April 27, 2021
Second Virtual SEC College Tour Focuses on Chicago, Indianapolis
By: SEC Staff
SECU (Twitter: @TheSECU)
BIRMINGHAM, ALA. (April 27, 2021) – Admissions and enrollment professionals from each of the SEC’s 14 member universities recently joined together to conduct the spring SEC College Tour. The virtual event drew nearly 200 school counselors, students and families, and was focused on the Chicago and Indianapolis metro areas.
Planned by the University of Mississippi, the tour utilized a webinar format to reimagine the traditional in-person experience where representatives from every SEC school have traveled to different cities to meet with local students and counselors. Although there were no in-person sessions, participants were still able to hear presentations and have their questions answered live.
“We were really excited about planning last spring’s trip to Chicago and Indianapolis. In fact, we had booked locations and gone on multiple site visits. Then, when we decided to cancel [because of COVID-19], it was hard to process,” said Lauren Childers, Associate Director of Admissions for Programs at Ole Miss and the event’s lead organizer. “When the decision was made to move to virtual, we chose to go back to the same locations to honor the invites we had sent the year before. It’s nice to be able to come full circle and start and finish the process for our colleagues.”
The SEC College Tour began in 2009, and in keeping with the past structure, local school counselors were invited to morning presentations and students and families were asked to join in the evening. In total, there were six sessions spread across three days, April 20-22. And in addition to interacting with presenters, participants also had access to digital resources highlighting each university, its scholarship offerings and procedural changes necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic, such as being standardized test optional.
“The ability to stand with our SEC peers allows students and counselors to learn what programs and opportunities each university offers in one setting,” said Jim Landers, Director of Undergraduate Admissions at the University of Alabama. “In addition, the tour allows each university admissions staff to build relationships and to collaborate, thereby strengthening the Conference.”
The goal of the SEC College Tour is to broadly advance the merit and academic reputation of SEC universities through outreach events, and it is one of several programs designed by the Southeastern Conference to showcase the range of accomplishments of SEC students, faculty and administrators. The first virtual SEC tour was conducted last fall, and dates and locations for 2021-2022 events are to be announced.