Junior Visit Day, the day when high school juniors from across the country come to visit Simpson Campus, will be taking place Friday, Apr. 11.
Junior Visit Day has been a Simpson tradition since 1995, and serves as a way to bring larger groups of students to campus.
Last year, 240 students attended with an additional 244 guests, the largest year to date.
After spending a couple of years testing the effectiveness of the day, it has been discovered that having the day take place in the spring and on a Friday is the most beneficial to prospective students.
Junior Erin Hoversten, student ambassador, feels students prefer visiting campuses in larger numbers.
“Students feel more comfortable in larger groups,” Hoversten said. “The more outgoing students ask questions and the shy ones are still able to get the information even if they are afraid to ask questions.”
Students begin their visit at 9:30 a.m. with check-in, followed by a general activities fair where one person from multiple organizations on campus gives information to the students.
Alison Swanson, director of admissions programs, thinks the activities fair is very beneficial.
“It really exposes the students to what Simpson has to offer,” Swanson said.
Following the activities fair, students are welcomed to campus by President John Byrd, Deb Tierney, vice president for enrollment, and alumna Jess Braunschweig-Norris. After the welcome comes the campus tour.
Junior Stephanie Peterson, student ambassador, says campus tours are somewhat challenging.
“The tours are in groups ranging from 10-to-20, making it difficult to personalize the tour,” Peterson said.
Students are then shuttled to academic sessions. All academic areas on campus are participating in these sessions by telling students about their respective areas of interest. Students are able to attend two of these informative sessions to get a better understanding of what types of programs are offered on campus.
Lunch is the next order of business for the day, with students eating in Pfeiffer and parents eating in Great Hall due to capacity issues. After lunch, students and parents split up with students meeting with a panel of current Simpson students to discuss college life.
Prospective students are encouraged to ask questions they may not want to with their parents present. While the students are in the panel session, parents meet with administrators to ask questions about housing and financial assistance. Check-out follows these sessions and students complete their day around 2:30 p.m.
While it may seem to be a fairly easy day, the people who are responsible for putting it together have quite a bit to accomplish before the students arrive. Newsletters must be put together, faculty members must be contacted, rooms must become available for show and ambassadors must be arranged to provide tours.
“It involves the entire campus community,” Swanson said.
Student ambassadors also have quite a day ahead of them.
“Ambassadors are responsible for giving tours, directing groups to the next session and eating lunch with the prospective students and families,” Peterson said.
Junior Visit Day is rewarding for the people who come to visit the campus and the people who help run and organize it.
“I like getting to tell people why I chose Simpson and why I love it,” Hoversten said.