On Oct. 10, approximately 400 prospective students and family members got an in-depth look at Dickinson that went far beyond the traditional campus tour. With its student- and faculty-led discussions, customized information sessions, wide array of tours and events and an interactive forum, the 2011 Discover Dickinson Fall Open House shed considerable light on both the academic and social aspects of campus life.
The 146 participating families delved into the academic arena by attending information sessions about the area of study that most interested them: humanities and the arts, the social sciences or the natural sciences. They also visited unique centers and learning spaces on campus, which include the state-of-the-art archaeology lab; the newly remodeled Center for Sustainability Education; The Trout Gallery, which now shows several works by Picasso; and the Milton B. Asbell Center for Jewish Life. [Story continues below.]
The visitors also experienced daily life on campus when they ate lunch in the Dining Hall with students and attended a question-and-answer session with current students, who shared their real-life experiences at Dickinson. The families also stopped by the Goodyear studios or the Dickinson College Farm, swung by the Dickinson College Bookstore and got a snack or cup of joe at the Quarry. And while at the coffee shop, many met with President William G. Durden ’71, who visits The Quarry weekly so students can stop by and bend his ear.
But the most popular session was the interactive forum, a unique group interview that allowed 50 pre-registered prospective students to not only to get answers to their most pressing questions, but also to interact with fellow high-schoolers and members of the admissions staff.
“It’s a dynamic experience and an opportunity for prospective students to make connections with one another and really push themselves out of the traditional interview box,” said Tara Vasold Fischer, on-campus programs coordinator, who earned a psychology degree at Dickinson in 2002. “In the midst of numerous traditional interviews, this is a refreshing change. No other college that we are aware of offers something like this.”
By MaryAlice Bitts Jackson
Photos by Carl Socolow ’71