Statewide student recruiting events draw hundreds

A little bit of extra attention can make a big difference to a top high school student weighing college choices. So when Trey Warren, an NC State Engineering Ambassador, talks to prospective students at the College’s statewide recruiting events, he works hard to make sure they come away thinking good things about NC State.

“There are current freshmen who I have run into in classes and on campus who remember me and comment on how the information they got that night was a large factor in them deciding to come to NC State,” said Warren, a senior in construction engineering and management.

More than 1,200 high school students and parents attended the events held across North Carolina earlier this fall, chatting with Warren and other NC State engineering students and alumni. The events promote the College and give prospective students information about succeeding in one of the nation’s top public engineering schools. Most students end up applying to NC State.

For alumni, the events provide an opportunity to give back to the school that gave so much to them.

“Having participated in numerous events while a student at NC State, I saw firsthand how important alumni donations were to the college of engineering,” said Stephane Henrion, a 2010 NC State electrical engineering graduate. “Supporting a student recruiting event as a co-host was a great way to start giving back as a recent graduate. What could help the college more than convincing other North Carolina students to take advantage of NC State’s outstanding engineering program?”

This year’s events were held in Raleigh, Wilmington, Winston-Salem, Greensboro, Charlotte and Hickory. Invitations were issued to top-performing students based on high school grades and SAT and PSAT scores, enrollment in AP science or math classes, and prior attendance at on-campus information sessions or summer programs.

The fall events are held at a crucial time in the admissions cycle when high school students are narrowing their choices for college applications. By hitting the road with Dean Louis A. Martin-Vega, faculty and staff from the College’s Academic Affairs office, and Engineering Ambassadors, a group of top NC State students, the College is able to answer questions and talk one-on-one with prospective students and their parents.

“Many students aren’t sure what engineering really is or what specific discipline they want to study, so it is great that NC State has 18 different engineering majors from which to choose,” Warren said.

“These events provide a chance to tell them about E101, our introductory engineering course, and broaden their horizons about all disciplines,” added Lisa Cook, a junior in industrial engineering who is also an Engineering Ambassador.

Kay Leager, director of enrollment management for the College who started the events in 1997 and continues to manage them, said one of the highlights of the recruiting receptions is “seeing our student ambassadors and alumni share their experiences and seeing how it resonates with the high school students and parents.”

“Hearing actual stories and experiences make it possible for potential students to see themselves in someone’s shoes and realize that all the wonderful things they hear about NC State are actually possible,” Cook said.

The recruiting events have proven effective, with 80 percent of past attendees eventually applying to the College.

“Alumni and current students bring these events to life,” Leager said. “We’re so appreciative of their hard work and support of the College.”