‘Experience Elizabethtown’ suspends overnight program

Andrew Calnon September 18, 2013 0

he Office of Admissions’ formal overnight program for prospective students has been temporarily suspended until the College can develop a new program that better supports and identifies with the values of the College. “An investigation took place over the summer, [because] a number of reported incidents came to the College’s attention at the end of last year. Through Title IX and The Clery Act, the College is required to disclose, investigate and mitigate claims such as those that were reported,” Vice President of Enrollment Paul Cramer said.

The Office of Admissions has always provided a day visit program in addition to  the overnight program. Since the overnight program has been currently suspended, admissions coordinators have created the
Experience Elizabethtown program, which is a new intensive day visit program.  “This program is not taking the place of the overnight program, but is meant to be a program with more opportunities than the traditional day program,” Cramer said. Experience Elizabethtown gives prospective students the opportunity to come to campus as early as 9 a.m. and experience all appropriate aspects of Etown life, but the visitor will not  stay overnight.

This program allows prospective students to tour, interview, attend a class, meet with a professor, watch an athletic practice or game, attend a musical performance, eat in the Marketplace and experience anything else that legally and appropriately takes place on campus. Cramer added that the program will continue throughout the recruiting year, regardless of the overnight program’s future.

The Office of Admissions also offers ‘Jay for a Day,’ which occurs in the spring for accepted Etown students. Experience Elizabethtown is a similar event for applicants in the fall and winter. The Experience Elizabethtown program will be run through the Office of Admissions just like the overnight program. The program is coordinated by student assistants who assign prospective students to responsible students on campus, who then show prospective students around campus and introduce them to campus life. According to Cramer, this program is likely to bring in the same amount of students that the overnight program has in the past.

A concern about the loss of the overnight program is that enrollment rates will drop. The Athletics Department relied on the overnight program to show prospective student-athletes the campus and to give those students the experience of being on a team at the college level. The student-athletes treated prospective students like they were part of the team, which comforted them and made them feel accepted. “I believe the high quality Experience Elizabethtown program will allow students to get a great understanding of fit with the College. Thus, I do not expect any of the changes made, be they temporary or permanent, to have a significant impact on the new student enrollment at Elizabethtown,” Cramer said.

When asked if the overnight program will ever be available to prospective students again, Cramer said, “I am currently organizing a workgroup to develop a new overnight program that will be more consistent with the values of the College. While the timeline for this new program has not yet been determined, it may be ready to go before the close of the first semester.” The overnight program helped prospective students determine whether or not they would be attending the College based on their experience and how they felt staying on campus for the evening. For now, the Experience Elizabethtown program will give those students the same opportunity to feel as if they fit into the Blue Jay family.

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