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Open house to give prospective UNG students positive first impression

Prospective University of North Georgia students and their parents learn about various topics during UNG's Open House. Some of the topics include admissions,Corps of Cadets, financial aid, Honors Program, housing, meal plans, language programs, orientation and transition programs, student involvement, and study abroad.

When Emily Hulsey was looking at attending the University of North Georgia (UNG), she attended one of its regularly scheduled Open House events. There she met Hannah Reed, one of the student ambassadors who gave her a tour of the campus and a peek of student life.

Now, as a junior majoring in kinesiology at UNG, Hulsey is a student ambassador herself and imparts her own knowledge about being a UNG student to other prospective students.

"Our whole goal is to get the prospective students interested in the university," the 20-year-old Lawrenceville, Georgia, native said.

She and her fellow student ambassadors will give prospective students a tour of one of UNG's five campuses during the Open House.

"When you leave from an Open House, you can say you have experienced a day in the life of UNG students," said Ethan Penland, associate director of admissions and recruitment at UNG. "That's because we highlight what it's like to be a student."

Some of the highlights include a panel about student involvement, which focuses on organizations including honor societies in specific departments and student-led groups such as fraternities, sororities, sports clubs, and other campus organizations, such as Nighthawks Entertainment that promote and provide fun activities.

"We saw a large uptick in participants in the student involvement panel," Penland said. "So, we added it to the Dahlonega Campus Open House, and it was very well attended."

Hulsey said the panel is an ideal time for parents and prospective students to ask any questions. A majority of the questions focus on student life, but some odd ones pop up every now and again.

"I've had one ask if women and men live in the same room," Hulsey said. "And others ask are cadets in the same classes as civilian students. They are and that just surprises people."

Not surprisingly, one breakout session added to the mix in spring 2018 was one for native Spanish speakers on UNG’s Gainesville Campus. It catered to the large Latino and Hispanic population in Hall County, Penland said.

"It was heavily attended," he said. "And we are going to have more of those."

Penland explained providing information to students and their parents in their native language gives them a positive experience. In fact, one page on UNG's Undergraduate Admissions webpage is in Spanish. It is marked as "¡Hola!"

No matter their language or background, all parents and students have similar questions. Many are addressed in different sessions including:

  • Admissions
  • Corps of Cadets
  • Current students question-and-answer session
  • Financial Aid
  • Honors Program
  • Housing and meal plans
  • Language programs
  • Orientation and Transition Programs
  • Student Involvement Panel
  • Study Abroad
  • Transferring to UNG

All Open House events occur on Saturdays this semester.

"We permanently moved the Blue Ridge and Cumming Campus Open Houses to Saturday," Penland said. "We moved them to Saturday, because it is convenient and we experienced higher attendance on those days."

Penland said it also helps UNG students, faculty and staff who participate in Open Houses. They do not have to miss classes or other UNG activities.

A couple of changes to the Dahlonega Open House events center on their Welcome Session and location. Previously, prospective students and their parents heard speeches in Memorial Hall. Now, they will hear from current students in the Convocation Center.

"We want it to be less formal and friendlier," Penland said.

For more information, visit UNG's Undergraduate Admissions webpage and click on Visit UNG and then Open House.

Fall 2018 Open Houses

Blue Ridge: 10 a.m. to noon Sept. 22

Cumming: 9 a.m. to noon Oct. 20

Dahlonega: 8:30 a.m. to noon Nov. 3

Gainesville: 9 a.m. to noon Oct. 13

Oconee: 8:30 a.m. to noon Oct. 6

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