Ohio University Southern Campus holds a different kind of college fair


IRONTON, OHIO (WOWK) — Ohio University Southern Campus held a college fair today—one in which prospective students didn’t even have to get out of their cars!

An organizer with Ohio University Southern Campus points a college fair attendee in the direction of the booths. (Photo Courtesy: 13 News Reporter Natalie Wadas)

This unique college recruitment effort was brought on after considering pandemic restrictions.

“In a traditional college fair, you know they’re bused to schools and then they get to go around, usually in a gymnasium and they go around and for this one, they’ll stay in their vehicle the entire time, they’ll come around to check in, and then they will do like a serpentine line to go through and meet with each representative that’s here.” 

Oreatha Murray, recruiter, Ohio University Southern Campus

15 recruiters from colleges, universities, technical centers, and service branches from across the tri-state were there to talk about prospective students about their futures.

A representative from the U.S. Army gives a college fair attendee more information. (Photo Courtesy: 13 News Reporter Natalie Wadas)

“With students there’s a lot of anxiety, not just about the pandemic, but about getting to college and ‘where am I gonna go’ and ‘what am I gonna do?’ So being able to talk to a real person…huge.” 

Oreatha Murray, recruiter, Ohio University Southern Campus

So how does it work?

Prospective students simply drive up to representatives of their college or booth of interest, roll down their windows, and ask for the information they need.

A representative from Marshall University speaks with a college fair attendee through their car window. (13 News Reporter Natalie Wadas)

The students and their parents who rolled through today didn’t seem to mind this new college fair model.

“It’s a lot nicer cause you’re staying away from people, you don’t have to worry, and you have masks on so I really like this. 

Jamie LaPrad, Fairland High School 2020 graduate
Cars snake around the booths at the drive thru college fair. (Photo Courtesy: 13 News Reporter Natalie Wadas)

“I just think it’s a really good set up and I’m really happy that all these colleges came out to do it for us.” 

Bailee Compston, senior, Rose Hill Christian School

Even the recruiters say this fair was a good opportunity for them to get to know prospective students as well.

“I think this a good opportunity for us to kind of make that face-to-face contact, which is really, actually like a big thing for a lot of recruiters, it’s a big thing for me: just being able to talk to a student, put a face to a name.” 

Terrell Sargeant-Samuels, admissions counselor, Ohio Christian University

It was as opportunity for students to evaluate their futures—from the comfort of their cars.

A car waits to be admitted to the drive thru college fair. (Photo Courtesy: 13 News Reporter Natalie Wadas)

The drive thru college fair was a pre-registered event, but organizers did allow anyone to drive in and register as they came through.

The initial fair ran from 11:00 a.m. through 2:00 p.m. at Ohio University Southern Campus in Ironton.

The recruiters and organizers then moved to the Proctorville campus location for a second stop from 5:00 p.m. through 7:00 p.m.

For more information on the fair and the recruiters who attended, visit this website.

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