Making Stories Stick:
Recruiting and Training
Student Admissions
Alexandra Scovel
Coordinator of Volunteer Programs
University of South Carolina
Hannah George
Graduate Assistant – Telecounseling
University of South Carolina
1. Recruiting & Hiring
2. Training & Retaining
3. Triton Training Theory: Helps offices design
specific training activities that benefit student
workers, employers and the university as a
Undergraduate Admissions
University of South Carolina
• Alex Scovel
Coordinator for Volunteer Programs
• Hannah George
Graduate Assistant for Telecounseling &
University of South Carolina
Columbia campus: 4-year, Public, Research, Flagship
Enrollment: 22,556 undergrad; 30,721 with graduate & professional
 Fall 2011 Freshman stats
• 21,000+ applications
4,569 enrolled
• IQR: SAT 1110-1270 ---ACT 24-28---Weighted GPA
Avg. 3.76
 Fall 2011 Transfer stats
• 4,505 applications
1,961 enrolled
 Since 2001, applications have increased 91%, and enrollment in the
freshman class has increased 52% and the average SAT score has improved
by 81 points.
What is Telecounseling?
• 28 students making purposeful calls to
prospective students as part of recruitment.
• EMAS = CRM Database
• Types of calls include…
Campus Visit/No Campus Visit Calls
Student Outreach Calls
Congratulatory Calls
High School Private Visit Calls
Nightly Schedule
5:00-5:15 p.m. Attendance
Calling Agenda
– Who are we calling?
– Purpose of call
– Review “Script”
– Questions/Comments
Training activity (if campus presentation)
5:15-7:00 p.m. Begin Calling
Pre-call planning must be part of every call
7:00-7:15 p.m. 15 minute dinner break
7:15-8:45 p.m. Icebreaker & Resume Calling
Training activity (if in-house presentation)
8:45- 9:00 p.m. Wrap-up
• Write personal notes and prepare mail
• Hand in notes about calls
History of USC Telecounseling
• Fall of 2005
• Main goals were to increase applicant yield by
building relationships and communicating
important information at the right time.
• Desired outcomes included assessing student
interest in the institution, communicating action
items, and tracking campaign results.
• No CRM database = lots & lots of paper
Initial Approach
• Recruitment & Hiring
- Who will work for us?
- In-person interviews
• Training
- How to call and follow the call-script
- Challenging Topics
- Once at the start of each semester
Approach Now
1. What are we trying to accomplish?
- Starting with the end in mind
2. Who can help us accomplish our goals?
- Targeted Outreach
- Campus Partnerships
- Word of Mouth, Reputation, & Retention
3. Application & Interview Process
- Selectivity
The Change:
How can we do this better?
• Always asking WHY?
- Student Development Theory, why not us?
- Learning Outcomes = Better Assessment!
- Continuous training
- Goal setting, feedback loops, guest speakers,
coaching, etc…
- “An Appreciative Approach to Training
Undergraduate Admissions Student Workers”
Triton Training Theory ©
Three-Pronged Approach
• Benefits to student – personal knowledge
gained from training
• Benefit to employer – student feels valued, is
better trained to assist customers
• Benefit to university, admissions, prospective
students – knowledge of resources
Theoretical Framework
1. Appreciative Advising
– Disarm, Discover, Dream, Design, Deliver, Don’t Settle
2. Astin’s Theory of Student Involvement
3. Kolb’s Theory of Integrated Learning
Active Experimentation
Concrete Experience
Reflective Observation
Abstract Conceptualization
• Triton Training model used for all of our
– Student Stories Training
– Residence Life Mini-Training
– Professionalism Training & Resume Building
Student Stories Activity
• Asks “Discover” questions
Ex: “Tell me about a time when you really felt
connected to and/or loyal to this institution?”
• Allows students to document answers and get
to know one another
• Aids in student discovery and self-reflection
Student Stories Activity
• Benefit to Students (TC’s):
– According to Astin, as involvement increases, so does
development. This leads to student persistence.
Persistence = degree completion = better quality of
– Kolb, utilizes all frames
– Transferrable ability to make connections across
disciplines = increased perception of quality of
academic experience
– Build closer relationships with supervisors
Student Stories Activity
• Employers:
– Increased employee retention when benefit of
employment is seen and tied to real world
– Students are more personally invested in their jobs
• Institution:
– Prospective students hear TC’s share stories and are more
interested in the university as a result
– Hear how current students are using university resources
to attain their goals
– Hear about the positive experiences current students are
Residence Life Mini-Training
• Thirty minute presentation in early spring given
by University Housing staff
- Timely as it relates to calls
- Allows for information delivery directly from
the source
- Housing options, housing application,
roommate selection process, renovations,
Residence Life Mini-Training
• Students (TC’s)
– a chance to ask personal questions
– ask questions they heard from potential students
• Employers
– Verification of correct information to pass along to potential
• University
– Potential students receive positive information about Housing
from current students
– Makes information readily available to prospective students
– Positive image of USC conveyed through personal outreach
Professionalism Training and
Resume Building
• How to use Telecounseling on your Resume
• Discussion with peers about which job skills
they have, don’t have, need to improve, etc.,
as it relates to Telecounseling
• Interview Skills
• Email Etiquette
• Social Media
Professionalism Training
and Resume Building
• Students (TC’s):
– Skills will directly benefit their professional life & future workplace
– Increase their chances of finding future employment
• Employers:
– Students can practice professionalism in the workplace and online
– Ability to articulate their experiences (make connections)
– Employees are more professional on the phone with potential
• University:
– Encourages cross-campus partnerships (Career Center)
– Students prepared to be alumni that represent institution well
– Potential students learn about Career Center and job placement rates
Overall Benefits to Training Model
• Students (TC’s)
– Develop transferable skills
– Connect employment and educational experiences
– More likely to persist and graduate
• Employers
– Increase in retention of student workers
– Increase in quality of work performed
– Increase in reputation across campus > recruiting better workers
• University
– Increase in admissions outreach and yield
– Better informed incoming students
Perpetuating Cycle
Increase in
and yield
Increase in
quality of
Offices that employ student workers
- Visitor’s Center (Tour Guides)
- Residence Life
- Orientation
- Peer Leadership Programs
- Greek Life
- Academic Support Staff: (SI, Tutoring, etc)
- Special Student Populations
– Mentoring Programs (ex: MAPP)
– Commuters
Offices that utilize Alumni & their stories
– Alumni Relations
– Admissions
– Institutional Advancement
– Public Relations
Works Cited
• Fippinger, A. (2009). “An Appreciative Approach to Training
Undergraduate Admissions Student Workers” College and
University Journal, 85 (1).
• Evans , N. J., Forney, D. S., & Guido-DiBrito, F. (1998).student
development in college theory, research, and practice . (1 ed.).
San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
• Bloom, J. L., Hutson, B. L., & Ye, H. (2008). The appreciative
advising revolution. Champaign, IL: Stipes Publishing L.L.C.
Thank you!
Alex Scovel [email protected]
Hannah George [email protected]

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