College’s Outreach to Prospective Students Includes Digital Viewbook, Program-Specific Open Houses

PHOTO: Digital Viewbook buttonMIDDLETOWN, N.Y. – Continuing its quest to deliver College information to prospective students in new and innovative ways, SUNY Orange’s Admissions Office has unveiled several new initiatives in recent months, including the creation and distribution of an “interactive digital viewbook” that mirrors the printed version of the College’s Application Viewbook.

In addition, the Admissions Office is offering an expanded roster of Program Open Houses this fall that are targeted directly to students interested in specific academic programs. For example, students considering pursuing a degree in the arts were invited to a Visual and Performing Arts Open House this past Wednesday (Sept. 24). There, they were greeted by faculty from the College’s Arts and Communication department, given a tour of SUNY Orange’s arts facilities—including galleries, musical venues and theatre—and presented with an array of information about the admission process.

The Admissions staff is also continuing with its Admissions Group Information Sessions, a new initiative that was begun last academic year and generated extremely positive feedback from the general public. These events, in which small groups of prospective students and parents are presented with a general introduction and overview of the College, are typically held three times weekly on the Middletown campus and once per week at the Newburgh Extension Center. Generally, one of the Middletown sessions is held in the evening to accommodate prospective students who are working. The College will also run a College FAQ’s for Adults event on Dec. 3 to help prospective adult learners become familiar with the available academic programs.

The Group Information Sessions were so successful last year that the College expanded its program in Newburgh this year and now also offers similar forums in conjunction with the Admissions Information Booth that Admissions counselors oversee monthly at Middletown’s Galleria Mall.

“Students and parents are investigating their college options in a much different way today than they did even just five to 10 years ago,” said Michael Roe, SUNY Orange director of admissions and recruitment. “They are making use of the internet and taking advantage of the many new and innovative informational avenues available to them. So when they actually get to us, they are much more informed about SUNY Orange. It’s important for us to continue tailoring our outreach efforts to meet their needs.”

PHOTO: Spring Open House 2008Because students are utilizing the internet more, SUNY Orange has generated an online RSVP link where students can review the wide range of scheduled admissions events and register online to attend an event that fits their schedule. And as prospective students complete their online RSVPs, the College is able to respond with an informational e-mail letter, which now includes the digital viewbook.

For years, the printed Application Viewbook was the College’s primary recruitment publication and normally the first item students received upon inquiring about the College. In addition to an application for admission, the Viewbook includes academic information and outlines the many reasons why students might consider attending SUNY Orange. The new digital viewbook, replete with active web links and interactive page-turning software, is housed on the College’s web site.

Another new addition to the web site is a set of four videos touting the advantages of a SUNY Orange education. One video is a six-minute piece that includes testimonials from students and alumni. A shorter three-minute video is offered in both English and Spanish, while a “Discover SUNY Orange in 60 Seconds” video is also available.

Overall, the College web site has become a rich resource of information for prospective students, and Roe says a robust web site is a key component of recruiting efforts for colleges and universities across the country. At SUNY Orange, the Admissions staff has joined with many of the College’s Student Services departments in bolstering the web content at

“Our digital viewbook allows us to satisfy our prospective students’ desire for information to be transmitted electronically. We embed the link in an e-mail, and they have instant access. Because the exchange of information is immediate, we have become much more efficient as we answer student inquires,” Roe added. “Meanwhile, our Program Open Houses give us an opportunity to showcase particular programs and deliver targeted messages to students who have already expressed an interest in that academic area.

“Our Visual and Performing Arts Open House (on Sept. 24) provided students with an up-close look at our facilities as well as insight into the many opportunities SUNY Orange has to offer. The one-on-one interaction between faculty and prospective students is a very popular format that works well for both sides,” Roe said.

Each fall, the Admissions Office also conducts orientation sessions for those students interested in applying to the College’s very competitive health professions programs. These sessions help prospective students navigate the complex admission process for these programs, which include stringent deadlines, specific requirements and physical examinations.

Despite all of the new programs his staff has unveiled recently, Roe explains that the College’s marquee recruitment event remains the SUNY Orange Admissions Open House, planned from 5 to 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 15 at the George F. Shepard Student Center in Middletown. At that event, faculty from each of the College’s academic departments join staff from the Student Services division to provide students and their parents with information on all student programs and services, from admissions to academic counseling to financial aid to campus life. SUNY Orange also conducts a full-scale Admissions Open House each May.

For more information about SUNY Orange, contact the Admissions Office at (845) 341-4030 or visit the College web site at

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Mike Albright
Communications Officer
115 South Street
Middletown, NY 10940