MUSCATINE, Iowa-For seniors in high school finalizing their secondary education plans and juniors exploring their options, college visits represent an important part of the process. Though spring often provides a good time for visiting, closures relating to COVID-19 have ruled this time frame out. When Muscatine Community College closed their campus to comply with social distancing guidelines, they knew they had to find a way to connect with prospective students, even if they could not come together in person.
“We knew we need to put together some type of virtual visit right away,” recalls Tishly Herrington, assistant director for admission and youth outreach for Eastern Iowa Community Colleges: “We really wanted to be sure students knew they could still reach us, even though we aren’t on campus. We wanted them to know we are still here to help and want to be in touch with them.”
To meet this need, Muscatine Community College started online meetings where interested students could speak with admissions staff from the safety of their own homes. Muscatine Community College posts times when admissions staff can speak, and then holds individual or group visits, based on how many students log in. During each meeting, Herrington explained that admissions team members give, “students all the information they need to move forward in their next steps.” Typically, visits to Muscatine Community College would include a tour. However, due to the campus’s closure, staff cannot provide even a virtual one at this time.
While group sessions provide potential students with the majority of the information they need to make decisions, admissions staff also welcomes one on one conversations with students and their families. To this end, staff members can organize breakout sessions to speak to someone individually or make an individual followup appointment.
Because Muscatine Community College’s physical campus will remain closed for the rest of the academic year and possibly longer, Herrington encourages students to reach out sooner rather than later. “We may not have every answer right now as we are moving through all of this with them, but the important thing is, we want to move through it with them,” stressed Herrington. “Our goal is to help take some of the uncertainty out of the process. Even though we can’t physically be together, we can still move through all the steps together,” she elaborated.
If you would like to virtually visit with Muscatine Community College admissions, Herrington suggests visiting the college’s website at https://eicc.edu/future-students/events/visit-days.aspx.