Online Roadmap Podcast: Online Student Registration | Online roadmap

Tammy Bishoff talks with WVU Online Enrollment Management Coordinator Jennifer Pruzinsky about the online student enrollment process and how her department tailors the experience to each student.


Hello everyone. Welcome to this week’s episode of the Online Roadmap Podcast, which is WVU Online’s own podcast series. This is Tammy, and today I’m joined by Jennifer Pruzinsky. Jennifer is the Registration Management Coordinator for WVU Online. Welcome to our show today. Thank you very much for having me.

It’s an honor to be here and to speak with all of you today. Awesome. We are super excited to have you, how do you feel, tell us a bit about your background and your role here at WTF? Absoutely. Yeah, so a lot of people seem to end up working in higher education and admissions. I always knew that was what I was supposed to do.

So I’m very grateful to have worked in higher education and admissions. Since 2007, I have completed my BS in Biology and Psychology from Waynesburg College. Now in college, just up from Morgantown. And then I pursued my Masters in Student Affairs and Higher Education at IUP.

As I mentioned, I have worked in college admissions since 2007 at several different colleges and universities, as well as the National Association for College Admissions Counseling in Arlington, Virginia. But working for West Virginia University has always been my dream. And so I’m really excited to now and forever be a mountaineer. In my role as the Enrollment Management Coordinator for WVU Online, I oversee the team of Online Admissions Coaches and the Learner Engagement Center. Their coaches are really there to help guide the prospect and current students. And our goal is really to make sure that all students have support throughout the application, registration processes, and are connected to appropriate campus resources pprocess and even once they are enrolled so that ultimately they will graduate from West Virginia University. And I’m particularly in my role, I can also work with a lot of different departments on campus, whether it’s academics, student affairs, or veterans affairs, and just make sure that all processes and communication run smoothly.

That’s wonderful. Engage with different units on campus to do this for our students online. I know it’s so important to make sure they feel included and have all those opportunities that other students have. So, do students like to choose their coach or are they assigned to them?

How it works? Yeah, that’s a, that’s a great question. Students are actually assigned an admissions coach based on the program they intend to enroll in. So, at the moment, there are three of us working directly with the students. We have programs at all levels, so we have undergraduate and graduate programs and certificates.

The coaches therefore work closely together. The academic program, coordinators and faculty. And so they are really knowledgeable about the different majors, requirements, and credits required for each of the programs they run. They therefore help students navigate the process. And so Kelly, she oversees, for example, Chambers College of Business and Economics, College of Physical Activity and Sport Sciences Gary Overseas, students entering the College of Education, Davis College Human Services.

Culture, Natural Resources and Design, as well as the Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources. And then I work with students who are currently in Eberly College and schools of nursing, social work, and public health. And then we have a few other partners on campus that work with students for undergraduate business and then legal studies and majors that also fall under Reed College of Media.

wow. It’s great that we actually have. Specialized knowledge and works directly with colleges rather than having a little knowledge of everything. So the next question I have for you might be a test, but it might not be. Is your favorite college team? Yeah, so definitely West Virginia Mountaineers.

It’s definitely been my team for as long as I can remember, even growing up and having lots of family in Southwestern Pennsylvania. After going to college in southwestern Pennsylvania in Waynesburg, I spent a lot of time in the Morgantown area and attended basketball and football games.

I’m going to watch my first baseball game. Springs. So I’m really excited to be a part of this scrim community now, that’s for sure. So really great. Right answer. Yay. Are there some basic common questions that your students often ask you who are considering coming here? Or is it more of a scripted thing that most people ask the same things the same way?

Yeah, that’s a wonderful question. So there is no prescribed script or routine that we follow with our students because they are all so different. And I think that’s why we love our work so much is that every student who applies or applies or wants to register with us at WVU Online really has their own story and background and reason for wanting to graduate. .

So we really tailor our conversations and. You know, ask questions because we want to, you don’t just want to sell. Of course, we hope that students will want to come to us, but we really want to help them find the best solution and make sure that what we offer matches their goals. Academically, professionally and personally.

So we definitely steer the conversations around each student, but there are some questions that seem to get asked a lot during accreditation. WVU accredited online and yes we go through the higher education commission. And so that’s the big problem. I think sometimes online education can have negative support that people can come up with, but we are definitely a brick and mortar institution with an online component.

And so we definitely have a long tradition in online education. And it’s not just something that stemmed from COVID or anything like that. So I think we’re really proud of what we offer and the students are really happy with their experience throughout their tenure with us and once they graduate.

So that’s definitely a big deal. Often they want to know how much it will cost, which is obviously a big concern for anyone who is about to invest in education. So what’s really great about WB Online is that a lot of our programs are the same. Per credit hour, regardless of where the student lives.

So a student could potentially live in California, Washington, Witchcraft, or West Virginia, and depending on their program, they often pay the same rate regardless of where they live. So it’s a really big and great feature that really enhances diversity. Within the online space and our courses.

So students really get a broad perspective on the topics as they have discussions, but then their classes and with that within their faculty members. And another big question we get is about the online courses themselves. They want to know. Are they asynchronous or do they have to be on on a certain day or time for a live class or are they able to work on their assignments and projects and post their discussions when they can?

Because we have a lot of students who are professionals coming back for a graduate degree. We have a lot of students finishing the bachelor of arts in the area who started college, maybe five, 10 years or more and they just have, they have all these credits, but they don’t have the degree to show it.

So there are often people who are very well established in their career and profession. And so they like that flexibility and being able to take classes when they can base it on their family, their work, and their personal schedules. So this is a very big problem that we get so often.

I really appreciate what you said in that you actually have a discussion with every student who is considering coming here and make sure that not only is the program well suited, but that it will match what they want to do. And that sort of thing. It’s really important when talking to students because you know, they have a reason to come back to school.

We don’t want to put them in a place that doesn’t suit them. So I really appreciate you doing this. And then of course all these other questions. Yes. They are important. And they will go up. Different times and means they can’t think of everything, you know, when they’re actually talking to someone, but being able to respond to you is great.

They said they can get all the information they might need. Jennifer, thank you so much for sharing with us today. We have covered a lot of topics that will really help future students. And thank you all for joining us today. I hope you will listen to future podcasts. Have a nice day.

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