Mon. Jun 27th, 2022

Every student at West Chester University had their transcripts all go through the same place: The Office of Admissions. It was my first time setting foot in the little house on Rosedale Avenue. It was warm, inviting, and had fall decorations set up throughout it.
Marsha Haug, the Head of Admissions came out of her office and shook my hand. After many weeks of going back and forth, we finally figured out a time when we could meet. She is a very busy woman, especially this time of year. She walked me into her cozy office and introduced me to Stephanie Allen.
When I met with Allen, I could tell she was exactly the person I thought she would be. She was relaxed, poised, and calm. After I shook the hands of both Allen and Haug, we all sat down at an old wooden conference table. Allen is the Assistant Director of Multicultural Student Recruitment and Community Outreach. She is in her second year of working for admissions and has made great strides for the school.
Allen is a two-time graduate from West Chester University. She has received her position in the Office of Admissions through networking and ultimately applying for the position. She said, “I also realized this encompasses everything I was looking for.” She is perfect for the job because she is a determined individual with a very friendly personality.
As I talked to both women about West Chester and its growth over the past several decades, and recent academic years, I realized that the admissions jobs go much further than reading transcripts and applications. “We have everything we need to be appealing to prospective students. That doesn’t mean, however, that we don’t go out and recruit, and do all the kinds of things that our competitors do,” Houg said.
Both Allen, and Haug told me about various on-campus activities that the University has in motion during recruitment. Most recently, there was an on-campus “preview day” where over 2,000 people showed up.
Multicultural recruitment has been the focus of Allen’s career. West Chester University is constantly committed to enhance enrollment. It goes beyond the Office of Admissions. The university relies on the efforts of faculty, staff, and students to retain the current body.
Allen is just the woman for the job. “It’s been the best two years that I’ve experienced professionally. To be in a field that you have worked towards, is very rewarding.” It is very obvious that Stephanie has a love for her work, and the school’s mission.
She is the type of woman who will go above and beyond. She stays late if she feels she needs to, and takes on additional tasks if the office is backed up. She is on the road constantly reaching out to community centers and schools to speak directly to its members. Allen’s time is valuable. It took weeks of rescheduling our interview because of her constant involvement with potential future students.
Allen has a pre-built list made up of schools that she knows she wants to target. She makes phone calls ahead of time to schedule appointments and will speak to crowds anywhere from 20 to over 100 students.
She targets community organizations like churches, Philadelphia Futures, Chester County Futures, Inspira, and Outward Bound programs in addition to most schools with multicultural audiences.
“I’m all over the place. The message that we’re sending is that West Chester University is committed to preparing students for a four year degree and then obtaining a job,” Allen said. She also gives advice on how to leave “debt-free.” “It’s never a typical presentation because you never know the audience that you’re going to have in front of you.”
Allen finds importance in establishing a partnership with future students. She makes it a goal to be accessible to both the students, and their parents. Her job goes beyond advertising for the school. It includes establishing a relationship and connection with her various audiences.
Haug explained another way that Allen has been directly influential. As Haug was looking at applications and making some decisions, she saw about five students who made a point in their personal statement to mention Allen. These particular students said they had applied because of Allen’s presentations. For a student to be influenced directly by one woman on their decision to apply to West Chester, it says a lot about the kind of work and inspiration Stephanie puts out there.
“By her sharing her own experience in what she was looking for in a college, they really saw that as a terrific example as someone they wanted to emulate it,” Hugh said.
Allen also influences current students. Haug noted that Allen is very effective in getting the multicultural student organization involved to help recruit. The group is made up of 25 multicultural student ambassadors from some of the most competitive majors. Like Allen, they talk about their personal experiences at the school as a method to recruit incoming students.
Allen has plans to continue to strengthen multicultural student recruitment. “My goal is for next year, 2014, to be better than this year, 2013. I want to keep making sure that our students are well serviced.”
Elizabeth Coppa is a fourth-year student majoring in communication studies with a minor in journalism. She can be reached at EC744351@wcupa.edu. 

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