Our mission here at Goldfarb School of Nursing at Barnes-Jewish College is to prepare students to become great nurses. But we have to get them here first. The Admissions Department, led by Dr. Michael Ward, associate dean for student programs, plays an important role in attracting and recruiting students to the college.
So what’s a typical day for the Admissions Department?
Busy! The department fields thousands of prospective student encounters on the phone, e-mail and in person, handle large amounts of paperwork, and log thousands of miles in travel.
Karen Sartorius, enrollment coordinator, is often the first line of contact for admissions inquiries via phone and e-mail – whether it’s a request to speak with an advisor, or a simple question on what pre-requisite courses are needed for admission. She also mails out decision letters to students who are accepted, not accepted, and on the wait list. In addition to managing the wait lists, she also develops the class lists for incoming cohorts, collects immunization records and other required documentation prior to the start of term. “It’s a lot of paper,” says Karen.
When prospective students submit an application, Honoraee Stevenson, office assistant, enters all the applications into the Banner information system. She also handles transcript requests, degree verifications for schools and employers, and student locker assignments.
Anita Barrow-Morrell, Misty Hursey and Lamar Wilkes, admissions advisors, are the faces of Barnes-Jewish College in the community. The advisors travel to college fairs, job fairs, hospitals, high schools, and nursing conferences locally, regionally and nationally to promote our academic programs. Their travels have taken them to both coasts, from California to North Carolina. They are on the road 80 percent of the time during the high recruitment months of September to October, and work some nights and weekends.
The admissions process (from inquiry to admission) is sometimes a lengthy effort, especially if the student is still working on their prerequisites needed for admission. “We can be working with people 1-2 years in advance so we get to build relationships with them,” says Misty.
When they’re in the office, the advisors chat with prospective students and their parents in person, review individual files, ensure all prerequisites are complete and conduct tours of the college.
In addition to their usual responsibilities, the advisors work on specific initiatives. Misty coordinates the development of “articulation agreements” with various community colleges. This means that students in those schools can get transfer credit for their courses if they decide to apply to our nursing program. Lamar handles recruitment of men into nursing. Anita focuses on minority recruitment overall and works with BJC School Outreach & Youth Development, giving classroom presentations about nursing to middle school students, with the goal of developing a pipeline for future nurses. “I like approaching kids during their formative years – it’s like planting the seed and watching it grow,” says Anita.