This spring, Winona State University is bustling with prospective and admitted students alike during the Choose WSU days.
Admissions programs are not new to Winona State, but they have undergone a recent transformation.
Before the Choose WSU program was developed, the admitted students days featured one college a day and did not allow for much exploration.
Elizabeth Schwanke, a freshmen admissions counselor, and Brian Jicinsky, director of freshmen admissions, talked about the purpose of Choose WSU days.
“Because each day isn’t focused on just one college, the new program is more inclusive and offers all majors more opportunities to explore academic, co-curricular, and extra-curricular activities,” Jicinsky said.
There are now seven Choose WSU days in the academic year that start from late November and go until the end of April.
Events throughout the Choose WSU days include live band and dance performances, welcome sessions from the university’s president or vice president, student panels, campus tours and time in the afternoon to explore.
Jicinsky’s goal for these events is to provide the students with a bridge into the university and help them find their place.
Schwanke and Jicinsky discussed their favorite parts of Choose WSU days.
“The morning is my favorite because everyone is bright-eyed and excited to see what could unfold,” Schwanke said.
While Schwanke expressed the anticipation-filled mornings as her favorite part, Jicinsky said he prefers the conclusion of the day.
“The end of these days for me is full of families who sought out how valuable the program was,” Jicinsky said.
Following that discussion, two different department chairs were interviewed for their insight on what Choose WSU means to them.
Marianne Collins has had many roles in her 12 years at Winona State. Collins has taught introductory marketing classes, sales management, advanced professional selling and currently serves as the Marketing department chair. She has been the coach of the WSU sales team since 2012.
Collins explained how she helps showcase the College of Business during Choose WSU days.
Collins started with a definition of marketing and explained the dynamic changes through figures and mentioned that job placement rate one year after graduation is 96 percent for marketing students. For Collins, she said it is important for future students who visit to get a feel for the collaborative space of the engagement center and meet potential professors during the program days.
“The College of Business mantra is ‘Create Your More’. Our program makes it a holistic experience within the college through hands-on activities and networking potential,” Collins said.
Mass Communication chair J Paul Johnson also weighed in on Choose WSU days.
To showcase the Mass Communications department, Johnson works to organize faculty for panels and students ambassadors to represent the different fields within the program.
“The reason we have ambassadors is so future students can see what current students are doing: making short film media projects and working with ad agencies, for example,” Johnson said.
His hope for students who explore Mass Communication during a Choose WSU Day is they will be kept busy with important work while they are making academic strides to their degree programs.
Overall, the program and its organizers help provide an immersive experience into facets of campus life for those who make the decision to choose Winona State.