Written by Macy Cox // Photo by Macy Cox
Harding Admissions hosted its first Harding YOU day on Monday, Sept. 19, to provide a more personal experience for high school students.
Senior director of admissions Scott Hannigan said the admissions team sought to improve the program over the summer.
“When admissions looked at the visit days’ structure and program this past summer, they wanted to reevaluate and see how admissions could do better and what are some of the things that they could potentially keep or add to the program,” Hannigan said.
Harding YOU days will be capped at 25 students, allowing students to get a more personalized tour around Harding’s campus. They will also have a custom schedule during their visit. The program will only be one day long on either Mondays or Fridays. YOU days will be close to federal holidays, high school breaks and high school spring breaks to make it easier for students and parents to come to Harding.
Hannigan said the Harding Admissions team wants to be “shepherds to walk alongside the students.”
“Every high school student is different and we want to meet them where they are,” Hannigan said.
In order to be more involved with the process and for the students to feel welcomed and loved as they come into Harding, the directors want outgoing students to feel comfortable attending programs such as Black and Gold days, which is a much larger group of 250 people. But if the students are more laid back and not as outgoing, they can participate in the Harding YOU days, which will be capped at a fewer number of students.
Student Elena Gartrell wrote on Harding Admissions Instagram that “the campus felt like home and I knew I could find forever friends at Harding.”
Admissions wants to make this a relational experience by showing incoming students different people in organizations and social clubs to get them more connected which inspires conversations with Harding students and professors and grows their connections with the people of Harding.
“We really enjoyed our tour today,” Lisa Clapp, one of the parents attending the program with her daughter, Rosa, said. “I loved that it was so personalized to Rosa’s needs and the direction she is hoping to go. The groups were small enough to get to know a few people and have time to ask the questions we had. The campus was beautiful and had such a small intimate feel. Overall it was a great day.”