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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


New UA recruiting embraces alumni

This spring, the UA launched a new student-recruiting program called P.A.W.S., which organizes parent and alumni volunteers all over the country.

P.A.W.S. is an acronym for “”Parents and Alumni Working with Students.”” The organization provides three ways for parents and alumni to work with new students at the UA.

A volunteer may choose to adopt a high school in his or her area and serve as a sort of adjunct admissions counselor for that high school.

“”Clearly, we are limited in numbers as to how many high schools we can hit with admissions counselors both out of our office and the people that we employ on the East and West Coasts,”” said regional recruitment coordinator for the Office of Admissions Drew Braden.

A volunteer could also choose to attend college fairs for the UA. Braden said the UA receives more than 1,000 college fair requests each year, and the Office of Admissions doesn’t have enough representatives to send people to all of them.

“”The more (college fairs) we can cover, the more visible the UA is going to be and the better we can market ourselves to students,”” said Braden. “”This is especially important in markets we may not already be well established in … we’d love to get alumni in that area or parents who live in that area to go out and attend a college fair for us.””

The third opportunity is to reach out to newly-admitted students by offering advice or answering questions students may have.

“”Students in these places would feel that university is really looking out for their best interests,”” said Alumni Association president and executive director Chris Vlahos.

Parents and alumni who wish to be a part of P.A.W.S. will be provided with a list of recently-admitted students in their area so parents and alumni can keep in contact with new students and so they can feel comfortable asking questions.

“”The whole goal here is for that parent or that alumni to be the first person to actually reach out to that student and congratulate them on their admission to the U of A,”” said Braden. “”I try and give them a list (of students) near their geographic area … to give them something in common to talk about.””

There are thousands of alumni across the country, and it would make them feel good to provide such an invaluable service to students, Vlahos said.

P.A.W.S. is modeled after a similar program at the University of Michigan. Braden worked on the program’s research and development last summer to get the program ready for this year.

“”This will really save us a lot of money, and we’re able to reach further into the demographics and geographic locations we don’t normally go to,”” said assistant director for the Office of Admissions, Ryan Burton-Romero.

“”(The other schools) realize, in the current economic climate, that universities aren’t going to be able to send the dedicated full-time admissions representatives,”” said Braden.

Vlahos thinks the program is a great partnership between the Office of Admissions and the Alumni Association.

“”We have alumni all over the country who would love to volunteer on behalf of the university,”” he said.

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