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Pollard-Burns: Admissions working to perfect process

By Victoria Staples
On April 5, 2011

There are ‘obstacles' first-time students encounter when navigating through University offices such as the Office of Financial Aid and the Office of Housing and Residence Life, but the journey begins with Admissions.

Another Spring Open House has passed, and the Office of Admissions is preparing to assist the Class of 2015.

The deadline for freshmen regular admission was March 15, but there were prospective students at Spring Open House March 25.

"I am very pleased with the campus community and their participation," said Cheryl Pollard-Burns, associate director of Freshmen and Visiting Admissions.

"Our guests really enjoyed their visit."

Admissions receives feedback and complaints from students concerning the notification process.

"New first-time freshmen sometime complain about the notification process; however, students who applied [September to February] receive timely responses," Pollard-Burns said.

There is a recruitment cycle. The later information is received from student applicants, the later the response. time from the office. The notification process takes about seven to 14 days but may take longer.

"It may take 14 to 21 days because of the increase in volume the Admissions Office begins to receive as the application deadline approaches," Pollard-Burns said.

"Unfortunately, many students wait until the last minute to complete the application process."

Pollard-Burns explained the importance of the way Admissions operates and how they deal with concerns of the new students and families.

"We are careful to address all concerns brought to our attention.  The importance is to understand when a complaint is valid, and many times people complain when they don't like the answer to their question or request."

New freshmen that are not a part of a bridge program are not allowed to take Summer Session courses.

"Visiting students can take classes in the summer; however, new, first-time freshmen cannot begin in the summer," Pollard-Burns said.

"Our responsibility is to be courteous, remain consistent and apply our policies fairly across the board.  

Admissions traveled to its first "Rams on the Road" session April 2 in Durham. Rams on the Road is a service assisting admitted students and their families with the enrollment process.

Placement testing is taken to a site nearest to prospective and admitted students' communities who either did not take the test during the time allotted during Spring Open House or those who opted to take it closer to home.

Other cities Rams on the Road will visit include Wilson, Fayetteville and Charlotte.

The next Rams at Home is May 21.

Rams at Home sessions are available for those who do not live near either of the five cites selected for Rams on the Road.

"We offer a variety of outreach programs designed to meet students early to ensure they are aware of what they need to be admitted," Pollard-Burns said. Some of our outreach programs begin with eighth graders."

"We are working to perfect our processes and programming."

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