At Friday’s open house and on-site registration event, Dr. Jo Ann P. Gonzalez, director of recruitment and outreach, greeted current and prospective students at Texas A&M-San Antonio’s one-year-old campus grounds south of Loop 410.
The event, timed to sync with the the first anniversary celebration of Main Campus Building, allowed students to learn about scholarship opportunities, University history, student services and academic services. Students were also able to register and enroll in classes.
Early in the morning, less than a few dozen students were in attendance and Gonzalez said she was slightly concerned about attendance. Word was spreading among staff members about a South Side accident that may have been delaying students.
“We also had one person say they were late because they had hit a thunderstorm with a lot of rain,” Gonzalez said. “Right now we have only got 35 to 40 people, and we had 100 signed,” she added.
However, by mid-morning she was no longer worried.
Margarita Vasquez, director of enrollment services, said in an email that by day’s end, 270 people signed in at the registration table and over 100 signed in at the open house table.
Gonzalez said the University works really hard when trying to catch the attention of prospective students. She listed fliers, registration postcards, emails, recruiters on location at different businesses, Missions games and the use of media boards at the Alamo Colleges among their central methods for getting the word out about A&M-San Antonio.
Enrollment at the University has steadily increased as a result of the University’s outreach.
As of Friday, the University reported that it had reached 81.05 percent of its enrollment goal with 3,404 students registered. [Update: On Friday, Aug. 17, A&M-San Antonio released that it had registered about 3,800 students for the fall semester.]
New students, and some returning to learn about graduate school, explained how they heard about the open house and their reasons for enrolling at Texas A&M University System’s newest campus.
Denise Urdiales, a 2008 interdisciplinary studies graduate, said that the open house was a great review for new and old students alike.
“I know there have changes since I graduated, so I wanted to just come by and see what information I could get,” Urdiales said. “I was really curious about the open house because I needed to enroll for the fall semester, and I wanted to know the deadline for taking my MAT and getting the scores in. Those were the questions that drove me to come.”
Chris Kichura, a 22-year-old kinesiology major, looked over a tri-fold presentation board and waited for his next session to begin.
“I am going to be coming here,” Kichura said. “I had heard about A&M opening down here and that sparked my interest.”
Kichura said that he learned of the open house from an email sent from the University. Kichura said he received several notices about the event which got his attention.
Heading off to his next session, Kichura remarked the presentations were very helpful and informative, noting requirements for admission were well explained.
Throughout the day, students circulated between four rooms for a campus overview. Staff members in Room A discussed the history, present and future of the campus. Room B focused on admission requirements, program highlights, student organizations and student highlights. Staff in Room C provided information about scholarship opportunities, VA benefits, and ROTC program. Room D was the starting point for campus tours.
On the second floor, the central hall was lined with sponsor tables. KLRN, International Bank of Commerce and the Texas Humane Legislation Network were among the 26 sponsors that participated in the event.
Jon McEwen, a business administration major at San Antonio College, said that he was informed about the open house from an A&M-San Antonio recruiter.
“I don’t think I needed to have attended, but I’m kind of glad that I did,” he said. “I’m kind of interested in the Patriots’ Casa.”
Groundbreaking for the 23,00-square-foot Patriots’ Casa is scheduled for November. The building will house certification programs and possibly offer counseling services for veterans.
McEwen said that phone service for the university was very professional.
“I left three messages and got four responses in about twenty-four hours,” McEwen said. “They were really good about getting back to me. I actually had to start telling them as they were calling that I had already been helped.”
Vasquez said that students interested in attending Texas A&M University-San Antonio, or who wish to complete the admission process, may visit the campus during informational sessions during the following dates and times:
- Friday, August 3 9 a.m.-6 p.m.
- Friday, August 10 9 a.m.-6 p.m.
- Saturday, August 18 9 a.m.-6 p.m.
Students can apply for admission, meet a transfer adviser, apply for financial aid, complete MAPPS, visit a veteran certification officer (if applicable), get information regarding meningitis vaccinations and if admitted, students will be able to sign up for the next Jaguar Welcome Day group advising session.
Vasquez said in that addition to these dates students can come in any day of the week to complete the admission process and attend daily group advising sessions. Group advising sessions are now held at 11 a.m. and at 3 p.m. for new students admitted.