In the fall of 2019, the Department of Communication Studies launched a Student Ambassador Program with the mission to better inform current undeclared and prospective students, which resulted in increased enrollment for the first its first semester.
Nick Pirelli, the coordinator for the program, as well as a professor of the Communication Studies department, explained how ambassadors give pitches to students in Introduction to Public Speaking classes (COMM 102), serve on panels at Open Houses, and participate in Fall Preview Days.
The class pitches provide an overview of the three concentrations within the communication department and opportunities for co-curricular activities. The outreach and invitations to students can be eye-opening for those that are unsure of the academic path at BSU. Ambassadors willingness to share their personal experiences on how being a Communication Studies major has helped them be academically successful. At the end of each pitch, the ambassador personally invites students to attend an open house to learn further what the major has to offer.
During the open house panel, ambassadors and faculty share their experiences and answer questions about the Communication Studies majors. BSU students and high school students have the opportunity to meet individually with members of the panel to discuss what exciting opportunities are waiting for them.
What does it take to be an ambassador? Pirelli emphasizes that “You’ve got to love your major, believe in your faculty, and the most important thing is your willingness to step outside your comfort zone.”
The ambassador program is a beneficial experience for students. Ambassadors are coached, provided speaking notes, serve as a mentor, and as a student voice and leader within the department. The program is flexible and meant to provide a leadership opportunity for todays busy student.
This new and exciting opportunity is a proactive way for the department to contribute to enrollment and retention. Pirelli hopes that the over 500+ undeclared students each semester see our open houses and ambassadors as one of many helpful tools to make a decision, especially since many of them are first-generation college students.
For more information or to join the Communication Studies Ambassador Program, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org. The open houses for the spring 2020 semester will be on March 18th, 11:15 AM – 12:05 PM, and March 19th, 12:30-1:30 PM in Maxwell Library 103, otherwise known as the Heritage Room.