By: Jessica Peña
Volunteer State Community College was among 27 institutions in the state to participate in the first statewide virtual college fair March 16, from 1-6 p.m.
Tennessee Pathway Day was coordinated by the Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR) and offered a new way for current and upcoming college students to familiarize themselves with potential colleges of their choice.
The Tennessee Board of Regents has created a virtual college for the tech savvy generation.
According to the TBR website, participating colleges included all TBR institutions like Austin Peay University, East Tennessee State University, Middle Tennessee State University, Tennessee State University, Tennessee Technological University and University of Memphis.
Participants of the college fair could register and login from their computers, tablets or smart phones and visit any of the available colleges, and were able to chat online with advisors to ask any questions they may have about their institution.
“It was a fairly simple, straightforward process,” said Virginia Moreland, Associate Director of Communications and Marketing at the Tennessee Board of Regents.
Moreland said the Tennessee Pathway Day was a new event created to enhance what institutions were already doing.
“Many students may not have the time or resources to attend a physical college fair, especially with a campus located far away.
A virtual college fair provides a convenient means of communicating with a variety of colleges from across the state in a single afternoon without leaving home,” said Moreland.
Each college had an online booth with links to download and view books, or other materials about their institution.
The booths also included links to specific information on the universities’ websites and videos about the schools.
Just as a physical college fair, participants could visit with as many or as few colleges as they chose.
Moreland said one objective of the event was to build awareness of the Tennessee Transfer Pathway program, so potential students could explore their options.
“Students that were considering starting at Vol State and then transferring onto one of the four year public universities, had the opportunity to talk to representatives at both colleges about that major, and the transfer process.
“It’s a great way for students to start mapping out their college plans,” said Annette Wagner, Assistant Director of Admissions at Vol State.
“It was a very user friendly format, so Vol State was confident that the students would be able to navigate it without a problem,” said Wagner.
Wagner said that the fair does not replace any other programs they have going on, but it is another way to showcase and share all about Vol State to prospective students.
“As a college, we are always looking for different ways to reach out to our prospective students. We want to connect with them in a format that works best for them.
“This is simply a new avenue that we can use to help them explore all that Vol State has to offer,” said Wagner.
Any students who missed Tennessee Pathway Day still have a chance to check out information on their institution.
College booths will be available online for another 30 days for anyone who would like to visit and learn more about the participating colleges. The link is tnpathwayday.org