College staff worked hard to move admissions process online
Photos and Story by James Hill
In this time of social distancing, online classes, and remote operations, Portland Community College staff have had to be creative in how they support students in their continued academic success.
Thanks to hard work by staff, faculty and leadership, the college has created Virtual Admissions in light of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. With this online system, students can schedule one-on-one virtual admissions appointments, take remote tours of PCC’s campuses and services, watch a recorded PCC admissions presentation with closed captioning in English or Spanish, ask questions of staff, or virtually attend group information sessions.
It’s been a total team effort since the college announced it was moving spring term classes and business services online while closing physical campuses and centers through May 4. For Virtual Admissions it was a group effort to create the online structure, led by campus Admissions & Recruitment Coordinators Lauren Brown (Southeast) and Magdalena Cruse (Sylvania), as well as Director of Admissions & Recruitment Matt Ogawa.
- Due to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, PCC students can schedule appointments, take remote tours of PCC’s campuses, or ask questions of staff.
“The entire staff had a hand in the offerings provided and in its implementation,” Ogawa said. “Our group was really focused on keeping it as simple as possible, both from an implementation standpoint and from the student perspective, while at the same time not sacrificing a meaningful experience. In order to get up something quickly and in a time where things were changing by the hour, it was important for us to find the right balance of providing a quality service and offerings that were ready to go.”
Ogawa and his team partnered with PCC’s Web Team, Marketing & Communications, Enrollment Services, and many other offices to make it happen. In the end, he said the adaptable Admissions and Recruitment staff are used to working on projects quickly and remotely.
“From an operational standpoint, we have had the privilege of already being equipped to function in our ‘new normal,’” Ogawa added. “Of course, there have been many challenges in communication, keeping everyone on the same page and up to date with so many moving parts. I’m thankful for staff and colleagues who are flexible and understanding particularly during these unprecedented times and who always have the students’ best interest in mind.”
As for the Virtual Admissions process, students can expect similar support to what they would receive if they were to meet an Admissions and Recruitment coordinator face-to-face on campus, during a school visit, college fair or through a PCC program. A dedicated admissions representative will help them with their questions and steer them to the right PCC programs and services. Students should have their list of questions and concerns ready when accessing admissions.
Ogawa added that Virtual Admissions, or large parts of it, will be here to stay at PCC.
“The modality may have changed but the mission has not — from start to finish, we’re here to help,” he said. “Admissions and Recruitment, and higher education in general, is constantly evolving and we must adapt to the needs of our students.”