Fall Recruiting Wrap-up

Fall Recruiting Wrap-up

Aggie Ambassador Maddy Carr, far right, leads a group of prospective students and parents at Discovery Day on campus. (A. Taylor photo)
Aggie Ambassador Maddy Carr, far right, leads a group of prospective students and parents at Discovery Day on campus. (A. Taylor photo)

By NCTA Dean Larry Gossen

It’s November and I’m still wondering where September went! I don’t know about you, but time flies way too fast. I mentioned last week in this column that a key person responsible for making sure this column appeared each week, Mary Crawford, was retiring. We again wish Mary all the best.

It’s difficult to replace a person like Mary, but we have shifted some duties around and the person that will take over the majority of these responsibilities will be Andela Taylor. Andela is one of our recruiters and she has been assisting Mary for a few months now. With Andela in this modified position, you will see a few changes in how we operate on the communications front.

One of those changes begins today. Instead of this being the “Dean’s Column,” we will be transitioning this to guest columnists to showcase various departments and programs on campus.  I hope you like the first installment of this new format. And we start this new format today with Andela Taylor.

Recruiting Far and Wide—Andela Taylor, Recruiter

First, a note of gratitude to Mary Crawford for her patience and thoroughness in our transition. Her passion for agriculture, student success, and everything NCTA and Nebraska is unparalleled. Thank you, Mary!

For those of us who enjoy connecting with young people, listening to their ideas and dreams, and seeing them get excited about how they can achieve their goals, being a college recruiter is a great gig.

Rulon Taylor and I have been traveling from the smallest of the small schools to the largest of the large—from Mullen to Omaha South High School. Additionally, Admissions Recruiter Gaylene Stinman traveled to five sites across the state presenting to over 360 high school counselors and in one virtual site.

Consistently, we find students who are passionate about animals, thus our veterinary technology or animal science degrees may be a great fit. There are an abundance of students searching for opportunities in trades, therefore we promote our excellent programs in welding, irrigation tech, and ag mechanical options. For interests about plant science, we share about the hands-on learning, real-world decision-making, and high-tech aspects of the field of agronomy.

Students who express the goal of becoming a teacher—especially those wanting to be ag teachers and FFA advisors—get the most powerful pitch we can muster! There is no place like NCTA to dive into a wide range of courses that they will use in their future classrooms. The excellent response by attendees at the Ag Boot Camp held here for ag teachers last summer was a great testimony to share.

Extreme passion for horses is driving many students to find educational opportunities for equine industry careers. This growing trend has been positive for our out-of-state recruitment as well as in the more urban Nebraska locales. Affordability, convenience, facilities, industry connection, clinics, and of course, our dynamic faculty and the rodeo and ranch horse teams make us a unique choice.

For the undecided students, they seem responsive to the point that Nebraska’s economy is built on agriculture and attending a college where they can be educationally immersed in it can open doors to career opportunities in the ag industry. The new NCTA/UNK 2 + 2 agribusiness partnership has been a timely addition as we wrapped up the season at Omaha high schools and National FFA last week.

Statistically, this season has yielded a significant increase in the number of prospective student leads from all recruiting efforts over last year. The leads from larger events like Husker Harvest Days and National FFA are well over 3,000. The College Fair leads are lower in number compared to the larger ag events, but higher in the probability of attendance. These prospective students total over 500 new leads, distributed as 35% seniors, 40% juniors, 25% sophomores or younger.

As we move forward in our continued outreach to prospective students who will take a next step to visit campus and explore Curtis, we know it takes a whole community effort to positively impact the student’s decision to attend. The next Discovery Day is coming right up on November 14th and every day we have students and parents coming for individual campus tours.

Thank you to the citizens and businesses of Curtis for helping us in our recruiting efforts. Please do not hesitate to offer your suggestions and send us students. Our emails: Andela Taylor ataylor59@unl.edu Rulon Taylor rtaylor31@unl.edu  Gaylene Stinman gstinman2@unl.edu


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