. The more difficult and time consuming task is getting the high school students nominated and to the event. A brief outline of the eleven major tasks involved is now presented, with details presented later in the paper:

1. Appointments are set with high school advisors at targeted high schools in the college’s service area or targeted recruiting area. Thirty minutes is sufficient to explain Day in College and the nomination process, but more time may be needed if other college programs and services are

Schaffer, R., & Dues, J., & Cooley, T., & Sisk, D. (2008, June), High School Recruiting That Works: The “Day In College” Paper presented at 2008 Annual Conference & Exposition, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 10.18260/1-2--3812

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2008 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015