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Recruiting Event Offers Prospective Students Glimpse into Life at Mississippi College

Prospective students can get a good look at what life at Mississippi College is all about during Spring Preview Day.
Prospective students can get a good look at what life at Mississippi College is all about during Spring Preview Day.

One of the most highly anticipated events of the spring college recruiting season will draw hundreds of potential students and family members from across the Southeast and other states to the Mississippi College campus on Saturday, March 5, to experience what makes attending the Christian University so special.

During Spring Preview Day, prospective Blue and Gold scholars will have the opportunity to interact with MC’s award-winning faculty and students, sit in on “mock” classes, and tour the campus, including state-of-the-art facilities like the Cadaver Laboratory. They will also meet representatives of various student organizations and tailgate on the bucolic Quad.

In fact, of the many recruiting events MC participates in each spring, Preview Day is one of the best ways to showcase the campus, students, faculty, and staff to prospective students, according to Angie Hardin, MC director of admissions and enrollment operations.

“If we can get students to visit our campus, we have a much better chance of convincing them to come to MC,” Hardin said. “The campus is beautiful, and they get to meet the people of Mississippi College, which is what makes it special. Students who visit MC are more likely to enroll than students who do not.”

Before the COVID-19 pandemic negatively impacted recruiting activities, MC would typically welcome as many as 500 students and family members to its Clinton campus for each Preview Day, which would occur twice in the fall and once in the spring. Hardin said the group usually includes junior and senior high school students with some potential college transfers in the mix.

“It’s a great time for these students to come and see MC in action, to get a full overview of life on campus, so they can make an informed decision about where to spend their college years,” she said. “They get to experience student life, hear from President Blake Thompson, and meet other prospective students, as well as current MC students.”

Spring Preview Day is one of three Preview Days that MC hosts each year. They are part of the MC Admissions’ recruiting schedule. Each of the Christian University’s eight recruiters stay busy making telephone calls, developing contacts with high school and community college administrators, and traveling throughout the region to let the cream of the collegiate crop know about the outstanding career opportunities a Mississippi College education can provide them.

The season kicked off in late January with three sets of Select Scholars Competitions and Interviews – panel-format events in which leading students vie for scholarships based upon evaluations of their interviews with MC’s Admissions Committee and other submitted materials. In March, recruiters will have the opportunity to make presentations to potential students at receptions and dinners throughout the Southeast, from Birmingham, Alabama to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Memphis, Tennessee, and multiple towns in Mississippi and Texas.

And throughout the spring, MC recruiters will visit students and school counselors at high schools and community colleges throughout Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana, Tennessee, and Texas.

Terrance (TJ) Williams, an admissions counselor and diversity recruiter, entering his third year at MC, is responsible for recruiting students to the Christian University from South Mississippi, South Alabama, and Jackson Public Schools. Not only does he pitch the many benefits of an MC education to prospective students, but he also helps them through the admissions process and plans area events to connect them with local alumni.

“When searching for future Choctaws, I always look for those eager not only to learn, but also to impact the world with the education they gain,” said Williams, who first became involved with the MC Admissions Office as a student recruiter (MC Scout). “This is why a relationship with the families and schools I work with is so meaningful – it helps find students that may never have heard of MC but would be a perfect mission fit.

“The most challenging aspect of the job is being on such a fantastic team and then spending so much time away on the road during travel season (generally in the fall). Which, coincidentally, is the most rewarding part, because I get to meet so many other amazing people!”

Hardin said recruiters like Williams who go where the students are and meet with them face to face represent the best of MC when the prospective scholars are unable to physically visit the Clinton campus during events like Preview Day.

“As strange as it may sound, a lot of students, even in Mississippi, have never even heard of MC,” she said. “That’s why building relationships, especially with these students and school counselors, is so important. It’s our opportunity to tell them what we have to offer.

“The counselors work with students day in and day out, so if they know a student who may be a good fit at MC, they can let us know.”

But she said nothing can fully communicate to students what it’s like to be a member of the Blue and Gold Family than an on-campus visit and the activities Preview Day offers.

“What’s most important is to build strong relationships with students and their families, let them know we’re thinking of them, that we care for them, and we would like for them to join the Mississippi College Family.“

For more information about MC’s Spring Preview Day, call the Admissions Office at 601.925.3800.