High schoolers preview college experience during Class Visit

SUNY Buffalo State applicants had the opportunity to attend an annual three-day Class Visit Program that ran Feb. 19-21.

The program is an invitation-only event for high school seniors accepted to SUNY Buffalo State.

As many as 45 students attended with their parents, according to admissions advisor and CVP coordinator Kenneth Robinson.

“The program allows potential students to get a glimpse of what it is like to be a student here,” Robinson said.

Dr. Carmela Thompson, director of admissions, kicks off the event with a welcoming speech to attendees.

Applicants were then escorted to a class allowing them the opportunity to experience a college course and sit alongside current Buffalo State students.

Student Ambassadors led a campus tour at the end of the program. Participants got to experience a day’s worth of walking through the Buffalo State campus.

A question and answer panel discussion was held for parents in the library while the students attended one of the offered classes. This gave parents an opportunity to ask about financial aid, campus security and scholarship aid, among many other topics.

The parents got the chance to speak directly with representatives from admissions, University Police and the Financial Aid Office.

“We’ve had four out-of-state families,” Robinson said. “We even had a family from LA who participated.”

According to Robinson, having this program shows that Buffalo State is proactive, adding that it is not enough to simply accept students, but it is more efficient to put them in the “driver’s seat.” Robinson also said 66 percent of high school students who attend the program end up attending Buffalo State.

“The program is the reason that I am going to Buffalo State now,” said Joseph DiPrisco, a high school student from Middle Island in Suffolk County. “I won’t even wait for an acceptance letter from other colleges.”

Robinson said that the data and surveys from the program reveal that 90 percent of participants indicate that the program is knowledgeable, adding that parents leave with a sense that their sons and daughters will learn here.

Robinson has coordinated the event since 2007 and said that it is continuing to evolve. Immediate feedback from students and parents indicate that the program is helpful for those who are looking for a college education after high school.

“We’re going to continue to get better and utilize the feedback from the surveys,” Robinson said. “The data shows this has an impact on our ability to hear from our freshman body.

A date has already been set for the next Class Visit Program in April. According to Robinson, the more often Buffalo State holds this program, the more students can be encouraged to join the campus.

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