Prospective students to attend mock class

Margot McKay

A pilot program for prospective students spanning four days will allow approximately 80 accepted high school seniors to participate in mock core humanities seminars in April.

The sessions, entitled “The Villanova Academic Experience,” are the result of collaboration between the Admissions Office and the core humanities department. They will be held April 13, 14, 15 and 19 from 9:45 to 10:30 a.m. in the Devon Room in the Connelly Center.

Dr. John Doody, chairman of the core humanities program, is responsible for setting up the event and delegating the four sessions to faculty members. He is working alongside Gerard Brett , Assistant Director of University Admission.

“This is the first time we have been asked to do this, and we are very much looking forward to helping Villanova recruit next year’s class,” said Doody. “We believe that core humanities are a great introduction to the life of the mind at Villanova, and we want to be part of the process where each year, the entering class is the best Villanova has ever recruited.”

This type of program is unique to Villanova, according to the Office of University Admission. One student’s recent research on classroom visitation programs at colleges and universities across the country confirmed this, as other institutions allow students to observe courses rather than participate in them. Brett commented on the difference between the two structures, saying that a prospective student is often not engaged while sitting among college students.

Early accepted high school seniors will be mailed postcards providing information on the sessions, and directing them to an online link where they can register. The link, which was developed with the aid of Sue Morgan-Winner from the Office of Financial Assistance, will go live either today or Monday, and will be accessible from the accepted senior webpage.

While Brett said that each session will be capped at 18 to 20 prospective students, in an attempt to simulate the situation in a core humanities seminar, these plans remain tentative. “We may facilitate and make it smaller – it’s going to depend on feedback from who’s coming,” Brett said.

Upon arrival, each prospective student will be given a topic, ranging from a paragraph to a page in length, in the form of a book excerpt or other type of passage, around which the discussion will focus.

Students will be separated from their parents during the session. “We felt it was important for the students to be alone for the session, not to be with their parents, to really see what it’s like to be in a classroom,” Brett said. “So the parents will have the opportunity to attend a presentation in Corr Hall by Career Services, organized by Nancy Dudak and her staff.” Brett emphasized that this material, centering on Career Services’ offerings and pertinent statistics, concerns issues in which parents are increasingly interested.

The Office of University Admission hopes the sessions will positively affect the prospective students, and ease the burden of selecting a school. “If we see that a significant number of those students [who took part in the sessions] then turn out attending Villanova, that’s obviously a positive result,” said Brett. “Then we might decide to increase these in the future.”

Following the session, the prospective students will have the option of going on a campus tour. Each will also receive a meal voucher and the opportunity to have lunch with current students.