• Successful orientations at UWA lead to more than 400 new students

    Posted: July 16, 2014

    Author: Public Relations

     The University of West Alabama welcomed more than 315 incoming freshmen to its annual Tiger Trails Orientation on July 10. The group of freshmen spent two days learning the ropes on campus from various departments. The event ended with a registration period for students to sign up for the first classes of their college career.

    Director of Undergraduate Recruiting Danielle Buckalew said the University has taken several steps to developing a successful recruiting season.

    “I challenge the recruiters with several different goals, and they continue to rise above and beyond my expectations by meeting each goal I present. We are focusing a lot of our time and efforts on retention. One goal that I am personally proud of is increasing our average ACT score by two points,” Buckalew said.

    “A higher ACT score is usually indicative of a student who will not only be successful in college, but one that will also graduate. Of course we want to increase enrollment at UWA, but we also want to be sure that our students graduate and feel like they receive a great education from our institution,” Buckalew said.

    With two successful orientations, the University will be welcoming more than 400 new students to campus this fall.

    “We’re proud of the number of students who will be attending this fall, and I think we will see that number increase because we have another registration date this August,” Buckalew said.

    After orientation, many people might expect the admissions office to take a break from their hard-work, but Buckalew explains that orientation is just the kick-off to a new recruiting season.

    “We’ve already started working on and preparing for August. We’re adding four new counties in Mississippi to our recruiting area: Greene, George, Jackson and Stone. We are also focusing a lot of our attention on current high school juniors. It seems that students are making their decisions about college earlier and earlier now. It is imperative that we reach out to these students and get UWA on their radar. Our institution has a lot to offer and we are working diligently to showcase our programs.”

    The admissions office is comprised of four admissions counselors: Kirstan Cunningham of Montevallo; Brooke Luker of Sweet Water; Libba McClendon of Greensboro; and Skeeter Sellers of Enterprise.

    “During my undergraduate years at UWA, I would always promote the University to students I knew personally from my hometown and beyond, but now it’s my job to sell that “something” to other potential students—and I love it,” Cunningham said.

    Sellers, like Cunningham, selected UWA as his college of choice but at first had reservations about attending the University.

    “My hometown is four hours away from Livingston, and to be completely honest, I was scared to leave at first. But the funny thing is that once I arrived, I felt like I never left home,” Sellers continued. “UWA is a community, a family, a lifestyle—a lifestyle that I’m proud to represent.”

    Joining the admissions office this fall will be the newly elected Ambassadors, official student representatives for UWA.

    “Our student ambassadors are a very integral part of our Undergraduate Admissions Office. They assist us with daily office tasks, and, more importantly, they give campus tours and are our liaisons to prospective students,” McClendon said. “They serve as role models and leaders to our current and prospective students. Our ambassadors exemplify what it means to be a UWA Tiger.”

    Ambassadors serve as student hosts and hostesses at a variety of University and community events. They provide tours for prospective students, families, and other distinguished University guests.

    The Ambassadors’ main objective is to assist the Office of Admissions in recruiting prospective students. Ambassadors are chosen from the pool of Orientation Leaders.

    “I am so excited to be working with this year’s Ambassadors! We have a great group of Orientation Leaders to choose from. They have such energy and passion about UWA,” Luker said.

    Students who are interested in attending UWA but did not attend orientation can still sign up for classes for the fall semester. To learn more about academic programs and student life at UWA contact the Office of Admissions and Enrollment Management Monday through Friday on the third floor of Webb Hall, via email at admissions@uwa.edu or by phone at 205-652-3212.

    Registration for the fall 2014 academic semester will be held on Friday, Aug. 15. Classes begin on Monday, Aug. 18. For more information on academic programs at the University of West Alabama, visit www.uwa.edu.

    Picture 1: Pictured left to right are Libba McClendon, Kirstan Cunningham, Brooke Luker, and Skeeter Sellers.

    Picture 2: Director of Undergraduate Recruiting Danielle Buckalew

    Picture 3: Montevallo, Ala., native, Kirstan Cunningham, admissions counselor

    Picture 4: From Sweet Water, Ala., Brooke Luker, admissions counselor

    Picture 5: Greensboro, Ala., native, Libba McClendon, admissions counselor

    Picture 6: From Enterprise, Ala., Skeeter Sellers, admissions counselor

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