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Virtual Open House
Beacon College President George J. Hagerty participates in school’s virtual open house program.

With the COVID-19 pandemic keeping prospective students and their families on stay-at-home lockdown, Beacon College’s admissions team borrowed a page from Muhammad.

As in, if the mountain will not come to Muhammad, then Muhammad must go to the mountain.

In this case, with prospective enrollees unable to set foot on Beacon’s campus for the scheduled April Open House event, the admissions team pivoted to the next-best-thing — offering a virtual open house beamed via Zoom into their homes.

In all, 52 families experienced the college’s first open house. The webinar broadcast included practically everything the college’s typical on-campus event would — except a walking tour under sunny skies and sandwich wraps, pasta salad, and chips.

The webinar clocked in at about three hours and covered the standard terrain. A presidential welcome segued into segments on academic and student life overviews, career planning and placement, admission and financial general information. The presentation also featured Navigator Prep — the nation’s first high-school-to-college virtual transition program for students who learn differently — and Beacon’s Summer for Success program. The broadcast folded in three Q&A sessions and wrapped up with a virtual school tour of the campus, programs, new building projects and historic downtown Leesburg, Fla., home of America’s first accredited baccalaureate institution dedicated to educating neurodivergent students who learn differently.

Although in-person individual admissions advising sessions were scuttled, the virtual experience afforded virtual admission advising sessions during which students and families could schedule “visit days.”

Nothing beats an up close and personal actual visit. Yet and still, Dale Herold, vice president of admissions and enrollment management, ranked the virtual visit a close second.

It worked “better than I anticipated,” she said. “Lots of good questions and overall attendance was high. We also received many positive comments from participants.”

The next virtual open house is slated for May 16. You can RSVP for the program here: https://www.beaconcollege.edu/visit-beacon/