The Greatest Discovery–Discover Western

A large group of students touring the WIU campus, putting themselves in our shoes and trying to picture what life is like always “Thinking Purple”…that would be a Discover Western tour. I always pass Discover Western tours on my way to class. Many WIU students and alumni probably remember their Discover Western trip or have at least witnessed a Discover Western tour on campus.

Assistant Director of Admissions Leeann Meyer explained that Discover Western has been a recruitment program on campus for many years, but in the last few years, the Admissions staff has made some positive adjustments. Instead of the sandwich buffet in the Union for lunch, they now let students eat in the campus dining centers with current students so that prospective Western students get to try authentic dining center food. They have also worked to make the tour groups smaller and flow better.

“Discover Western is a staple of our recruitment process because it provides a convenient way for prospective students to see and experience the best parts of Western Illinois University in a one-day event. Students are able to converse with both academic and student services representatives, hear from current students, learn more about a specific academic major, tour the campus, and eat lunch in the dining centers. Hopefully it provides the opportunity for students and parents to ask questions and get a genuine feel for what it may be like to attend Western,” Meyer said.

Families are welcome to come to Discover Western with their prospective students. You can register by calling the Admissions office at (309) 298-3157. “We hold four Discover Westerns in the fall semester and two in the spring. The remaining dates for the 2014-2015 academic year include November 1st (today), November 10th, February 16th, and April 11th,” Meyer said.

I think it is great that Discover Western programs allow prospective students the chance to experience life at Western in order to make sure WIU is a perfect fit for them. It’s important for students to make sure the University they are choosing is a good match for them because it’s where they will most likely be for the next four years. Discover Westerns allow prospective students the opportunity to see how welcoming our campus is. One reason I love Western is because everyone is so friendly and our campus always feels so alive. Macomb is a smaller town so our students always make sure there is plenty to do by being super active on campus; this gives us a better sense of community on campus and I think prospective students can see this when they visit at Discover Western.

Discover Western wouldn’t be possible without the help from Admissions Ambassadors, the Student Alumni Leadership Council (SALC), and student volunteers. “We ask student volunteers to attend an informational meeting about the purpose of Discover Western and the best practices for tour guides. They then shadow two tours led by trained Admissions Ambassadors and lead their own tour when they are comfortable. Volunteers receive feedback on the first tour they give and may be asked to conduct a second tour for additional practice before the Discover Western Open House,” Meyer said.

For more information on Discover Western, visit https://www.student.services.wiu.edu/admissions/visit/dw.asp.

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