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October Open House showcases JSC

Assistant+Director+of+Admissions+Joye+Lyon+talks+with+prospective+students+and+parents+at+JSC%E2%80%99s+open+house+Oct.+19%0A%28photo+by+Victoria+Greenia%29
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October Open House showcases JSC

Assistant Director of Admissions Joye Lyon talks with prospective students and parents at JSC’s open house Oct. 19
(photo by Victoria Greenia)

Assistant Director of Admissions Joye Lyon talks with prospective students and parents at JSC’s open house Oct. 19 (photo by Victoria Greenia)

Assistant Director of Admissions Joye Lyon talks with prospective students and parents at JSC’s open house Oct. 19 (photo by Victoria Greenia)

Assistant Director of Admissions Joye Lyon talks with prospective students and parents at JSC’s open house Oct. 19 (photo by Victoria Greenia)

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JSC held its first open house of the year to entice undecided college-bound seniors to choose its rural campus setting as their home for the next four years of their lives. The Oct. 19 Saturday morning was partially sunny with mild temperatures, providing a comfortable atmosphere as teenagers with parents in tow explored what the college has to offer.

Sponsored by admissions, these events are designed to enhance recruitment efforts at the college. “We track the numbers and we get a higher yield when we hold open houses,” Andrea Bourdeau, admissions specialist for the college said.

October’s open house brought in 61 potential freshmen for next year, and she said admissions anticipate a higher amount for November’s event. She did “behind-the-scenes work” for the event and said she enjoys showcasing the college that has so strongly influenced her life.

She had gone to Johnson State briefly before she took a five-year hiatus. According to Bourdeau, when she came back she was warmly welcomed by professors who had remembered her after all that time.

Also, the fact so many people employed at Johnson were once students themselves, she said, is a “testament to the school.”

The open house’s registration was in SHAPE’s gym where professors of the school’s different programs had tables advertising what their department offers. Student-led clubs such as the Model United Nations, the JSC radio station, and Magic the Gathering also had their own tables set up to engage potential freshmen.

In the corner of the room was an area where a person could dress up with costume hats and sunglasses to take a picture with the school’s mascot, the Badger.

Phoebe Doehring of Brunswick, Maine, was a parent who brought her son Willy, 17, to check out JSC. She said Willy wants to pursue a major in creative writing and that they are looking at two schools: University of Maine at Farmington and Johnson State. She said she liked the open house and the chance to see the Vermont grounds.

“I like that it’s a small school with a beautiful campus,” she said.

Doehring’s biggest concern with Willy going to Johnson State as a freshman is the potentially dangerous drives on break with hundreds of snowy miles between school and home.

Visitors were assigned student representatives, who led small groups through the buildings, library, art center, and dorms and answered questions.

After the tour, parents and prospective students were treated to a free brunch in Stearns while the jazz club serenaded them with classics like the song “It Had to Be You,” popularized by Frank Sinatra.

After lunch, families were encouraged to go to the Bentley Hall auditorium, where they could ask questions to a panel of six JSC students. The types of concerns brought up were on what there was to do for recreation, what processes were in place for students needing help with the transition to college, and the different clubs and associations the school has to offer.

Cayla Fronhofer and Catherine Church were two friends from Franklin, Vt., who attended the open house with family. Fronhofer said she found the campus appealing.

“It seems like a friendly, close-knit campus where you can enjoy the community and your studies at the same time,” she said.

Church agreed. “I like the fact it’s a smaller school,” she said. “I checked out UVM but the atmosphere was too busy; there was so much going on. It feels like there’s more of a community here with small enough classes to really get the chance to connect to your teacher.”

The next open house is scheduled on Nov. 16.

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October Open House showcases JSC