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Widener University Best Practice 2013

Page history last edited by Lauren Kinser 7 years ago

Best Practice Sharing 2013







  • Best Practice Description
    • This past year the Presidential Service Corps/ Bonner Leader Program (PSC/Bonner) best practice was our revamped recruitment event for newly admitted students.  Approximately 90 high school seniors participated in the program on President’s Day, February 18, 2013.  We overhauled the PSC/Bonner recruitment event to save funds for other PSC/Bonner programs. These changes allowed us to save $4,000, or over half the costs from previous years.  We discussed at length with President Harris, Dean Gifford, and the Admissions staff on the best way to ensure a high quality recruitment program on a reduced budged.  The recruitment process is critical, as bringing strong, diverse students into the program is vital to ensure it continues to grow and make a sustainable impact on the city of Chester.  


    • In years prior, recruitment involved a “meet and greet” session during which students interviewed for 15 minutes with a Widener administrator and current PSC/Bonner student.  Interviewers would speak with a maximum of four students throughout the evening.  Following the interview portion of the day, students and their one guest would attend a dinner.  At each dinner table there were four perspective students and one of their parents in addition to one current PSC/Bonner student and a Widener faculty member or administrator.  During dinner the PSC/Bonner Program Director explained the requirements of the program, current students spoke about their experiences, and President Harris spoke on the impact of the program in the city of Chester.  While this event left a good impression with perspective students and their parents, it was not interactive or overly informative; admittance into the program relied heavily on one 15-minute interview. Clearly there existed gaps in this recruitment process. 


    • Changes in both the funding and structure deemed much success this year. The 2013 recruitment event included an opening session with remarks from President Harris followed by four 30-minute rotations that were tailored to both students and parents. Attached is the timeline of one of the rotations.  The new format ensured that perspective students and their parents garnered a greater understanding of the program in addition to providing Widener with a better idea of the perspective students and their opportunity for success in the PSC/Bonner program.  Interviewers met with a maximum of eight students, giving them a greater understanding of the pool than in prior years where they only interviewed four. 


    • Changing the recruitment event required collaboration between the Admissions Office, Karly Simon, a PSC/Bonner senior intern, and the Office of Civic Engagement.  The Admissions Office played a major role in sending correspondence in the form of invitations to prospective students and providing information as to student diversity and financial need.  Karly Simon devoted her time to organizing the entire event.  She procured rooms, organized the schedules for prospective students and their parents, and arranged interviewers and workshop leaders.  The PSC/Bonner program through the Office of Civic Engagement sponsored the event.  The Office of Civic Engagement also provided the communication with the Division of Student Affairs and the Oskin Leadership Institute to secure speakers, panelists, and workshop facilitators.  In the end, we selected 15 outstanding incoming students, saved $4,000, and anticipate a high yield of those in attendance to enroll in Widener this fall.




  • Samples or Relevant Resource Material 

Elizabeth Housholder, Assistant Dean for Civic Engagement

Anna Miller, Presidential Service Corps/Bonner Leader Program Coordinator



Presidential Service Corps/Bonner Leader Program

Recruitment Day 2013 

Monday, February 18, 2013


Event Flow:

1:00pm – 1:45pm Optional Campus Tours, led by PSC/Bonners (Meet in Lathem Lobby)


1:45pm – 2:25pm Check-in & Reception


2:25pm – 2:35pm Opening Remarks


2:40pm – 5pm Candidate and Candidate Parent Rotations 



Rotation Time Slots

Rotations for Candidates

Rotations for Candidates’ Parents

2:40pm - 3:10pm

15-minute interview with faculty/administrator and current PSC/Bonner student

NOTE: 2 interviews occur during this rotation

LOCATION: Meet in Multicultural Lounge

PSC/Bonner Student and PSC/Bonner Alumni Panel

(Moderated by Anna Miller)

LOCATION: University Center Room F

3:15pm - 3:45pm

Leadership workshop 

(led by Dr. Arthur Schwartz)

LOCATION: University Center Room G

The Widener Student Experience

(led by Dr. Denise Gifford)

LOCATION: University Center LL Lounge

3:50pm – 4:20pm

PSC/Bonner program detailed overview and civic engagement opportunities in and outside the classroom available at Widener (led by Elizabeth Housholder)

LOCATION: Kapelski Lecture Hall 1

PSC/Bonner program detailed overview and civic engagement opportunities in and outside the classroom available at Widener (led by Elizabeth Housholder)

LOCATION: Kapelski Lecture Hall 1

4:25pm – 4:55pm

Student Involvement Fair 

(led by various student organizations)

LOCATION: University Center Atrium

Student Involvement Fair

(led by various student organizations)

LOCATION: University Center Atrium



5:00pm Event concludes






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