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Open House welcomes prospective students to campus

Published on October 24, 2023

Open House welcomes prospective students to campus

Current students explain why Eastern is a 'beacon of opportunity'

The Office of Financial Aid tables at the Open House's information fair.

The Student Government Association represents at the Open House.

Members from the English Department speak with prospective students and families.

Staff of the Unity Wing promote resources and services for the Women's, Intercultural and Pride Centers.

Eastern Connecticut State University welcomed prospective students and their families to campus on Oct. 21 for the opportunity to tour campus, speak with current students and faculty, and get a feel for the community at Eastern. 

“This is one of my favorite events,” said Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs William Salka in speaking to those in attendance. “I get to speak to all the reasons I’ve remained at Eastern for my entire career.” 

And there are many reasons that staff and students alike have chosen Eastern as the place they would like to develop themselves. Guests were invited to attend student panels and ask current students about their experiences. 

Jean-Pierre Roberts ’25 said, “Coming from a large high school (in Washington, D.C.), I was looking for a place where I could make one-on-one relationships with my professors.” While he said that coming to Connecticut was scary and an adjustment, he learned that “as long as you put your best foot forward, you’ll find that there’s a place for everyone here.” 

“Eastern is a close-knit community,” said Salka. “It’s not so big where students get lost in the crowd.” 

With a 15:1 student-faculty ratio and an average class size of 21, it’s no wonder that students feel the same.  

“Sometimes you’re in the (Student Center) getting lunch with your friends and you see a professor you had last semester. You can wave ‘hello’ or catch up with each other,” said Eastern student Amber Carlson ’25.  

Joseph Hines ’25 said, “All of our (academic) programs encourage collaboration not only between students, but also the professor with emphasis on student support.” 

“One of the reasons I came here was the class sizes,” said Alexis Annan ’24. “It’s easier for professors to get to know you.” 

Prospective students and families speak with current students
Current students serve on a panel to answer questions from prospective students and families.

Christopher Shular ’24 said, “your advisor is going to be your best friend.” He noted that over the four years he’s been at Eastern, he and his advisor have built a strong bond and are working together to plan his next steps upon graduating in May.  

Salka pointed out that Eastern professors are committed to teaching undergraduate students. “They are passionate about teaching and mentoring students,” he said. “We are committed to your success. We have made a promise to you that we will do everything in our power to help you succeed.” 

Tables for each department of study were set up in the Betty Tipton Room, allowing prospective students to meet the professors who will actually be teaching them once they commit to Eastern. There were also tables that displayed the various services available to students on campus, such as the office of AccessAbility, athletics, the Unity Wing and Counseling and Psychological Services. 

Annan worked as an outreach intern for the Office of Career Success during her junior year. “We provide professional clothing for students to use for interviews,” she said of the center's "career closet." “There are also plenty of (career) fairs where you can introduce yourself to potential employers.” 

Shular spoke about his current internship at Memorial Elementary School in East Hampton, where he “helps students who struggle with behavioral and emotional regulation.”  

“It’s helped to expand on my (psychology) major requirements,” Shular said. “I can feel comfortable applying what I’ve learned to what I do in my internship.” 

Annan and Shular are a part of the 95% of Eastern students who complete internships during their undergraduate studies. These opportunities help students secure employment after they graduate; more than 90% of Eastern graduates are employed or in grad school within six months of leaving Eastern. 

Prospective students tour campus facilities
Prospective students tour campus facilities.

Hines said of the business administration program: “Weekly events putting emphasis on career development, resume building, and meeting with employers have encouraged myself and my peers to look beyond our education and into the careers that come after, something commonplace not only in my own major but throughout other programs as well.” 

Hines also noted that his love for Eastern stems from its sense of “community that fosters engagement and fellowship.”  

With more than 90 clubs and organizations, 2,500 annual campus events and 19 D3 athletic teams, there are many opportunities for students to get involved on campus and meet others with similar interests.  

Carlson said that she and her friends enjoy going to pancake nights on Thursdays. Shular agreed, saying that they provide a great setting for meeting new people. Shular also spoke of his fondness for the annual carnival put on by the Campus Activities Board. Both Annan and Roberts highlighted the fashion shows on campus, previously hosted by the Fashion Forward Club and the Black Student Union. 

“I was particularly interested in Eastern’s diversity,” said Shular, noting that he wanted to meet people of various backgrounds. 

And students from all walks of life have made Eastern their university of choice. Currently, approximately one-third of Eastern students are BIPOC; undergraduates have joined the Eastern community from 32 states beyond Connecticut, and 10 countries outside the United States. 

Various resources are available to students who face different degrees and intersections of marginalization. Roberts noted his involvement working with the Pride Center, and Annon expressed her gratitude for the Intercultural Center, where she said she’s found some of the best food on campus.  

The Office of Opportunity Programs helps “underserved and other unique populations, including those who are academically underprepared, first-generation, lower-income or undocumented” to create a learning environment centered on the student and their experiences. 

“Eastern is a beacon of opportunity,” said Annan. “It goes beyond textbooks and lectures. It’s why I chose to make Eastern my home four years ago.” 

Written by Marcus Grant

Categories: Admissions