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Recruiting Mississippi College Students Via Online Formats

Incoming MC freshman Sierra Lee of Dyer, Tennessee
Incoming MC freshman Sierra Lee of Dyer, Tennessee

Sierra Lee likes staying connected to Mississippi College people through online formats this Spring.

An incoming freshman from Tennessee, Sierra keeps in contact with admissions staffers and future classmates in the midst of the COVID-19 health emergency.

While her Spring semester at Gibson County High in Dyer, Tennessee is happening only through online classes, life goes on for the 18-year-old. After making several visits to the MC campus in Clinton, she fell in love with the Christian university. “I knew God wanted me at MC.”

As coronavirus cases mount worldwide, the future pre-med student appreciates the way MC admissions staffers adjusted their plans to reach out.

“The admissions counselors are always texting and emailing the students to support them in every way through this process,” Lee says.

“Many of the incoming freshmen have created an Instagram page and a group chat through the app GroupMe,” adds the southwest Tennessee resident. “It has been an amazing way to get to know some of the other prospective students. Many of us have met up through events and use Zoom to video chat.”

While the MC Spring Preview Day on the Clinton campus was cancelled in March due to the pandemic, Mississippi College’s admissions team stepped up on so many fronts.

Instead of campus visits, “we are conducting virtual appointments,” says admissions director Kyle Brantley.

MC admissions people asked students to connect with them via Facetime, Skype, Zoom or whatever format they prefer. A campus tour video was produced on the Monday following Spring break.

“Counselors are hosting Zoom meetings in lieu of events to keep students connected and engaged,” Brantley said. In addition, the Baptist-affiliated university is using a specialized print and digital marketing campaign to spark student interest. At the moment, a stay-at-home order is in place in Mississippi through April 20. All schools statewide and around the USA are closed as students take classes online at home.

“Now that every member of the family is likely at home, digital advertising should be especially effective in these times,” Brantley said.

Sierra Lee’s aunt, Melanie Hunsberger, has followed her niece’s admissions process every step of the way. The Beaumont, Texas resident gives the 194-year-old university high marks. “I’ve been impressed with MC’s ability to move their prospective freshman class online to take advantage of social media and group apps,” she said.

“This allows them to be closely connected, stay informed and be prepared and excited to begin a successful college career at MC,” Hunsberger said. Planning to move to Tupelo later this year, Melanie looks forward to visiting her niece on the Clinton campus this Fall.

Sierra Lee brings much to the table. A high school cheerleader, secretary of the Beta Club and active member of Dyer Cumberland Presbyterian Church, Lee is the recipient of an MC presidential scholarship. She assisted with a church disaster relief effort in Mississippi after a tornado.

Sierra and her parents, Kim and Ben Lee, all live a five-hour drive from Mississippi College. But with new technology enhancing communications, the Lee family feels much closer to MC.